“Leek is a diet food for French women. We boil it and drink the water. It’s our magic trick and a little secret.” – Sylvie, the French CEO of Savior magazine, from Emily in Paris.
This comment, shocking as it was, is straight out of the cult bestseller from 20 years ago, French women don’t get fat: the secret of eating for pleasure written by Mireille Guiliano. In the book, her “health advice” is given by Guiliano’s family doctor, whom she dubs “Doctor Miracle” for helping her lose weight after she spent time as an exchange student in the US and returned to France with extra pounds.
The doctor recommended her to start a regular diet of leek soup, which she slurped every 2 to 3 hours for a period of 48 hours, and in two days the soup, which acts as a mild diuretic, helped her lose a few pounds, hence the Genesis of Sylvie’s “magic trick”.
The idea got a boost when the Netflix show aired the episode, which repeated this Miracle Doc’s advice: “The soup should be drunk every two hours to see weight loss results.” But we wanted to know: Is there any truth to that?
We wanted to know if eating leek soup is actually a powerful weight loss secret. Shortly after the episode, searches began to pile up: “leek soup for weight loss?” We also wanted to know, should we be eating leeks for other health benefits? Here’s everything you need to know about the science behind leeks or leek soup and weight loss, as well as the powerful antioxidants found in green vegetables that are worth making a soup for.
Is leek soup good for weight loss?
Leeks are low in calories and a good source of fiber: 100 grams of cooked leeks contain 31 calories and 1.2 grams of fiber, which helps us feel fuller for longer.
Leeks are also 83 percent water, which can promote feelings of fullness. Nicole Osinga, RD who created The turnips Plant-Based Diet advises dieters to make sure they’re drinking enough water when the goal of weight loss is: “It helps in three ways by suppressing your appetite, increasing your body’s metabolic rate, and increasing your energy expenditure.”
How to calculate how much water you should drink:
- Multiply your weight in pounds by two-thirds, or 0.67 percent. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you need to be drinking 94 ounces of water every day.
Leeks contain two important antioxidants
Leeks are high in kaempferol and allicin, two important antioxidants that may help fight oxidation cause certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer, according to a review study.
- fighter oil proven to reduce the risk of cancer Protection of the body against free radicalsaccording to another study in which researchers also mention, “kaempferol…modulates inflammation and metastasis.”
- allicin Leeks are also high in allicin (also the main active ingredient in garlic), which gives the plant its natural color. Like all antioxidant, Allicin helps reduce oxidative stress, which protects the body from disease. Allicin has been shown to be helpful in studies lower blood sugar, Plus, it helps lower LDL cholesterol and keep blood pressure in check due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies also suggest that allicin can help your muscles recover from injury or a hard workout. But no studies link it to weight loss.
The verdict on Emily in Paris Leek soup for weight loss
Studies on leeks or a regular diet of leek soup for weight loss are scarce. dr Nick Fuller, an obesity expert at the University of Sydney, advises against trying a leek soup diet permanent weight loss. “Fasting diets are very attractive right now,” says Fuller. “They’re just fancy ways to cut calories from your diet, and from a weight loss perspective, they’re not the answer. The answer lies in developing habits that last a lifetime.”
However, adding leeks to a healthy plant-based diet low in added sugars, processed foods, and high-fat foods can lead to natural weight loss, thanks to fiber and compounds in plants that help burn fat and boost metabolism.
Bottom Line: Add leek soup to a varied plant-based diet for healthy weight loss
Leeks as part of a balanced plant-based diet high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants may promote natural weight loss, as studies show that a high-fiber diet can help keep blood sugar down and allow your body to break down fat to burn for fuel.
More importantly, leeks contain two powerful antioxidants, kaempferol and allicin, which help fight disease, including certain types of cancer, as well as lower inflammation, blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.
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