The Alliums (Immunity part 3)

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By Diana Earnshaw

Leeks, onions, garlic and chives are from the allium family. They contain allicin – and this is the compound which is so helpful to us. All the aforementioned vegetables are beneficial, but garlic is the most studied. Aged garlic seems to have an even greater effect so the recipe below may be a way to take aged garlic without resorting to supplements.

As well as a little allicin, onions (especially red onions) – contain the antioxidant, quercetin.  Quercetin has been studied for many reasons and immunity is included here. Studies have shown the immune system boosting properties as well as aiding heart health and reducing cancer risks.

Whilst leeks can’t match garlic and onions for antioxidants, they do contain a good array of immune-system boosting vitamins and minerals.

Leeks with Tomatoes and Olive Oil – Ideal for a buffet or an accompaniment to Boxing Day left-overs! Why not use the cooking liquid for the onion soup below?

Thick Onion Soup – This would be a really tasty and substantial lunch if served with cheese scones.

Garlic Fermented in Honey – This is not so much a recipe as a simple remedy or ingredient. At the first sign of a cold or flu infection, eat a garlic clove three times a day until the infection subsides. The garlic can also be used in recipes – marinades and salad dressings are a couple of suggestions.