4 Major Beauty Benefits Of Leek Soup + A Warming Recipe
Leeks are not the first vegetable I reach for as part of my daily cooking routine. In fact, I never really give them a second thought. So, when I learned that French women have been using a secret leek soup recipe for generations to reset their bodies after periods of indulgence, I was a little surprised. I was also intrigued. After all, if there are two things you can be certain the French know about, it's indulgence and beauty.
I began to cook up this miraculous soup with regularity, whenever I felt as though my skin or body needed a little revitalization. The results were fantastic. After a few bowls of leek soup, I noticed any signs of inflammation and blemishes would diminish and my skin would start to calm and look and feel smoother—c'est bon.
What are the health and beauty benefits of leeks?
It turns out French women have really been on to something. What they have known intuitively, all these years, I can confirm: Incorporating a leek soup into your beauty routine regularly can have amazing health and beauty benefits:
Smooth, healthy skin
Leeks are particularly high in beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body, which can provide increased protection from the sun and a lower risk of sunburn1. Leeks are also natural diuretics, containing many sulfur compounds that help the liver gently cleanse the body. For anyone who experiences acne, efficient detoxification by the liver is essential for clear skin.
Leeks are found in the same family as onions and garlic, and they contain all kinds of medicinal compounds that will help you look and feel amazing. Kaempferol is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound2 known for reducing redness and blemishes in non human studies.
Better gut health
The health of your skin is directly connected to the health of your gut. Leeks help improve and bolster the microbiome in the digestive tract in a number of ways. First, they're a good source of soluble fiber, which acts as a prebiotic to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut. Secondly, leeks contain allicin, which is the famous medicinal ingredient in garlic. Among other things, allicin is a potent antimicrobial that can help reduce pathogenic microbes in the gut. The net result? A happy and healthy gut microbiome translates into great skin!
Balanced blood sugar levels
Dysregulated blood sugar can lead straight to acne, as blood sugar spikes set off a hormonal chain reaction that inflames the body3 and causes the skin to produce more sebum. Leeks digest slowly due to their high-fiber content and naturally help regulate blood sugar levels.
Leek Beauty Soup
Without further adieu, here's my go-to recipe.
- 3 leeks (remove green tops and slice the white part only)
- 3 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp. avocado oil
- 2 L of organic chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Sauté leeks, carrots, celery, garlic and onion in avocado oil until all ingredients are soft and fragrant.
- Add chicken or vegetable stock and bring soup to a boil.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Enjoy a bowl of leek soup once or twice a day for a couple of days.
Editor's Note (June 23, 2022): This article was originally published on January 19 2021. A previous version of this article indicated Kaempferol is known for reducing redness and blemishes on the face. We have since clarified that this evidence was drawn from non human studies.
Stacey Shillington, N.D., is a naturopathic doctor of medicine who is a graduate of Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and McGill University, where she was the recipient of McGill’s prestigious Scarlet Key Award. Practicing since 2007, Shillington has made it her mission to help people clear their skin naturally.
Deeply inspired and motivated to change the way that skin care and health is approached, Shillington has been able to help thousands of women worldwide clear their acne with her best-selling ‘7-Week Clear Skin Program’, which is delivered online. You can follow her on Instagram @naturopathicbeauty or check out her website.
Shillington lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and two sons. She is currently a member in good-standing with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.