Can wild leeks help “ramp” up your health?

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April 20, 2022

Cultivated leeks are commonly found in the grocery store and on the menu at many restaurants. 

Leeks are alliums and come from the same wonderfully aromatic family as onions, scallions, garlic, and chives.

But did you know? The common cultivated variety of leek has a wild cousin called ramps!

At Wolf Oak Farm we have wild ramps growing in a section on our Northern Hill that we call "Ramp Island."

It is a wooded area surrounded by our beautiful regeneratively farmed pastures.

We harvest the wild ramps by hand, sparingly and sustainably by leaving the root system intact. This way the ramp patch can continue to grow and thrive year after year.

While these ramps are not certified organic, they are as wild and close to nature as it gets. In fact they are beyond organic!

Absolutely no chemicals have been used on them. They just grow naturally from the forest floor every spring!

And as with all food provided by nature, ramps are full of health benefits!

Just to name a few, here are 5 health benefits of ramps:

1.They are a good source of vitamin C.

Ramps are particularly high in vitamin C which helps to support immune health, tissue repair, iron absorption, and collagen production. (1)

2.They are a rich source of antioxidants.

Wild ramps, and other plants in the allium family, are packed with beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants such as polyphenols and sulfur.

Wild leeks are also a particularly great source of kaempferol. This is a polyphenol antioxidant thought to protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. (2)

3.They are good for your heart and cardiovascular health.

Because of their ability to lower inflammation, several studies link leeks and other plants in the allium family to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. (3)

4.They may help fight and prevent infection.

Epidemiological studies show that kaempferol, which is present in leeks, may protect against bacterial, virus, and yeast infections. (4)

5.Good for your gut.

Wild ramps may help improve your digestion because they are a good source of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. In turn, these beneficial bacteria help to reduce inflammation and promote digestive health. (5)

An extra bonus benefit is that wild ramps are a native food! Eating foods native to your area helps to connect us to earth and the geographical location of your surrounding environment. 

Eating native plants is sustainable and has a lower carbon footprint than food shipped from areas further away.

Sourcing our food directly from nature is also the ultimate way to eat seasonally!

If you are interested in trying your hand at harvesting wild edibles, ramps are the perfect plant to start with.

They are easily identifiable by their oniony smell!

But if you do not have access to wild ramps in your area, no worries, Wolf Oak Farm has you covered. You can buy ramps fresh from “Ramp Island” right here on the farm’s online store!

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