Superfood: The Asparagus

This delicate vegetable is well known for its unique and savoury flavour. Asparagus is considered a superfood because it offers many significant health benefits. After researching about this vegetable¬†for today’s post, I see asparagus in a totally new light as will you!

Nutrients per Serving

One serving of asparagus is 1 cup, cooked.

Click here to see the nutritional information per serving.

Nutrients and Associated Health Benefits

Vitamin C: reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, and helps strengthen the immune system

Vitamin E: an anti-oxidant with anti-imflamatory properties which lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer, and age-related eye disorders

Vitamin K: helps strengthen the bones which decreases the risk of osteoporosis, and prevents calcium-buildup in the tissues, thereby decreasing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease

Folate: necessary for normal cell division, decreases the risk of the birth defect spina bifida and in combination with B12, folate has the ability to slow down coginitive impairment

Potassium: helps maintian healthy blood pressure

Copper: protects the body from free-radicals which reduces the risks of certain types of cancer

Gluthathione: breaks down free radicials (harmful compounds in the body), thereby reducing the risk of certain cancers such as lung, breast, colon, bladder, ovarian, prostate, and bone cancer, and delaying the aging process

Asparagine: this amino acid acts as a diuretic to rid the body of excess fluid and salts which is beneficial to those suffering from edema (swelling of the tissues), high blood pressure and PMS-related water retention

Inulin: this unique carbohydrate remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it helps the body absorb nutrients more effectively; it also reduces the risk of colon cancer

Flavonoids: reduces the risk of cancer, promotes healthy lungs, lessens the occurence of asthma attacks

Fibre: aids digestion, keeps you fuller for longer which is beneficial to those trying to loose weight, and lowers the risk of cholesterol

How to Choose Asparagus

Look for asparagus with firm, straight, bright green stalks, and closed purplish buds to ensure freshness.

How to Store Asparagus

Store asparagus with the ends wrapped in a wet paper towel, in the refriderator. Use asparagus within two days of buying to prevent it from turning hard, dry, and unusable.

Incorporating Asparagus into Your Diet

– Add chopped asparagas into your next salad, omelette, or quiche

– Wrap asparagus (with fresh lemon juice, garlic cloves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil), in aluminum foil and bake to desired level of doneness

– Sautee asparagus with EVOO. Sprinkle with black pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

For more ideas, click here.

 

DID YOU KNOW?…

– Asparagus is part of the same family as leeks, garlic and onion; the lily family.

– Eating asparagus sometimes results in a strong but harmless urinary odour. The smell however, is only detectable by some people.

– Asparagus can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked. If cooking, opt for waterless methods of preparation such as grilling or stir-frying, rather than boiling or steaming to preserve the antioxidants and other nutrients.

– Those taking blood-thinners should not suddenly increase their intake of asparagus or any other Vitamin K rich foods. Vitamin K is essential for healthy blood clotting.

 

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