Asparagus is low in calories & sodium yet at the same time rich in vitamins & minerals.
Below are a number of health benefits, recipes & interesting facts you never knew about Asparagus!
Asparagus for Vitamins & Nutrients…
Asparagus is packed full of nutrients that help fuel your body. It is also packed with antioxidants that help eliminate harmful free radicals that build up in your system.
Asparagus is rich in:
- Dietary fibre
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
…& much more!
Benefits of Asparagus
Beyond the daily health benefits – numerous studies have proven asparagus to be helpful in all of the following ways:
- Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes…
Studies have shown that participants who ate a greater amount of asparagus had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Anti-Aging & Improved Mental Stability…
According to eatingwell.com asparagus has been shown to have anti-aging properties & may slow certain aging properties. Other studies show that asparagus helps to fight against cognitive decline & impairment & help with mental flexibility.
How does it do this?
Studies described at littlechoicesmatter.com explain how the folate in asparagus helps in the production & repair of DNA tissues, maintenance of healthy red blood cells & prevention of anemia. – All of this combined helps the skin to regain its elasticity, & the mind to repair damage & produce new cells that keep you physically & mentally sharp!
- Protection Against Cancer & Kidney Stones & Birth Defects….
This tasty vegetable may even protect against certain forms of cancer.
Aasparagus is a natural diuretic – helping to release excess fluids & salts from the body.
According to the journal Pharmacognosy Review, it helps to “flush out the kidneys & helps in the prevention of kidney stones.”
Due to the high amount of folate contained in asparagus – various studies have shown that women who ingest .4 milligrams of asparagus prior to conception reduce the risk of certain birth defects by up to 70%.
The History of Asparagus
While asparagus is grown world-wide it is originally native to most of Europe, northern Africa & western Asia.
The name originates from the Persian word “asparag” which means shoot. Peasants would also sometimes refer to the plant as “sparrow grass”.
Asparagus is grown all over the world but the biggest exporters are China & then Peru.
Interesting facts about Asparagus
- An Arabian love manual written in the 16th century listed an asparagus recipe to act as an aphrodisiac & stimulate erotic desires!
- Asparagus is planted 3 years before it is actually ready to be fully harvested for an entire season. Once ready, some asparagus is known to grow 6-7 inches in a single day.
- Asparagus plants are either male or female. Female plants bear seeds & male plants produce thicker spears as they are not encumbered by seed growth.
- There are many breeds of asparagus & it is advised that varieties be mixed to keep asparagus beds productive for 15-20 years.
- Asparagus is a spring vegetable that was once classified in the lily family.
Pitfalls – smell of urine (reason) detox / mtfr…
Despite the delicious taste & health benefits – asparagus can have one odd pitfall…
…After you eat it, you may smell a strong odour coming from your urine!
According to everydayhealth.com your body breaks down asparagus into chemicals that contain sulphur – thus giving the urine this distinctive smell.
There is nothing wrong with the smell – in fact, some say that it may be bad if you do NOT smell an odd odour after eating asparagus as it may signify problems with your sense of smell or your body’s ability to break down the vegetable properly.
Delicious Recipes for This Healthy Vegetable
Asparagus can be baked or roasted, steamed or pan fried…the one thing you want to keep in mind though is not to include too much oil or other seasonings that will add too much fat or calories!
Asparagus makes a great ingredient in soups & salads. It is a great side to a lean piece of meat & healthy starch serving. It is even more versatile though as it can be served hot or cold – as a snack or even on a party tray!
For a number of healthy asparagus recipes visit: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/asparagus
…& enjoy your asparagus!
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