Asparagus

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One of the first foods that signals the start of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores.  Take advantage of this seasonal gem.  It is not only delicious, but nutrient dense, as well.

According to Web MD, the name for asparagus — a member of the lily family — comes from the Greek word meaning “shoot” or “sprout.” Now widely cultivated throughout the world, this regal vegetable is believed to have originated 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region, where it was prized for its unique texture and alleged medicinal and aphrodisiacal qualities.

Asparagus is loaded with nutrients and disease fighting abilities.

  • Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, fiber, Vitamins A, E, C, and K as well as chromium.
  • Asparagus is a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and harmful free radicals.
  • Asparagus is a rich source of Antioxidants, ranked as one of the top vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell damaging free radicals.
  • Asparagus contains anti-aging properties and is believed to help our brains with cognitive decline.
  • Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which can act as a natural diuretic.
  • Asparagus can assist the body in eliminating excess salt.
  • Asparagus is considered a digestive support food.  One key factor in this regard is its inulin content.  Inulin is a unique type of carbohydrate called a polyfructan, and in practical terms, healthcare practitioners often refer to it as a “prebiotic.”
  • Asparagus is rich in B Vitamins
  • Asparagus contains approximately 26.80 calories per one cup serving (raw).
  • Asparagus should be roasted, grilled or stir-fried to maintain its nutritional content.

 

 

source:  Web MD

source:  Eating Well

Asparagus Tips