- It’s packed with a multitude of vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B complex vitamins, especially folate. Folate is necessary for cell metabolism, DNA synthesis, and the production of red blood cells to name a few things. It’s also especially important in pregnant women to ensure proper fetal development.
- It’s high in fiber and protein. A diet high in fiber has several health benefits including helping to reduce cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure and promote heart health. Fiber also helps to
regulate blood sugar levels and plays an important role in maintaining bowel integrity and regularity.
- Asparagus is a rich source of several antioxidants including glutathione. Antioxidants help neutralize damage from free radicals, which cause damage to cells and thus may help prevent the progression of chronic diseases.
- It is high in several minerals including potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper and manganese.
- It is low in sodium and contains high levels of an amino acid called asparagine, which is a good natural diuretic. Thus asparagus helps rid the body of excess fluid, which can be especially beneficial in people with high blood pressure or other cardiac conditions.
be found year-round in grocery stores. It comes in several different varieties including green, white and purple. The white variety is grown without sunlight, thus it produces no chlorophyll and does not develop a green color. It has a slightly milder flavor but all varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes. When buying asparagus, choose spears that are smooth and firm with compact tips. You can wrap the stems in a damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator but it loses its flavor rapidly so you should try to eat it soon after buying it.
You can roast, grill, sauté, steam or even shave it and eat it raw. Avoid boiling asparagus it as it will lose many of its nutrients. Trim the hard ends before cooking it. Thick stalks may need to be peeled first if they are tough. Whatever cooking method you choose, try to avoid overcooking it- you want it to have a tender but firm texture. It’s delicious seasoned simply with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of lemon juice or garlic. Or you can top it with a little shaved Parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar. If you’re looking for some inspiration to get started, here are a few of my asparagus recipes:
Stay tuned for my next post, which will include a recipe for my Shaved Asparagus Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Manchego.