Monday, March 2, 2009
Asparagus originates from The Mediterranean, and the Southern and Northern areas of Africa, with Egypt possibly being the first to cultivate asparagus, where it was valued for it’s medicinal properties.
Asparagus is a member of the lily family which also includes leeks, garlic and onions. Asparagus is one of the few vegetables that have a high content of nutrients that may help prevent and remedy some ailments. There are few hundred varieties of asparagus but only a few numbers is edible.
Asparagus is packed with nutrients like Folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, thiamine and rutin, a compound that strengthens capillary walls. Asparagus has no fat, does not contain cholesterol and is low in Sodium.
The health benefits of Asparagus:
2.Asparagus has its diuretic properties, which can prevent bloating.
3.It can help prevent constipation due to its high fiber content.
4.Asparagus has an abundance of an amino acid called asparagine that helps to cleanse the body of waste material.
5.Asparagus has an anti-inflammatory properties the helps relieve arthritis and rheumatism symptoms.
6.Asparagus is a prime source of anti-oxidant and glutathione that can help prevent the dreaded cancer.
7.Asparagus can help regulate blood sugar
8.Asparagus is an alkaline food which is effective in reducing the acidity of the blood.
9.Asparagus contain magnesium which can help relieve irritability, fatigue and depression. 10.Asparagus contain a good amount of folic acid and calcium that can reduce birth defects.
When buying asparagus, choose straight, firm stalks with tight tips. Always eat fresh but if have to store, keep them dry and tightly-wrapped in a plastic bag for up to three days in the refrigerator.
When eating asparagus, it is best to just lightly steam, rather than boil it to retain its nutrient content. Avoid cooking asparagus in iron pots as the tannins in the asparagus can react with the iron and cause the stalks to become discolored.