The Power of Asparagus

The Power of Asparagus

Early each spring, gardens around the world, and markets soon thereafter, bear the succulent, flavorful shoots we know as asparagus. Now is the best time to enjoy local offerings of this delightful delicacy. Not only is asparagus a great flavor to have on the plate, but it is also a veritable superfood of the vegetable world.

For about 5000 years, people have been cultivating asparagus for its medicinal and nutritional values, starting with the Ancient Egyptians. Though most commonly available in the traditional green variety, both white and purple variations can be found. Whatever kind you settle on, incorporating asparagus into your diet will not only be a delicious choice, but provide numerous health benefits as well, as this article will show you.

Health Benefits

Since ancient times, asparagus has been revered for its health benefits, and it is easy to see why. Asparagus's delicious green spears contain high levels of antioxidants and a multitude of B-vitamins. Together, these components have the capability of reducing the risk of inflammation and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and obesity, as well as regulating blood sugar. Studies also indicate that these nutrients may also contribute to risk reduction for certain types of cancer. The ancients may not have known it, but eating asparagus may have reduced their risk of developing Leukemia and liver cancer, and could do the same for you.

Storage

Unlike most vegetables, asparagus doesn't instantly die when it is harvested. In fact, asparagus spears continue to metabolize after being cut from their source. This makes asparagus one of the more perishable vegetables. To keep up with this continued metabolism, asparagus should be kept moist by wrapping its cut ends in a wet paper towel, then refrigerating it. This prevents asparagus from drying out and hardening. Asparagus should be eaten within the first couple of days that it is purchased to ensure freshness.

Preparation

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable when it comes to cooking. One of the easiest ways to cook it is to boil it for a few minutes until it becomes tender and serve it without any other preparations necessary.

Asparagus can be easily pan-fried and combined with other great flavors, and this recipe shows an easy way to do just that.


CATEGORIES: Diabetes, Blood Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Loss