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9 Healthy Reasons to Love Asparagus

9 Healthy Reasons to Love Asparagus

If you caught me pausing in front of the asparagus bin, you might wonder what the big deal is. The hopeful but torn expression on my face would be more suitable for one picking out a engagement ring for their beloved, rather than a simple vegetable choice.

This is what is passing through my mind:

  • Wow, asparagus! It tastes so delicious!
  • Look at the price! Even on sale it’s twice any other vegetable!
  • The last time I bought asparagus, half of it went badal!
  • Asparagus is so good. There is nothing so delicate and unique as freshly steamed asparagus!
  • Maybe I can keep it fresh and use it right away?
  • I will try again! After all it’s so good for you!

In the end, I rationalize my purchase with the health benefits of this unique powerfood.

9 Health Benefits:

1. Traditional Aphrodisiac

Many cultures traditionally consider asparagus to be a natural aphrodisiac. Although there is not a lot of  research to back this up, its close “cousin” Shatavari (also part of the asparagus family) is called “she who possesses 100 husbands” for good reason. Satavari is also known within the Ayurvedic health system to feed both male and female reproductive tissues and has been used to treat PMS and menopause symptoms for centuries.

2. Weight Loss

The calories in asparagus are 27 in one cup. With its high fiber content, and low glycemic index it is considered a smart carb. Too bad they haven’t invented asparagus chips or snacks. It would be so much better than junk food or fries.

3. Prevents Cancer

Asparagus is the food highest in glutathione, an important anti-carcinogen according to the National Cancer Institute as well as the most potent antioxidant available.
Glutathione also makes asparagus a a great cleanser for the body! We use it in our Spring Cleanse.

4. Feeds Friendly Bacteria

Aparagus contains a unique carbohydrate called inulin. Inunlin promotes the growth and activity of these friendly bacteria in the intestines making it difficult for unfriendly bacteria to grow.

5. Helpful for Conception and Healthy Pregnancy

Aspargus is a great source of Folic Acid (B9, vitamin M). The only better plant source are leafy greens.

It helps prevent the neural tube defects that cause paralysis and death in 2,500 babies each year.

6. Prevents Hangover

Amino acids and minerals in asparagus extract may ease hangovers and protect liver cells against the toxins in alcohol.

7. Natural Diuretic

Asparagus is a good source of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic. This increased urination releases fluid and helps rid the body of excess salts.

8. Naturally Organic

Because asparagus grows so quickly, the need for pesticides and other chemicals is next to none. Asparagus is on the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list of fruits and vegetables with the lowest occurrence of pesticides. Of course, you can still eat organic for for that little bit extra of nutrition and buy organic to support the cause.

9. Alkalizes the Body

Like almost all vegetables, asparagus helps to balance out, what for most individuals is an overly acidic diet. Being more alkaline creates greater energy, beautiful skin, a stronger immune system and reduced risk of degenerative diseases.

Buy It Fresh and Use It Right Away!

Asparagus goes bad very quickly. Suddenly, it seems, those delicate tips grow soft and smelly!  Asparagus can also dry out quickly. One popular way to keep asparagus fresh is to soak the stems in water. I haven’t tried this myself, but I know if you eat it asparagus right away you won’t have any regrets!

I’m writing this in Canada where late May to the end of June is the time for best local asparagus. Of course in the grocery store it is more widely available.

For Maximum Nutrition – Stick with the Green Asparagus.

White asparagus is created by covering the plants with soil so the light doesn’t reach the growing shoots. This reduces the overall nutrition, raises the price, and although you may think I’m overreacting, strikes me as kind of mean to the plants. Try purple asparagus if you want to spruce up your plate without sacrificing nutrition. But, since it’s so rare, it may expensive if you don’t grow it yourself.

 

5 Great Recipes:

Asparagus With Lemon Juice: A classic favorite. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Cream of Asparagus Soup This delicate delight is dairy free and gluten free. It’s also a light meal–always a plus!

Baked Asparagus If you have a bit more time, this has an extra heavenly taste.

White Bean and Asparagus Stew This contains three powerfoods, asparagus, seaweed, and Stevia.

Asparagus Tomato Salad Just try it. You will love it!

Related
16 Ways to Use Asparagus
Velvety Asparagus Soup Recipe
Asparagus With Hard-Boiled Egg Recipe

Written by Randy Fritz,  co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food For Life.

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Health, Soups & Salads, , , , , , , ,

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

85 comments

+ add your own
12:32PM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

Love the info!!!! Thank you

7:23AM PDT on Jul 4, 2013

Ty for the interesting article!

6:27AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

I like eat asparagus very much, a bit less when then I go to toilette..need to close my nose! .... hihih

7:08PM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

Asparagus is up there with chocolate on my list of wonderful things to eat. Thank you for thr recipes - I'll have try the soup this winter.

7:20AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

Delicious, and they are attractive in a flower bed, too.

5:04AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

Great! Thank you!

7:29PM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

thank you.

5:01PM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Love the article Dianne, Love asparagus ,. any way , any time. Good to know that they are good for you also. Keep the information coming.

2:28AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

11:56PM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

I would love to grow asparagus - but didn't find any seeds or young plants....

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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