All About Asparagus

Today I read about Asparagus in my healing foods book.  Learned some interesting facts.  Asparagus is a member of the lily family.  There are about 300 varieties of asparagus, however, only 20 are edible.

“Asparagus is low in calories and carbohydrates, but relatively rich in protein compared to other vegetables.  One cup of asparagus supplies only 24 calories, almost half of which are derived from protein.  Asparagus is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C and A, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6; and it has an excellent ratio of potassium to sodium.  Asparagus is also a very good source of dietary fiber, niacin, phosphorus, protein, and iron.  Health benefits include treatment of arthritis and rheumatism, as a diuretic.  The diuretic effect of asparagus may be due to the amino acid asparagine, which when excreted in the urine gives off a strong, characteristic odor.  The benefit in arthritis may be the result of recently identified unique phytochemical antioxidants as well as inhibitors of the COX-2 enzyme, which produces inflammatory compounds.” – Healing Foods

Choose asparagus stalks where the tips are firm and closed.  The darker the stalk the more nutrients contained in the plant.  Use asparagus when it is at its freshest within 1-2 days. 

Individual with gout should limit intake of asparagus due to the amount of purines contained within the plant.

Roasted, steamed or raw, asparagus is a delicious snack, side, soup or main dish.

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