Asparagus is definitely one of my favourite vegetables and can be cooked in so many ways. This is a spring vegetable so perfect for this time of year and reminds me that summer is just around the corner.
My favourite way of eating Asparagus is with a Poached Egg and Pepper which is so nice and simple either as a healthy snack or starter.
Asparagus come in many forms which are also associated with their colour. You will see a choice of White, Purple or Green types which tend to be more common, although that does depend on where in the world you live.
There are about 12 different types of asparagus which include Apollo, Atlas, Jersey, Mary Washington, Precoce, Purple Passion, UC 157, Viking, Wild plus White, Green and Purple. You might find that there is a certain variety which you prefer so it is worth investigating to see what you can find.
Also, I know that a lot of people are put off of eating Asparagus because of the strength of their pee. A number of people suffer from a pungent, sulphur type smell once they have eaten Asparagus and this they find off putting.
The reason that Asparagus have this effect on your pee is due to the asparaguisic acid which is not found in any other vegetable. Once Asparagus has been digested the asparaguisic acid produces compounds including methanethiol, dimethyl sulphide and dimeythl sulfone. These compounds contain sulphur which is the same chemical that give rotten eggs their putrid smell. The body excretes these compounds in urine as they cannot be broken down. However, not everyone experiences this smell due to a genetic mutation which means some people excrete them and others do not. Scientists have also found that some people can smell the chemicals whereas others cannot.
Now for the 5 benefits of eating Asparagus
Asparagus is very good for you as it is a good source of fibre, folate and Vitamins A, C, E, K. It also has chromium which is a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
Especially good for you if you are watching your blood sugars.
Helps Fight Against Cancer
Asparagus is a herbaceous plant along with Avocado, Kale and Brussel Sprouts. Herbaceous Plants are a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.
Therefore, eating these plants helps fight certain forms of cancer such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung in particular.
Packed Full Of Anti – Oxidants
One of the top ranked foods for its ability to neutralise cell damaging free radicals.
Can help slow down the ageing process and reduce inflammation. Anything that can reduce the anti – ageing process is definitely worth eating in my books!
Improves The Brain
Folate within asparagus works well with vitamin B12 found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy to help prevent cognitive impairment.
In a study, adults who had high levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility than those who did not.
Once over 50 be sure to increase your folate and B12 as your ability to absorb it decreases with age. Brain disease now is becoming more and more common as we live longer.
A Natural Diuretic
Contains high levels of amino acid asparagine which serves as a natural diuretic.
Increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. Especially beneficial for people who suffer with edema and those who have high blood pressure or heart related disease.
Asparagus comes in so many varieties and has so many health benefits. However, I am so aware that unlike me there are a number of people who do not like this great vegetable. Perhaps it is worth looking into the different varieties to find one that you might get on with better.
Whilst a number of you are put off of eating Asparagus because of the strength of their pee the benefits for your health more than out weighs the disadvantages.
As always I teach that the more varied your food choice is generally the healthier that you become. Just like Asparagus there is a number of other fruits and vegetables that have nutrients or minerals that are only found in them alone. Having a varied diet means that you will reap these benefits and your body will become a lot more efficient and better able to deal with diseases or viruses.
Go on! Try a different type of asparagus and let me know how you get on.