Super Food: Asparagus

Spring has finally made its appearance in Edmonton; the snow is gone, the grass is getting green and the sun is shining, love it! Another sign that spring has arrived?  Asparagus is in season! This veg has a super short growing season, begins in May and ends in June.

Over 2000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region is where the asparagus originated. The name also comes from this area; the Greeks chose it for its meaning, “shoot” or “sprout.”

Why is it healthy?

Each little asparagus spear is full of good-for-you nutrients. Which ones you ask? Well, they have a variety of B vitamins but are especially high in folate, this is the B vitamin that helps make red blood cells as well as making and maintaining cells and DNA. Vitamins A (supports healthy eyes) & C (helps keep out immune system healthy), and calcium (helps with muscle contraction, and builds strong bones and teeth). You’ll also benefit from all the antioxidants, like the ever so powerful one called glutathione, and the phytochemicals; saponins, kaempferol and quercetin help with fight inflammation. Lastly, they have little to no calories or fat and are high in protein in fibre.  So, do your body a favor and pick up some healthy-delicious in-season asparagus!

 

Including asparagus in your diet:

Wash under cool running water. Trim tough ends with a knife.

Prepare: stream, roast, stir fry, or grill. Asparagus requires very short cooking times so do not overcook.

(Find some tasty asparagus recipes on our Spring Recipe Pinterest board.)

 

Did you know that…

Asparagus produces a compound, called asparagusic acid, which repels certain parasites and it is also the compound that causes certain people’s pee to stink – ick!

Although we usually only see the green spears, purple and white ones are out there too, have you ever tried them? White asparagus is grown in the dark. Sunlight exposure would cause them to turn pink, and then eventually to the green color we are familiar with – photosynthesis at its best.

 

May 8, 2013
Revive Wellness