Spring. Asparagus. Asparagus is one of a wealth of tasty veggies that have sprung into season. Whether blanched, sautéed or roasted, the graceful spears add a touch of sophistication and colour to any dish. And if you needed any more convincing they amount to just four calories per spear.

For years asparagus has been a traditional medicine in Asia and its full of antioxidants and nutrients which increases urinary output and helps with high blood pressure, heart disease and fluid retention. Asparagus also has been known to have a mild anti-inflammatory healing action.

Another advantage of this spring vegetable is that it may delay our brain’s fight with the ageing process. As with other leafy greens, asparagus provides folate to help prevent cognitive impairment.

A 100g portion supplies 75% of the daily requirement of folate, and 25% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, as well as vitamin E and beta carotene which the body converts itself into vitamin A.

Asparagus could also prove powerful in the fight against diabetes, an illness which is on the rise at an ever increasing pace. Researchers in the medical profession have found that a regular intake of the vegetable keeps blood sugar levels under control and boosts the body’s production of insulin, the hormone that helps it to absorb glucose.

Along with all the other benefits of asparagus it also contains Vitamin E which is excellent for your skin. Boil water with asparagus, cool it and then wash your face with the water. This removes any blemishes and provides you with clear and smooth skin. If you suffer from acne, you can apply asparagus directly to the affected area. It dries and calms the pimples.

And not surprisingly, with its many health benefits, there are many ways to cook it, so blanche, steam, griddle, roast or stir fry away, or of course, enjoy it in its most simple form, raw. It can also be pickled, or ‘marinated’ and then stored for many years.

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