Saturday, May 2, 2009

The benefit of Asparagus

Asparagus has some dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is an excellent source of the B vitamin folate. It is low in fat, sodium and practically no cholesterol.

The most nutritious way to serve asparagus is by serving it fresh, boiled and drained. Canned asparagus may have less than half the nutrients found in freshly cooked spears. As such it is encouraged to take asparagus when it is fresh.

Look for bright green stalks when buying asparagus. The tips should be purplish and tightly closed and the stalks should be firm. Asparagus is in season from March through August. Always avoid wilted stalks and asparagus whose buds have opened. When storing, keep it fresh in the refrigerator.

To keep it as crisp as possible, wrap it in a damp paper towel and then put the whole package into a plastic bag. Keeping asparagus cool helps it to hold onto its vitamins. At 32 degrees F, asparagus will retain all its folic acid for at least two weeks and nearly 90 percent of its vitamin C for up to five days. At room temperature, it would lose up to 75 percent of its folic acid in three days and 50 percent of the vitamin C in 24 hours.

Eating asparagus may also interfere with the effectiveness of anticoagulants whose job is to thin blood and dissolve clots because asparagus is high in vitamin K, a vitamin produced naturally by bacteria in our intestines, an adequate supply of which enables blood to clot normally.

The white part of the fresh green asparagus stalk is woody and tasteless, so you can bend the stalk and snap it right at the line where the green begins to turn white. If the skin is very thick, peel it, but save the parings for soup stock.

So here are the great health benefits I have compiled for the wonderful food of Asparagus…

* It is high in vitamin K and Folate
* Eat asparagus when you are pregnant or conceiving - it is high in folic acid
* Great for your heart
* Helps menstrual cramps with fertility problems
* Great for your gastrointestinal tract and your colon
* Great food to help treat depression
* Has been known to increase the success rate of chemo therapy
* Is considered a diuretic which means it is a good anti-inflammatory - best for arthritis, asthma rheumatism, and even water retention…PMS
* Help get rid of warts
* Helps detoxify your body
* Add more asparagus to your diet to lower cholesterol
* Great for nursing mothers stimulating milk production
* Has antioxidant agents - prevents the effects of aging
* Has antifungal and antiviral qualities
* Great for your kidneys - cleansing your body by stimulating urination
* Helps prevent bladder and urinary tract infections
* Asparagus has anti-cancer agents - especially lung cancer
* Helps fight chronic fatigue syndrome
* Helps fight off high blood pressure
* If you bruise easily - eat more asparagus
* Considered as a laxative - eat an asparagus if you have diarrhea and constipation
* Great for your capillaries - eat more asparagus to avoid varicose veins
* Great for your eyes preventing cataracts
* Helps treat toothaches

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