Wholesome residing: Superfood asparagus is in season
Asparagus, which is now getting into season, is really a superfood and one of my favorites.
It has so many health benefits that you can be forgiven for the slight funky odor it causes in your urine. It contains a remarkable amount of tryptophan – an amino acid that is the raw material for our happiness hormone (serotonin) and sleep hormone (melatonin). It’s high in fiber and contains rich concentrations of inulin, a prebiotic that reaches our colon undigested, where it becomes an ideal food source for beneficial bacteria (such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) associated with better nutrient absorption and lower risk of allergies Colon cancer risk.
Asparagus is touted as an anti-inflammatory food because it contains a unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients called saponins. One of these saponins (sarsasapogenin) was of particular interest in connection with chronic, neurodegenerative diseases. Other anti-inflammatory nutrients include the numerous antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium, a small amount of vitamin E, and most importantly, glutathione (GSH) – one of the body’s best-studied antioxidants and detoxifiers.
With its diuretic asparagine content, it has the ability to remove excess water from tissues, which contributes to water retention and kidney problems. It is an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of all of the B vitamins, B12 bars – all of which play key roles in blood sugar management and the regulation of homocysteine. (Homocysteine is a natural metabolic by-product, and when it reaches excessive levels in our blood, it’s a potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.)
In addition, it helps to rid the arteries of cholesterol. It is true that there are no large-scale nutritional studies that investigate chronic diseases in humans and the intake of asparagus. However, the above health-promoting properties suggest that it may reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutritional composition, asparagus is recommended as a cancer risk reducer. Chronic, excessive inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are risk factors for a wide variety of cancers, and both undesirable phenomena are related to inadequate ingestion of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, which are particularly common in asparagus. In animal and cell studies, asparagus and its extracts can alter the metabolic activity of cancer cell types. Cancer cells from the liver are best studied in this regard.
Asparagus is best steamed and then drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. You can also sauté them in a stainless steel pan with butter and olive oil, adding a good splash of water and seasoning – cover and shake the pan from time to time. All it takes is 3 minutes. Serve cooked asparagus with the classic poached egg and hollandaise – or a combination of fish and bearnaise sauce. It’s also an excellent part of a Thai style pan. If you shave thin ribbons from it, it’s easy to add to your salads.