Various species of asparagus were cultivated by Egyptian cultures beginning as early as 3000 B.C., and by European cultures including early Greek and Roman cultures.
China, Peru, the United States and Mexico are the largest producers of asparagus today. It is a versatile and delicious vegetable that is available in springtime.
Studies show that asparagus balances insulin levels, which means that it powerfully prevents diabetes. It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
It is also one of the only vegetables to contain inulin, which feeds friendly bacteria that live in the large intestine. This makes it a great food for preventing yeast overgrowth, and it generally promotes digestive system wellness.
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It is also a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.
Here are some other benefits of asparagus:
* Great for your heart
* It is a potent antioxidant
* Is antifungal and antiviral
* It helps cleanse the body and prevent kidney stones
* Asparagus prevents bladder and urinary tract infections
* Asparagus will lower blood pressure naturally
* Asparagus is at the top of the list of alkaline foods
The most common type of asparagus is green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. No matter the type you choose, asparagus is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in myriad ways or enjoyed raw in salads.
We always recommend buying ORGANIC, however Asparagus Is One of 15 Foods You Don’t Need to Buy Organic
TIPS FOR PREPARING ASPARAGUS
Thin asparagus does not require peeling. Asparagus with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are usually tough and stringy. Remove the tough outer skin of the bottom portion of the stem (not the tips) with a vegetable peeler. Wash asparagus under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues. It is best to cook asparagus whole.
Heat a small amount of water in a stainless steel skillet. Once the water starts to boil add the whole asparagus and cover it for no more than 5 minutes. You can use then in a salad or in many other ways. Cut asparagus into small pieces after it has cooked. It can be served hot or cold.
SOURCES – Various