Everything you need to know about asparagus; from history, nutritional information, medicinal and health benefits, buying, and storing.
Todays post isn’t a recipe or recent workout. It does have to do with food though. Today I’m going to be talking all about asparagus. From the nutritional breakdown, health benefits, buying, and storing. This type of stuff makes me so excited and happy. I love learning about food and how it can help our bodies thrive. I will be doing these posts once a month on foods that are in season or getting a lot of love in the nutrition/blog world. Hope you don’t mind some geeky stuff once in awhile 🙂
A little did you know…
Asparagus dates back to the age of reptiles when ferns were the dominant vegetation. They are apart of the lily family and a distinct relative to onions. They’re the only plant to have distinct male and female versions; the male spears are skinny and the female spears are more plump to say the least. The flavor depends on freshness and not sex though, with the fresh young plants being the most desirable. If the plant is allowed to mature it grows into a beautiful fern. You can’t eat it, but it is a very popular house plant!
I will definitely getting one of these once I have a house that actually lets some sunlight into it!!
The asparagus actually has two parts – a thick root and the tender stalks. The root is used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic and to strengthen the female reproductive system, promoting fertility, increasing lactation, and relieving menstrual pain. It is also a tridoshic, meaning it is good for everyone. As a kitchen remedy, it can be known as a cure-all. Asparagus reduces phlegm and mucus, eases constipation, kidney disease, liver disorders, gout, and edema, and it also good for nervous disorders.
1 cup raw asparagus (134g)
total fat: 0.2g
carbs: 5g (2.8g fiber, 2.5g sugar)
For a vegetable, asparagus is relatively high in protein. Asparagus is a great source of potassium, folic acid, vitamins C and A, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6. It is also high in vitamin K which is essential for healthy clotting and strong bones. Even better is that research shows that compounds in asparagus have anti-tumor activities. Asparagus is also high in the bioflavonoids rutin and glutathione, which are antioxidants that are immune-strengthening and have anti-carcinogenic properties. Glutathione also helps regulate other antioxidants, such as vitamin A and E.
Honestly the only downside to asparagus is that it makes your pee smell funny. This is because it contains the amino acid asparagine, which is a diuretic. Although annoying, stinky pee from asparagus is completely harmless.
Look for bright green, fresh compact tips. The darker colored the asparagus, the more nutrient dense. Pesticides are not used on commercial asparagus so buying organic is not necessary. It is best to be used right after purchase or harvest. To store, loosely cover it in the fridge. To help maintain the freshness, wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends or stand them upright in a jar with water at the bottom.
Look for some recipes coming on ETG soon with spans (my family loves to call them that!) being the main ingredient!
Update! Recipes with asparagus: