One of my favorite spring veggies, asparagus is an underrated superfood. They’re not only packed with essential vitamins and minerals but they provide plenty of anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits too. I love having asparagus in egg dishes, salads and grain dishes, risotto, in soup and pasta. Asparagus tastes great raw, lightly sautéed, grilled, or steamed.
- Fun Fact: there are about 300 varieties of asparagus, but only 20 are edible!
- Holy Vitamin K: a cup of cooked asparagus provides about 100% of your daily-recommended value. Vitamin K helps to prevent hardening of the arteries, boosts bone health, and it may help keep calcium out of your artery linings and other tissues, where it can cause issues. P.S. Vitamin K is a fat soluble Vitamin, so be sure to eat some good fats with your asparagus.
- Asparagus is also filled with folate, a B complex vitamin necessary for fetal health and development, red blood cell production, nerve function, and cell production.
- A host of anti-inflammatory nutrients are packed into asparagus, as well as oodles of antioxidants. Together these nutrients provide the best risk-reducers for chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
- Asparagus has digestive regulating fiber to keep the whole system moving. In fact, Ayurvedic medicine has a long history of using asparagus as a treatment for digestive issues.
- Asparagus has been used throughout history as a diuretic in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. The amino acid, asparagine, found in asparagus is contributed to having diuretic effects. This amino acid is also excreted in urine, which sometimes may give your pee a certain smell after consuming asparagus. TMI much?
Asparagus is usually found on the EWG’s Clean Fifteen, so no need to buy organic.
Look for asparagus with deep purple and green tips and firm and thin stems. Store asparagus in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel and use within 1-2 days for maximum freshness and nutrition.
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