5 Benefits of Asparagus and How to Cook It (plus One Delicious Recipe)
Monica Munteanu | On 07, Aug 2013
We like to set things straight when it comes to vegetables and all the advantages we have by including them in our diets. Today we are inspired by the funny looking asparagus and we’re looking into what makes it the one and only.
Asparagus is one of those greens that wouldn’t be the first thing to make it in your shopping cart. It’s not very attractive and it doesn’t really make you mouthwater when seeing it on your plate. However, it hides plenty of interesting and amazing health benefits that you just can’t ignore.
So if you’re having a blank about what to cook for dinner, think no more, we have the answer. Let’s start with the most important benefits that asparagus brings to your health.
1. A load of nutrients
Just like any other vegetable, asparagus has its own stash of vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, This means it can do well for your immune system, blood clotting, bone health or a better vision. Being rich in B vitamins as well, it can aid in regulating blood sugar levels. Also, great news for vegetarians as asparagus is a rich protein plan: eight spears contain 3.08 grams of protein.
2. Antioxidants pack
Those vitamins we mentioned before don’t lay there, they use their powers for good fighting against free radicals. These include vitamins C and E, beta-caroten and zinc. In addition, asparagus has a valuable amount of gluthatione, known as the master antioxidant because all the other substances depend on its presence in order to function properly. Studies have shown that the quantity of antioxidants present in asparagus surclass that of other vegetables, making it one of the best sources out there.
3. Heart benefactor
Asparagus is critical in heart and blood sugar health. The amazing B vitamin content plays a key role in the metabolism of sugars, thus managing healthy blood sugar levels. Also, the anti-inflammatory effect sustained by antioxidants and the fiber provided by the vitamins before mentioned is efficient in reducing the risk of heart diseases and type-2 diabetes. The way to keep your ticker working top notch is to feed it right.
4. Elixir of youth
If you’re looking for a veggie that keeps your mind as young as when you were 20 then you got it. Asparagus is succesful in aiding the brain to fight against cognitive decline. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12, both found in this king plant, performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. So if you want to keep your brain sharp for a long time make sure you find your way to the asparagus stand more often.
5. Cancer fighter
You know by now that a plate full of veggies will protect you against several types of cancer and asparagus does not make an exception. What it does bring to the table is a rich amount of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens. This way it may protect you against certain forms of cancer, for example bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung.
How to cook asparagus
Asparagus can be cooked in any way imaginable, so here are some tips you can choose from depending on what you’re craving.
Steaming: Tie a bundle of asparagus with a kitchen string, making sure that the bottom ends are level. Place it in a tall pot of 2 inches of boiling water. Cover and leave it to steam for about 5 to 8 minutes. You should get bright green, tender spears.
Boiling: Put the asparagus in a pot covered an inch in water. Boil for up to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears.
Microwaving: Put the asparagus on a microwave safe dish, cover it with water and set for 4-5 minutes.
Roasting: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay asparagus on a baking sheet sprinkling a tablespoon or olive oil on the spears and roast for 10 minutes.
Stir Frying: Cut the spears diagonally into 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch pieces, and cover it with a teaspoon of sesame or olive oil for about 3 minutes.
Grilling: Place asparagus spears on a preheated grill sprayed with olive oil and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until tender. Turn it occasionally.
One delicious recipe
There are alot of recipes including asparagus and other delicious ingredients. You can create amazing dishes for yourself, friends and family with just a little imagination, but to get you started here’s a delicious, easy to make treat to share.
Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus spears
- 2 – 3 clovesgarlic, thinly sliced
- 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Place asparagus and garlic in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring once halfway through roasting. Serve immediately.
It looks way more attractive now, doesn’t it? Your kitchen awaits for you to cook and experiment with this lovable veggie and get all the nutrients its made out of. Let it do its job and make you healthy.
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