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Asparagus a superfood for spring

Published 5:06pm Saturday, April 14, 2012

Everyone is getting excited about asparagus.

I thought I’d dedicate this week’s article to this wonderful spring vegetable. Asparagus is great as a detox vegetable, an anti-aging vegetable, and more.

The asparagus is a member of the lily family. It grows easily in the home garden right in the flower bed — it is a perennial and can yield a harvest for decades. Asparagus can be planted as seeds or roots any time of the year.

Asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per cup and contains 3 grams of fiber which cleanses the digestive system. It has no fat or cholesterol, and one cup has only 40 calories.

Asparagus also has virtually no natural sodium. In fact, 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.

Asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. It is also very high in glutathione — an amino acid compound with potent antioxidant properties; a must as an anti-aging deterrent and a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens. Look for fresh asparagus at our first market of the season, downtown, Thursday, May 17.

Recipe of the Week:

Roasted Asparagus with Parsley and Garlic

A simple and delicious recipe! Asparagus goes particularly well with roasted or grilled fish, but it’s equally delicious roughly chopped and tossed into hot pasta or whole grains, too.

Ingredients

•1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed

•2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

•3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

•Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Arrange asparagus in a baking pan in a single layer. Sprinkle parsley and garlic over the top then drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve hot. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


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