Bright green asparagus is a delicious reminder that spring has arrived!
Did you know the best months to buy this vegetable are March, April and May.
Not only does asparagus make a tasty side dish, it has a multitude of health benefits.
Asparagus is packed with nutrients
It’s a great source of fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K. It’s also a good source of chromium, a trace mineral that helps prevent diabetes.
Asparagus helps your body fight cancer
This vegetable is an excellent source of glutathione, which is a compound that helps your body detoxify and break down carcinogens and other cancer-causing free radicals.
Asparagus promotes cognitive function
This is due to the folate that is found in asparagus. Folate works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive decline. Vitamin B12 is found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy. This means having a side of asparagus with your favorite seafood is excellent brain food! In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and vitamin B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility.
Asparagus is a natural diuretic
Its high levels of Asparagine, an amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic, cause this. Why is this important? Increased urination releases fluid and excess salts from your body, which alleviates bloating and discomfort. This is good news for people who have high blood pressure and other heart-related diseases.
The best ways to cook asparagus to preserve its nutritional content and antioxidant power are roasting, grilling and stir-frying. These are good methods because they take a short amount of time and don’t use any water. Generally, the longer you cook a vegetable, the more of its nutrients are lost during cooking. Also, when you use water to cook vegetables, such as boiling, a lot of the nutrients seep out into the water, and are lost.