Seasonal Nutrition - Asparagus
A distant cousin of the onion consumed for over 2000 years, Asparagus is a highly prized vegetable with a number of nutritional and health benefits.
Asparagus season starts around 23rd April, St George’s day, and extends to 21st June, Summer Solstice. These delicious stalks are sometimes referred to as the ‘Queen of vegetables’ and here’s just a few reasons why.
1) A good source of natural fibre.
Asparagus helps to keep our stool motion soft and aids food matter to be transported along the gut. It is high in soluble fibre and helps to slow our digestion leaving you feeling fuller for longer!
Individuals with high intakes of dietary fibre appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fibre intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels
2) A natural diuretic.
This means that it produces more urine and can help with urinary tract infections – although a certain fragrance when passing urine is commonly associated with eating Asparagus! This process helps rid the body of excess fluid and salt.
3) Contains lots of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
These help with fighting and managing chronic health issues like heart disease, cancer or type 2 diabetes.
4) High in vitamins A,C,E and K.
Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and your bone health. It is reported that Vitamin K can help to reduce calcification of your arteries which is associated with high blood pressure and heart attacks.
5) Rich in glutathione which is an antioxidant.
Glutathione helps with immunity function and reduces oxidative and other inflammatory processes helping to slow the body's ageing process. In fact, researchers believe glutathione is so pivotal to our health that the levels in our cells are becoming a predictor of how long we will live.
Help asparagus reach its foodie potential….
Steam or grill it to activate its anti-oxidant potential, but don’t overcook it or you’ll destroy some of its nutritional benefits! Often paired with a boiled or poached egg, the combination of the fibre-rich asparagus and the protein-rich egg will leave you feeling fuller for longer making it beneficial for weight loss.