Friday, April 1, 2011

“A” is for Asparagus, That’s Good Enough for Me

I am engaging in a writing challenge that kicks off today known as the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, which you can sign up for here. So today’s blog post is about asparagus.

As art of my plan to become fit, I’m always looking for ways to improve what I’m doing. I’ve always been pretty good about eating fruits and vegetables, even more so as I became an adult.

As a kid, my mom worked and when she got home, our veggies usually came out of a can: corn, peas, green beans and mixed vegetables. The rare exception was a fresh salad. Nothing against my mom, she did what most moms did back then but my sister and I were never properly introduced to the taste and health benefits of other vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus.

I only tried asparagus for the first time about five years ago. For me, it is an acquired taste. Overcooked, it is too soggy for my tastes and cooking it just right takes a little practice. I wondered what it is about asparagus that is so good for you. Here’s what I learned:

One serving of asparagus (5 spears) provides over 60 % of the recommended daily intake of folic acid (B9) which can reduce levels of an inflammatory substance called homocysteine which in high levels can lead to heart disease.

Asparagus has no fat, no cholesterol and low sodium. It contains the vitamins A, B6, C, K, and thiamine as well as beta carotene, potassium, zinc and fiber.

Potential health benefits include improved digestion because asparagus triggers the production of friendly flora; better moods because the vitamin C and folic acid are factors in the production of serotonin and dopamine which make us feel better; its diuretic properties improve kidney function which can reduce water retention, blood pressure and urinary tract infections.

So whether you like it drizzled with a little Hollandaise sauce or sprinkle with olive oil, some garlic and a dash of salt, asparagus is great vegetable to include in your healthy lifestyle. I’m having some tonight.

How do you like to prepare asparagus?


Marie Anne said...

I hated all vegetables as a kid except corn and carrots (and corn isn't really a vegetable anyway), but have since come to love many of them.

Asparagus, however, is one I still can't even stand the smell of. Blech ...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love asparagus! I like it sauteed with a little olive oil with some minced garlic, pepper and some onion salt. I like it to be pretty crunchy and bright green. It's also good if you chop up a little with some peppers and oinions and saute them with salt and pepper and Pam cooking spray and then cook them into an omlet. If you don't add cheese it's pretty much guilt free. :)

Wonderful a-z post!

Bethy B said...

This is my favorite vegetable!

Here's how I prepare:

Put all the Asparagus in a plastic baggy. Pour some olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar over them.

Chop one or two cloves of garlic and throw that in the bag with some salt and pepper.

Make sure all of the greens are covered and let it sit while the oven heats to 400.

Dump the contents of a bag in a low baking dish and put in the oven for 10-12 min (depending on how crispy you like it). It's also excellent on the grill too. :)

Karen Peterson said...

I developed a weird allergy to broccoli, so asparagus became my new favorite vegetable.

Growing up, I was like you. We didn't eat too many vegetables that didn't come out of a can. No wonder I refused to eat them as a kid.

Visiting from The Challenge!

H.B.Markor said...

Not a fan of asparagus, mainly because we never really had asparagus growing up, but we did have a lot of other veggies straight from the garden.

Came over from A to Z, following now!

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