There's a product that has been out for quite a while, which can be found at the grocery store that helps detox the body, protects against cancers, regulates hormones, reduces risk of chronic disease, and it can even help cure a hangover. It's not a new miracle pill and it doesn't come in a package.
This amazing product is actually a vegetable. One that we all should be eating more of, especially if you have digestive or hormonal health issues. Luckily, it's a veggie that has a pretty good reputation of tasting good. I share my favorite way to cook it below.
So what is this vegetable with all these amazing benefits? Asparagus!
Did you know that it’s one of the oldest vegetables in existence? It’s been used as a medicinal plant for over 2,500 years.
Being packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces the risk of many chronic conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. Asparagus has also shown positive effects in protecting against colon, cervical, stomach and pancreatic cancers. If you suffer from thyroid issues, consistently adding it to your diet can be very beneficial.
Asparagus is rich in Vitamin K. In fact, it can provide about 70% of your daily vitamin K needs in just one cup. Vitamin K is known to improve bones and joints, and protect against osteoporosis.
Additionally, asparagus is gut friendly. All thanks to its high fiber and water content, which are helpful in regulating digestion and preventing constipation.
One of the best benefits of asparagus is that it’s high in folate, which is beneficial for pregnant women. Folate protects infants against birth defects for a healthy pregnancy. It also helps improve hormones and fertility. Aside from this, women can also benefit from asparagus as it eases pre-menstrual bloating, regulates blood flow, and even reduces menstrual cramps.
Asparagus is also known as a natural brain booster as it helps fight cognitive decline. Its folate content is also responsible for easing depression and regulating mood.
Finally, asparagus assists in preventing anxiety, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dehydration. It also aids in protecting liver cells against the toxins from alcoholic beverages.
The healthiest way to cook asparagus is through sautéing. It gives the best flavor while retaining the nutrients. I love mixing them in balsamic vinegar and garlic (or garlic powder) in a pan over medium heat. Then sauté for about 7-10 minutes, until cooked evenly. Its unique taste is perfect to add in salads, pasta, and more. It makes a great appetizer or side dish as well.
There are about 300 species of asparagus worldwide, and it’s commonly available in green, white and purple colors. At present, it’s one of the major commercial crops in China, Peru, Europe, Australia and here in the US.
When buying them make sure that you’re picking the firm, straight, smooth and dark-colored ones with tightly closed ends. Those that have wide ends and are dull colored are old and may not contain many nutrients.
As always, buy organic when possible!