If Your Health is in Question, Could Asparagus Be the Answer?
Today's power food under the microscopic spotlight is the mighty asparagus, the tightrope-balancing, one-act wonder of the nutritional world.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritious, well-balanced vegetables around, containing considerable vitamins and minerals that can supply what the body needs. You might never reach for a supplement again. For one, asparagus is a great source of folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving of asparagus can provide 60% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for folacin. Folacin is needed for blood cell formation, growth and the prevention of liver diseases. Folacin has also shown to play an important role in the prevention of neural tube defects like spina befida, which causes paralysis and death for 2,500 babies every year. So if you're expecting children, make a note of this power food.
Asparagus is also low in sodium and calories which makes it ideal for dieters and the health conscious.
Below is a summary of the nutrition content of asparagus:
Low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 oz. serving, less than 4 calories per spear
Contains no fat or cholesterol
Very low in sodium
A good source of potassium
A source of fiber (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving)
An excellent source of folacin
A significant source of thiamin
A significant source of vitamin B6
One of the richest sources of rutin, a compound which strengthens capillary walls
Contains glutathione (GSH)
How To Cook Your Asparagus
Asparagus can be prepared in many ways to preserve its nutrients. Here are some cooking tips:
Saucepan or Steamer: Cook fresh asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until tender. Fresh asparagus will be crisp-tender in 5 to 8 minutes
Place a strip of folded aluminum on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, extending over the edges. Bring water to a boil; add asparagus spears and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Use foil strips to gently lift the spears to a serving dish.
Double Boiler or Percolator
To steam asparagus in an upright position, fasten the stalks into a bundle using a band of foil or string. Stand the stalks upright in the double boiler or percolator with the tips extending an inch or more above the boiling, salted water. (A glass cooking vessel works best.) Cover and cook until tender for 5 to 8 minutes.
Cut spears diagonally in 1/2 inch pieces, leaving tips whole. Stir-fry pieces in butter or hot oil, in a skillet or wok at medium high heat. Stir constantly until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Microwave fresh asparagus by placing one pound in a microwavable baking dish or serving bowl. If cooking whole spears, arrange with tips in center. Add about 1/4 cup water and cover tightly. Microwave at 100% power for 4 to 7 minutes for spears, 3 to 5 minutes for cuts and tips. Stir or turn halfway through cooking time.
Microwave frozen asparagus in a covered microwavable baking dish with 2 Tablespoons of water. Cook at 100% power for 4 to 7 minutes, stirring or rearranging once.
Drain all but 1 Tablespoon of liquid, and microwave at 100% power for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time.
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My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.