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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Asparagus


Asparagus of the lily family is touted as one of natural world’s most perfect food. The lily family includes onion, garlic, leeks, turnips, gladioli, and lilies. The crowns which are planted in sandy soils grow spears. The larger in width, the better the quality. The fleshy green spears coming out of the crown which can grow 10 inches in a day’s period can be juicy and moist.
Each crown gives out spears for just about 6-7 weeks. It comes as spring comes. Asparagus as a food has been regarded as savory since the old days. The delectable food has in no way faded away. It used to be eaten on special occasions rather than during daily meals but the drift is changing.

Asparagus as a gourmand delight is also valued for its medicinal properties since the olden times. Its medicinal powers provide phytonutrients called anthocyanins. This is probably why some asparagus are colored purple. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Asparagus is nutrient packed which is high in folic acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, and thiamin. What is even better is that asparagus has no fat, no cholesterol, and low in sodium. Health benefits include the much needed folate for pregnant women. Insufficient supply of folate in pregnancy has been connected to some birth defects. This, in a way, makes it a birth defect fighter. Nutrients are in abundant supply for a healthy food regimen. This is no wonder then that asparagus is considered the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in subsistence. Its richness of nutritional values, fiber, and low sodium and calorie substances make it good for heart health. Its juicy nature is good as a natural diuretic and prohibits purine formation.

If kept well in the refrigerator, it could be used for 2-3 days. To sustain freshness, keep it clean, cold, and covered. To cover it, wrap the asparagus in a damp paper towel around the ends of the stems, otherwise let is stand upright in two inches of cold water. Because asparagus can be eaten raw, it is wise to keep them fresh. It is absolutely okay to eat raw asparagus. A little rinsing in hot water is needed to take off any sand or dirt and perfect when serve chilled with a dip. It doesn’t need any peeling off. If boiled, slightly cutting off of the ends of the stems is all it needs. Boil it for a few minutes and it’s now ready, crisp and succulent.

Asparagus is strong and resilient. It can grow along roadsides, wild and perpetual. In order for it grow the right way, some care has to be employed for good quality produce. This vegetable started as a medicinal plant. It is used as a treatment for blood cleansing and natural diuretic. It is a fastidious plant which should be harvested only by hands. Much attention is given during the short growing season. When allowed to advance, it will develop into a wonderful fluffy fern. This beautiful fern are used as floral decorations.
Submitted on February 24, 2009