The asparagus plant is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks and garlic.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food that is high in folic acid (a 5.3 ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily dose) and is a good source of potassium, fiber (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving), vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin and glutathione. Asparagus is fat free, contains NO Cholesterol and is LOW in sodium and calories. In fact, there are only 20 calories per 5.3 oz. serving and fewer than four calories per spear.
“Asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties,” wrote D. Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods. “Asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content makes it a laxative, too.”
Here are some other benefits of asparagus:
Helps prevent the occurrence of varicose veins because it contains a flavonoid compound known as rutin. Rutin has anti-inflammatory properties and helps improve blood circulation.
Protects the heart in many ways, and the rich soluble fiber content helps to reduce the levels of cholesterol. The high fiber content helps in the proper functioning of intestines.
It contains vitamins A and vitamin C, which help protect the skin against free radicals. Vitamin C also supports the production of collagen.
Asparagus is delicious and very healthy. Try it raw, steamed or broiled, and you will love it!!!