Eating local and fresh is not only fantastic for the environment but it also makes for much tastier meals! There are numerous fresh and local fruits and vegetables harvested in our community – asparagus being one of our favourite! The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. Asparagus is also known for its healing properties and high nutrient content. Start experimenting with asparagus and make it a great addition to your meals!
Asparagus are especially high in folate. Folate is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. Just one serving of asparagus supplies almost 66% of the daily recommended intake of folate.
A Natural Diuretic
Asparagus is a very good source of potassium (288 mg per cup) and quite low in sodium (19.8 mg per cup). Its mineral content, combined with an active amino acid in asparagus, asparagine, gives asparagus a diuretic effect. Historically, asparagus has been used to treat problems involving swelling, such as arthritis and rheumatism, and may also be useful for PMS-related water retention.
Food for Healthy Gut Flora
Asparagus contains a special kind of carbohydrate called inulin which is a health-promoting friendly bacteria in our large intestine. When our diet contains good amounts of friendly bacteria the digestive system works smoothly.
A Birth Defect Fighter
Eat lots of asparagus if you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or are in the early stages of pregnancy. A cup of asparagus supplies approximately 263 mcg of folate, a B-vitamin essential for proper nervous system development. Inadequate folate during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, including neural tube defects like spina bifida.
For more information on asparagus and for delicious recipes visit the official Ontario website for asparagus.