Asparagus,scientifically known as Asparagus Officinalis,belongs to the family of lilies and is valued for its therapeutic properties.It is derived from the Greek word meaning “Sprout” and about 300 different species of this sprout exist all over the world.
It is available in white,green and purple colours.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts:
Asparagus is a great source of vitamins, minerals and essential proteins. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1,Vitamin B2,Vitamin B3,Folate,Vitamin C etc.
The minerals that are stored in it include iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc etc.
Asparagus contains very low amount of calories with no cholesterol and is low in sodium. It is also rich source of dietary fibre.
Nutrients as per 100g of servings
Total Lipid 0.12
Health benefits of Asparagus:
1.Helps In Pregnancy:
The high folate content in asparagus aids in reducing the danger of low birth weight and birth defects during pregnancy.Folate is essential for the growth of the foetus.
The anti-inflammatory nutrients present in Asparagus help in reducing the risk of chronic health ailments, including type 2 diabetes.
Asparagus extract contains essential amino acids that may prove effective in curing hangovers.
Asparagus is a good source of Vitamin A,which is essential for healthy vision.Due to the presence of antioxidants,it helps in defending the retina from the damage caused by the oxygen-free radicals.
Asparagus is rich in Vitamin B that helps in maintaining healthy levels of homocysteine,which is produced in the blood when an amino acid breaks down in the body.Deficiency in vitamin B increases the risk of damage to blood vessels,venous thrombosis in which clotting of blood happens in the veins.
An Asparagus extract can be used effectively for easing premenstrual bloating.It also helps in controlling blood loss and maintaining hormonal balance during menstruation.
The root of asparagus is widely appreciated in Ayurveda therapy and is famously known as Shatavari. Shatavari has aphrodisiac properties and is used to regulate the hormones and cure male and female sexual disorders.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints.Consumption of folate-rich food like asparagus,also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which helps to relieve the pain and ease the overall poor functioning in the body associated with arthritis.
Asparagus racemosus also helps is curing bronchitis and tuberculosis.
Asparagus racemosus is an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drug which helps in enhancing the memory,increase the production and secretion of estrogen and has a revitalizing and calming effect on the nervous system.
How to buy and store Asparagus?
1.Choose the Pristine buds:
Stalks should be plump and firm, tips should be tightly closed.
Colour can be green, purple, white depending on the variety.
A good grocer will chill asparagus or store it standing upright in cold, fresh water.
2.Try for same-size stalks:
Asparagus comes in several sizes.
Thin, tender spears can be steamed, sautéed or rubbed lightly with olive oil and grilled.
Fatter spears needs to be trimmed and either steamed or boiled in order to be tender.
3.Buy in seasons for the best prices:
Fresh Asparagus grown in Mexico shows up soon after New Years, but if you want to buy you have to wait until spring time.
4.There is no storage ,there is only eating:
Sine ,asparagus is one-night-only type of vegetable it is not good for storing. If you want to consume them fresh then try to buy and eat asparagus the same day.
In case if you do plan to store it in your refrigerator for few days, trim a small amount from the bottoms of the stalks with a sharp knife and place them in a tall glass with a little water in the bottom.
Fun facts about Asparagus:
1.Asparagus is spring vegetable,a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus.
2.It is the distant cousin of the onion.
3.The plant grows in central and southern Europe,Middle East,Western Siberia,Northern Africa.
4.The fruit is a small red berry about 6-10 mm in diameter,which is poisonous to the humans.
Side Effects of Eating Asparagus:
There is as such no life-threatening side effects of eating too much Asparagus, but there may be some uncomfortable side effects such as gas, noticeable smell to the urine.
People who are allergic to other members of the lily family such as onions, garlic and chives are more likely to be allergic to Asparagus.
Culinary Uses of Asparagus:
North Indian Dish:
Asparagus With Ginger:
Stir-fry asparagus is healthy, simple and delicious recipe. It makes a great appetizer or a side dish.
Nutrition Facts as per serving = 14 spears
42% Carbohydrates 10g
38% Fat 4g
21% Protein 5g
1.1 bunch of Asparagus
2.2 tablespoons of Olive Oil.
3.1 teaspoon cumin seed
4.1 tablespoon ginger.
5.2 teaspoon lemon juice.
6.Salt to taste
7.1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1.Holding the stalk at both the ends bend gently until it breaks on its own.Discard the hard portion.
2.Cut the remaining asparagus spears diagonally into 2 pieces.
3.Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and wait until they crack.Then add asparagus,ginger,lemon juice,salt and black pepper.
4.Stir fry for about 4 to 5 mins until asparagus are tender but still crunch.
South Indian Dish:
1.1 bunch of fresh asparagus.
2.1/2 red onion, chopped
3.2 garlic cloves, minced
4.4 green chilli peppers.
5.1/2 desiccated coconut.
7.1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds.
8.Salt to taste
1.Heat oil in the pan and add black mustard seeds, red chilli and cumin seeds.
2.When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add green chilies and salt.
3.Add the onions, garlic and fry for 2 mins and then add the chopped asparagus pieces.
4.Stir well, simmer the heat add 1/4 cup of water cover with lid and stir for another 5 minutes.
5.Add the fresh coconut and stir for 10 seconds and remove from the heat.
6.Serve hot with steamed rice.
Best time to eat Asparagus:
Asparagus is one of the first green vegetables to come into season at the end of winter. It often appears in stores in late February, but the vegetable is best and usually cheapest in the month of April and May.