ASPARAGUS: 10 health benefits and virtues of a tasty vegetable

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Rich in vitamins A, B and C, folic acid and iron, asparagus has many health benefits and virtues, in addition to being low in calories and tasty!

Asparagus: health benefits and virtues of a tasty vegetable

A traditional spring messenger, asparagus is a tasty vegetable of the lily family. Cooked with water or steam, the melting asparagus is a tasty and nutritious starter, it accompanies the main course or enhance a salad. Asparagus has many health benefits and virtues in addition to having this chic side on a plate!

Why choose asparagus?

A serving of 100 g of asparagus provides:

  • 20 calories
  • 3.9 g of carbohydrates
  •  2.1 g of fiber
  • 2.2 g of protein
  • 0.1 g of fat

Nutrients and minerals found in asparagus

  • Folic acid : a vitamin B that contributes to the formation of blood cells and prevents certain serious congenital anomalies
  • Thiamine and other B vitamins needed for metabolism
  • 15% daily vitamin A requirements
  • 11% of daily iron requirements
  • 10% daily requirement of vitamin C
  • Glutathione: an antioxidant that could promote disease prevention

Contraindications and disadvantages of asparagus

The purines that contain asparagus are harmful to people suffering from gout .

The smell of urine following the consumption of asparagus is due to a sulfur substance resulting from the degradation of nitrogen compounds. However, this is a harmless phenomenon that affects 40% of people.

How to choose and preserve asparagus?

Buy asparagus in season: Asparagus arrives on our markets in February from California. In the prairies and in the east, it is harvested from May to July. Winter and autumn are imported asparagus found on the market.

The sheaf must be fresh, firm and round, and the tip must be tight, and dark green or purple. Shoots 1 cm and larger are generally softer than smaller ones. Whenever possible, choose asparagus of the same size so that the cooking is even.

Eat your asparagus as soon as possible, as they quickly lose their nutrients; thus, at room temperature, their vitamin C content drops by half in two days. If you need to keep them for a day or two, wrap the base in a damp paper towel, cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator. Or, put them in the fridge in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag. They will be preserved for two days.

New ways to introduce asparagus

In itself, asparagus is delicious. But it also goes wonderfully well with balsamic vinegar sauce or lemon juice, mayonnaise with mustard, ginger flavored soy sauce , or parmesan shavings. For a low-carb festive appetizer, wrap cooked and cooled asparagus in thin slices of lean ham and if desired add some mayonnaise. Asparagus has a low glycemic index . In just a few minutes, you can also make an excellent cream by blending asparagus with a little milk, a pinch of chopped parsley and a pinch of chopped tarragon.

Cooking asparagus classic

Cook whole spears with steam or water. Cooking takes 3 to 5 minutes. If you cook them longer, they will be overcooked and soft. The best is to remove them from the heat when they still have some of their crunch, because they will continue to cook while cooling.

Fast cooking

Cook the asparagus in the microwave. Put 450 grams in a shallow microwave dish with center -pointed tips, add 1/4 cup of water, cover tightly and cook for 4 to 7 minutes at 100% power.

Fashionable cooking

Baking asparagus is gaining popularity. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C. Place the spears in a single layer in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast about 20 minutes or until the spears are tender, but preserve some of their crunchiness.

Grill

To grill them, coat them with olive oil, salt, cross them on the grill and cook over medium heat, turning often, for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on their size. Pepper and season with a drizzle of lemon juice before serving. You can make them blanch first for 1 minute in a large quantity of slightly salty boiling water; drain and spread to cool quickly, then grill for 3-4 minutes.

Presentation and service

Whole asparagus is an elegant starter or a nice side dish. Traditionally, they are served hot with hollandaise sauce in butter and lemon juice, or cold with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise. Cut into pieces, they are suitable for stir-fries. Whether sautéed or simply blanched, asparagus pieces are delicious in an omelette, salad, soup or stew.

Dr. Kimberly Seltzer

Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley Research Assistant, MIT

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