Asparagus

asparagus

Healthy Benefits

Disease Prevention and Risk Reduction

Because of the folate, asparagus aids in prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in the fetus. It lowers homocysteine, a compound linked to heart disease, strokes, and dementia. The antioxidants may protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

A recent study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology reported lower risk for macular degeneration at the highest dietary lutein intake.

FOS help lower blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, by promoting growth of healthy bacteria in the intestine.

Preservation

Because asparagus loses nutrients quickly after being harvested, refrigerate asparagus after purchase and use it as soon as possible.

If you are going to freeze your asparagus, small spears should be blanched no more than 2 minutes; large spears, no more than 3 minutes. You can freeze without blanching if they are vacuum sealed.

Asparagus can be canned but requires higher temperatures than a boiling water bath because of the low acidity content.

Preparation

Steaming is the best method of cooking to maintain the nutrients in asparagus. However, roasting asparagus preserves nutrients as well and it brings out excellent flavor.

Resources

Reinhard, Tonia. Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2010. Print.

“Preserving Asparagus.” PreservingYourHarvest.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2013.

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