What spear nourishes and does no harm? The Asparagus Spear
Asparagus is the leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid, which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. Folacin has been shown to play a significant role in the prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, that cause paralysis and death in 2,500 babies each year. Pregnant and nursing mothers should take note.
It is a nutritionally dense food, full of fiber and very low sodium and calorie content, rich in an amino acid called asparagine, making asparagus a nutritionally wise choice for today’s health-conscious consumer.
More than 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean region , Greeks and Romans used Asparagus officinalis for food and medicine.
The United States is the largest importer, producer and consumer of asparagus, followed by the European Union and Japan. Peru is the world’s leading asparagus exporter, followed by China and Mexico.The United States’ production is concentrated in California, Michigan, and Washington.
It is a pity that despite its nutrients, many people do not eat asparagus. Reason could be its price, another could be cultural factors such as the traditional round shape of cooking pots in many in developing countries. Yet another could be climatic and pedological factors.
But, just being aware of its nutrients will propel me towards having a real relationship with the asparagus.
The National Asparagus Festival (NAF) will be held June 8-10, 2007 in Hart. Key events planned are: Arts & Crafts Fair, Rodeo, Parades, Food Show and a lot more. Click here for more information.
Organic asparagus is available through local farmers. There are many recipes online for cooking asparagus.
Asparagus is:Low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 oz. serving, less than 4 calories per spear. Contains no fat or cholesterol. Very low in sodium. A good source of potassium
A source of fiber (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving).
An excellent source of folacin.
A significant source of thiamin.
A significant source of vitamin B6.
One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.
Contains glutathione (GSH).
Source: Wikipedia and the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB)