A is for Asparagus

May 12, 2008

How fabulous is spring? The warm weather, budding trees and longer days all make me happy, but I think that of all the great things about spring, asparagus is my absolute favorite.After months of gooey winter squash and carb-loaded dishes, I love the fresh crunch of lightly sauteed asparagus. It’s a tasty way to ease your body into spring.

Asparagus is high in folate, which helps prevent heart problems. Just one serving of asparagus has almost 66% of our daily value. And have you ever noticed what happens when you go to the bathroom after eating asparagus? Let’s just say you can tell you’ve eaten it! That’s because it’s high in potassium, low in sodium and high in an amino acid that combine to make it a natural diuretic.

Asparagus also helps our guts stay healthy. It contains inulin, which according to WHFoods.com, “we don’t digest, but the health-promoting friendly bacteria in our large intestine, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, do.” The more we eat, the more the healthy bacteria thrive, insuring that the damaging bacteria can’t survive in our bodies.

It doesn’t take much to cook asparagus. I love to saute it in a little olive oil with some fresh garlic. And if you want a crunchy treat, try roasting it with olive oil on a baking sheet at 400 for about 10-15 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, top with a little fresh parmesan cheese.