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Health food of the month - Asparagus

June 2013

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Diet & Supplements Index

Health Food of the Month: AsparagusWhen we were kids, asparagus was not a normal day to day food. Today you can find it in supermarkets and food shops everywhere, both fresh and also very tasty tinned varieties for when it is out of season.

But apart from its decorative looks and good flavour, asparagus is actually packed with great nutrition.

To start with, it is a herbaceous plant, similar to avocados, kale and Brussels sprouts, and is a good source of glutathione. This is a detoxifying compound which helps to break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds. This means is could help protect against certain forms of cancer and other diseases. It is also full of antioxidants which help to neutralize those cell-damaging free radicals.

And then look at its vitamins and minerals - asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, C, E and K and it also offers folate which works with the vitamin B12 you can find in fish, poultry, meal and dairy foods, to help slow cognitive impairment. The rutin contained in asparagus works with vitamin C to help energise and protect the body from infections. Asparagus also offers a good source of soluble fibre plus potassium which offers a range of benefits and can help to control blood pressure. Asparagus even contains the trace mineral chromium which can assist insulin to carry glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.

Finally, as a little extra, asparagus is particularly high in asparagines. This is an amino acid which works as a natural diuretic, helping the body to flush out excess salts.

Looking at asparagus, it is not instantly apparent that this is a true health food - but my goodness this innocent looking plant can certainly pack a punch!




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