Asparagus
 
There are many health benefits of asparagus, this healthy vegetable provides many beneficial nutrients and asparagus vitamins. The vitamins in asparagus include vitamin A, B2 and C, as well as iron, potassium and calcium.
This vegetable is a well known diuretic which means that it increases the excretion of urine from the body.
 
Vegetables
 
Healthy Foods Index
 
Artichoke

The potential health benefits from eating this really healthy food are interesting. This vegetable is particularly good for the liver as it helps it to function. This is because it is high in the antioxidant enzyme glutathione which makes it a very beneficial food for the liver.

In addition to this health fact, any food that helps the liver will consequently increase our level of mood and ability to deal with stress. This vegetable is also good for the kidneys, the skin and the bones as asparagus helps the formation of red blood capsules.

Calories
There are not a lot of calories in asparagus. The amount of calories depends on the variety or the way in which the vegetable is cooked for example if the asparagus it baked, grilled, roasted, steamed or boiled. The following calorie guide can be used to calculate the amount of calories:

Calories per 100 grams:
Boiled asparagus - 26 calories
Canned, drained asparagus - 24 calories
Green and white asparagus - 13 calories

Asparagus is a special type of vegetable as it is unique from other types and varieties of vegetables and edible plants both in taste and appearance. Asparagus is a green vegetable with thick green spears.

This particular vegetable is best in the summer season, and in the United Kingdom it is grown between late spring and summer, however, it is available all year round as it is imported. Obviously this isn't the case in other countries as planting and growing this particular vegetable depends on the climate. The healthiest asparagus will have stalks that are not too scarred or blemished with tips that have a fresh, healthy appearance. The stalks should appear straight and fresh.
 
 

The History of Asparagus
This vegetable that has existed for many years. It is believed that this edible plant originated during the Roman period. Asparagus was a luxurious vegetable that was fit for only the finest of people, even during Roman times! Historic Records show that Julius Caesar enjoyed eating asparagus with melted butter! It is believed that asparagus was introduced to Great Britain during the 17th century but it came at a price and was really quite expensive.

Cooking Asparagus - Tips for Cooking
Asparagus can be cooked in many ways, one of the most popular methods is to bake asparagus, roast, steam, boil or grill the vegetable. Whatever method you choose, it is important to remember that over cooking, so roasting, steaming, boiling, grilling or baking asparagus for too long will damage the vitamin and nutrient content significantly as the nutrients are lost during the cooking process.

Tip for Boiling
As stated above, the healthy vitamins and nutrients in asparagus are lost through over-cooking, therefore, it is important to cook this vegetable with care. Place the asparagus upright in boiling water and and boil for 5 to 10 minutes. The stalks take longer to cook than the tips which only really need to be briefly steamed. The spears shouldn't be softened too much during the cooking process so take care not to overcook them. Placing the asparagus upright should help to retain all the essential vitamins and nutrients.

Types and Varieties of Asparagus
There are lots of varieties and types of asparagus which are grown in many different countries. There is Spanish asparagus and Dutch asparagus which are often white with ivory tips. There is French asparagus which includes a purple variety of the vegetable.

American and English asparagus differ from many other types of asparagus grown in other countries. This is because English and American varieties are planted so that it grows above the ground and the spears are completely green.

Sprue Asparagus: this is a variety that is thin and short in appearance, and is often used for salads. The Sprue variety barely needs to be trimmed at all in preparation for cooking or eating. In Italy, the Sprue Asparagus is served alone, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

 
 
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