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4 healthy reasons to add asparagus to your side dish

AsparagusThe asparagus might look like a strange spear shaped veggie that’s been brought over from an alien planet, but this weird looking vegetable not only tastes great but has a lot of health benefits.

#1. It can be beneficial in fighting certain types of cancers

Studies have shown that the asparagus is a rich source of glutathione, which is an antioxidant that fights against cell damaging free radicals and helps with your body’s defense. Eating some asparagus may help you protect and fight against bone cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, larynx cancer, or lung cancer.

#2. Great source for vitamins and nutrients!

Asparagus have a great amount of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium (a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into your cells). So instead of taking those annoying vitamin pills add some asparagus to your side menu.

#3.The asparagus can help your brain function better

If you’re above the age of 50 or have trouble remembering/thinking correctly then the asparagus could help with your brain functions. It delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive impairment (poor mental functions). Studies have shown that older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 perform better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility.brain

#4. Contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine

Amino acid asparagine is a natural diuretic (something that helps in producing urine), this not only helps release some excess fluids but it also helps rid your body of excess salts. This is greatly beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body's tissues) or those who have high blood pressure/other heart-related diseases.

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The strange urine smell from asparagus explained:

People often ask me why there’s a strong urinary odor after eating some asparagus. The asparagus contains a unique compound that, when metabolized, gives off a distinctive smell in the urine. Younger asparagus that hasn’t matured yet usually contain a higher concentration of this compound so the odor is stronger. There are no harmful effects from the smell or from the sulfuric compounds, so don’t worry…you’re not sick! While it’s believed that most people produce this “smell” after eating asparagus a few people can actually smell the strong odor.

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Some interesting facts about asparagus…

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  • The best seasonal time to buy asparagus is during the springtime.
  • There are two types:
    • Green asparagus (most common in supermarkets)
    • Purple asparagus (usually smaller and has a fruitier flavor.
  • It’s better for you to roast, grill, or stir-fry your asparagus then to cook them in water.  Cooking without water will help preserve the nutrition and the antioxidants in the asparagus.
  • Try to enjoy your asparagus without salt, butter or sauces to get the most out of its diuretic properties, because the salt can cause water retention in some people.

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