Eat Asparagus to Age Less

Eat asparagus to spearhead your health!

Eat asparagus to spearhead your health!

It’s springtime and that means asparagus is fresh and plentiful.  These green spears are full of wonderful nutrients like beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins C, E, & K, and fiber.  Asparagus is also rich in the anti-oxidant, gluthathione, which plays an important role in detoxifying our bodies, boosting our immune & respiratory systems, preventing cataracts, and protecting our cells from dying prematurely.

Asparagus contains the amino acid, asparagine, which has a diuretic effect on the kidneys (asparagine is what causes the strong odor in the urine for most people after eating asparagus).  Asparagus also has a fair amount of purines, which can aggravate gout symptoms.

Select spears that are firm with closed tips.  Asparagus loses its flavor and nutrients quickly, so keep it refrigerated and eat within two days after purchasing.  Also, cooking reduces the glutathione level so it’s best to eat keep it a little crunchy.

Interesting side note:  Many restaurants are now serving ‘white’ asparagus for its delicate flavor and color.  It’s just regular asparagus grown underground, so that it won’t produce chlorophyll.  This may make it more unique, but definitely less nutritious.

Here’s a quick and delicious salad from Food & Wine Magazine (www.foodandwine.com)  to enjoy this spring.

Grilled Asparagus Salad with Parsley Pesto

Parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and oil—that’s all it takes to make an outstanding dressing.  The secret is in using lots of parsley.  You’ll be surprised how flavorful it is.

Serves 4

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped/cut off

Sea salt

Fresh-ground black pepper

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons water

1 and 1/2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 heads Bibb lettuce (about 1-2 pounds), torn into bite size pieces

Optional: 3 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

Toss the asparagus spears with the tablespoon of oil and season with salt & pepper.  Grill or broil the asparagus, turning occasionally, until slightly crunchy.  Cut the spears into 2-inch lengths.

In a blender or Cuisinart, combine the garlic, water, parsley, lemon juice, remaining oil, and a pinch of salt.  Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with spatula if necessary.

In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the lettuce and asparagus (and chicken), with half of the vinaigrette.  Put the salad on plates.  Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salads.

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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