Asparagus is a vegetable that some feel is an acquired taste and for those that do enjoy it, they reap the many health benefits they contain.  And if you don’t like them, maybe after learning some of the great things they have to offer-you might decide to find a recipe that makes them a welcome addition to your regular diet.  Asparagus is a nutrient rich food that is a good source of folic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and thiamin.  It has no fat or cholesterol and is low in sodium which makes it a perfect addition to a dieters menu.  Asparagus is also one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound which strengthens capillary walls.

Folic acid helps the body make healthy new cells and is especially important for pregnant women. Folic Acid also aids in the synthesis of protein metabolism and healthy red blood cells that keeps our energy reserves in optimum shape and our immune systems healthy.   Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body.  It helps prevent stroke, regulates blood pressure, ensures a healthy heart, prevents kidney disorders, alleviates anxiety and stress, enhances muscle strength, maintains water balance in the body, keeps our brain function and nervous system running at optimum levels and helps with the metabolic process of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Vitamin B6 is important for proper brain , cardiovascular, digestive, immune, muscular, and nervous system function.  It is also important for brain development  and helps to make the mood affecting hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, as well as melatonin.  Vitamin A is important for our immune systems because it strengthens the entry points of the human body such as mucous membranes, lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts.  It is also essential for the lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that fight infection once in the body. 

Vitamin A and C are powerful antioxidants that fight off the oxidative stress of free radicals within our bodies, protecting us from age related illnesses such as cataracts, atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.  Vitamin C is a well-known antihistamine that lessens the unpleasant symptoms of the common cold such as inflammation, stuffy nose and muscle aches.  It is also beneficial to cardiac health ranging from blood pressure to endothelial health, immune system function, collagen production, and is the main structural protein found in connective tissue. 

Vitamin K is essential for the prevention of blood clotting, ensures healthy bones, prevents cardiovascular disease, ensures proper brain and nerve function, and is an anti-inflammatory.  It also promotes wound and bruise healing, improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles.  Thiamin helps the body convert food to fuel, helps the body metabolize fats and protein for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. It also helps the nervous system function properly and is necessary for optimal brain function.

This green stalk vegetable is known for its’ detoxifying qualities as well because it contains glutathione (GSH).  Glutathione (GSH) is often referred to as the body’s master antioxidant because it’s composted of three amino acids – cysteine, glycine, and glutamate.  Glutathione can be found in virtually every cell of the human body but the highest concentration of glutathione is in the liver, making it critical in the body’s detoxification process.

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