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From antidepressant to aphrodisiac qualities - This superfood has it all

Thursday, April 14, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: asparagus, aphrodisiac, health news

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(NewsTarget) When one thinks of foods that possess antidepressant and aphrodisiac qualities, asparagus very seldom comes to mind. Owing to the wide range of symptoms and ailments that this superfood is able to assist with, it is beneficial to almost everyone.

This vegetable, which is part of the lily family, is best harvested during the spring months. Only a few of the many varieties of asparagus that grow are actually edible though. The most commonly consumed variety of asparagus is green or greenish purple, ranging between six and eight inches in height. Being a food which is hand-picked, it is often quite expensive to purchase, but the many health benefits it offers make it very worthwhile.

Wild asparagus (Asparagus Racemosus) has been used for many years as a botanical medicine in India and Asia. It contains a phytonutrient called saponins. Saponins have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They assist with lowering blood pressure and help to control blood sugar levels.

Asparagus is low in calories and high in proteins. It contains Vitamin K, folic acid and Vitamins C, A and B-complex. It is also an excellent source of fibre that is rich in niacin and phosphorus. It also contains the ideal ratios of calcium to magnesium needed by the body.

It is also an excellent diuretic, making it perfect for those suffering from water retention. Its diuretic properties are best seen when consuming it in juice form. The anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent food choice for those suffering from arthritis and rheumatism. Its high alkaline content enables it to be effective in reducing the acid content in the blood.

Pregnant women can benefit greatly from eating asparagus because of its high folic acid content as well as its diuretic properties. It has also been known to prevent the formation of kidney stones, or even dissolve them. Those suffering from PMS can benefit as well because asparagus helps with menstrual cramps. They have also been used to assist with fertility problems.

Varicose veins can be avoided by eating asparagus. They possess antifungal as well as antiviral properties. Those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome will also benefit from eating this wonder food. It is known to prevent scurvy and multiple sclerosis. Asparagus is also able to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding moms. Because of its high folate content, it is also able to help reduce the risk of birth defects.

Asparagus should be used within a day or two of picking in order to get the most benefit from it. Only the thick-stemmed varieties should be peeled prior to eating, as their outer stems can be tough and stringy. Peel only the stems after washing them with water to remove any excess soil. They should be cooked and enjoyed whole.

Asparagus can be enjoyed hot or cold, and it makes a great addition to any salad. It also goes well with pasta dishes (gluten-free pasta is recommended). It may be sauteed with free-range chicken, mushrooms and other herbs for a complete meal.



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here

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