At the start of spring, you’ll notice the inventory of asparagus in the produce section jump up. Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable to steam, roast, sauté, broil or even juice and consume regularly, as it has several medicinal and health benefits. Asparagus is loaded with antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties and reduce inflammation in the body. Too much inflammation in the body may lead to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Asparagus contains a good variety of vitamins and minerals. It contains approximately 60% of your Vitamin K needs in just ½ cup. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A both antioxidants with anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits. Asparagus is very rich in folic acid with one serving providing nearly half of your daily requirement. It is important to have an adequate intake of folic acid, especially if you plan to get pregnant and in the early stages of pregnancy as it can be protective against certain birth defects such as Spina Bifida. Folic acid plays a huge role in a variety of biochemical events that affect your heart health too. Asparagus is also a good source of plant protein and fiber…and you get all of this goodness for just 20 calories per ½ cup serving!
You may or may not have noticed your urine having a funny smell soon after eating asparagus. This is because asparagus has sulfur-containing amino acids that create this smell when they are broken down and excreted. However, not everyone has the urine odor or perhaps not everyone can smell it. There is some controversy among scientists….some think only half the population can break down the sulfur-containing amino acids while other scientists think that only half have the ability to smell the odor. None the less, if you have smelly urine after eating asparagus don’t fret, it’s perfectly normal!
Quinoa Feta & Asparagus
1 T coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 asparagus spears, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup Quinoa, cooked according to directions
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup slivered almonds
3 T lemon juice or juice of one medium lemon
¼ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to directions.
- Heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add diced onion stirring often for about 5 min. Toss in garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add asparagus and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Toss cooked quinoa and asparagus mixture in a large serving bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil and feta and toss to coat all ingredients well.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.