“Asparagus Au Gratin”
~Trim Healthy Mama Friendly~
Before you turn your nose up to asparagus, take a second look at this yummy twist to spruce up a ho-hum vegetable side dish! Also…check out the great health benefits of this super nutritious veggie!
Check Out the Recipe Below!
- Wash, break and lay on a parchment lined tray.
- Spread some pats of butter around, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, sea salt (Canadians get it here), pepper and turkey or regular bacon pieces.
- Bake at 350* for approx. 20-25 min.
Don’t miss these health benefits:
And just as a spear is used as a weapon, asparagus’s javelin-shaped form could be viewed as symbolic for its age- and disease-fighting abilities. Asparagus is just packed with health benefits:
- It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source 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 cells.
- This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
- Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.
- Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)
- One more benefit of asparagus: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
And finally, to answer a question I often get regarding why eating asparagus causes a strong urinary odor: asparagus contains a unique compound that, when metabolized, gives off a distinctive smell in the urine. Young asparagus contains higher concentrations of the compound so the odor is stronger after eating these vernal shoots. There are, however, no harmful effects, either from the sulfuric compounds or the odor! While it is believed that most people produce these odorous compounds after eating asparagus, few people have the ability to detect the smell.
The most common type of asparagus is green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. No matter the type you choose, asparagus is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in myriad ways or enjoyed raw in salads.
Keep in mind these cooking tips to preserve antioxidants and keep your preparation healthy:
- Roast, grill or stir-fry your asparagus. These quick-cooking, waterless methods will preserve the fabulous nutritional content and antioxidant power of asparagus. (Click here for how-to details on the best asparagus prep and cooking directions.
Enjoy your asparagus!
We are not affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama nor endorsed by them. As with all resources, you should review them with care. We have done our best to make the recipes and all menu plans THM compliant in an effort to assist you on your journey.