Welcome back for our second magic moment. If you are new to magic moments, well, so are we. Cancel that, we aren’t new to them, we are new to blogging about them (check out the magic of parsley & cilantro from last week). Today is all about the magic of asparagus. Now, you might know asparagus by the fancy smell it leaves your urine. This little green contains a high concentration of a sulfur-containing compound called asparagusic acid, named for the vegetable, which can also be found in other pungent-smelling foods such as rotten eggs, onions and garlic. When your digestive system breaks down asparagusic acid, it releases that fantastic smell you’ve likely come to know. This process is so quick that the distinctive smell can develop within 15 to 30 minutes of eating asparagus, which can lead to some unfortunate social circumstances such as awkward dinner-party bathroom breaks and avoidance of all liquids when asparagus is on the menu.
But instead of focusing on asparagusic acid. Let’s talk about it’s magic. So here goes.
- It’s packed with nutrients: Asparagus is a stellar 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. Please, do you need more?
- Like all herbaceous plants (avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts) is a rich source of glutathione, THE mother of all antioxidants – 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. We’ll take two.
- Like we said, Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among THE top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This can help slow the aging process. Slow aging, c’mon, it’s too good to be true.
- Another anti-aging property of this rock star veg is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a Tufts University study, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. I want to be fast and flexible!
- One more, one more, one more…. asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is fantastic for people who suffer from edema and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
Need an asparagus recipe to make things right? Look no further. This and a bajillion other fab recipes are found in all our programs. Up next, Reset: 14. To say that we can’t wait, well, that’s just a crazy understatement.
1 bunch asparagus, roasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, cleaned and roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, organic
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 bunch chives, chopped
Heat olive oil, garlic, and leek over low-medium heat in a medium size pot. Simmer until the garlic is fragrant and the leeks start to look translucent. Add the asparagus and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
Blend the soup so that it’s smooth and creamy using an immersion blender or in batches using a blender (though be sure to let cool slightly) . Taste, then add sea salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Top with freshly chopped chives and enjoy.