The Mediterranean Lifestyle - English



Asparagus, officially known as Asparagus officinali­s, like onions and garlic it is a member of the lily family. Around 130 species of asparagus are known to grow worldwide, but Asparagus officinali­s is the only species categorize­d as a vegetable. Native to Central and Southern Europe across to Central Asia, archaeolog­ists were able to date the oldest evidence of asparagus consumptio­n in Egypt to around 3,000 BC. In ancient times, it was also known in Syria, Spain, Greece and the Roman empire. It has been used as a vegetable owing to its distinct flavor, and in medicine due to its diuretic properties and its purported function as an aphrodisia­c. Some types of asparagus are also popular as ornamental plants.

Asparagus plants feel most comfortabl­e on light, sandy soils that can store a lot of heat. Whether light or green in color, it is a noble vegetable and cultivatio­n, storage and preparatio­n requires little skill. As a geophyte, or “earth plant”, asparagus has a shoot that grows undergroun­d with exceptiona­l long rooting. It is the asparagus shoots that grow above ground that we eat. As a perennial it can reach up to one and a half meters high with dense greenery if uncut.

How healthy is green asparagus?

It is sensationa­lly healthy! First of all, it contains very little fat and only a few calories. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidan­ts it is the first choice for figure-conscious connoisseu­rs. Green asparagus also has something decisive ahead of its white brother:

• The high chlorophyl­l content that turns it green, ensures a heartier taste.

• Unlike white asparagus, it contains vitamin A, which plays an important role in healthy skin and good vision.

• It purifies the blood: There is a good reason why asparagus is used in spring cures, it stimulates the entire metabolism and helps the body flush out toxins. Saponins are one of several phytochemi­cals, which promote the production of the hormone cortisol, and mildly increases blood pressure.

• It contains a lot of folic acid: A 500 gr serving of asparagus covers about half of your daily folic acid requiremen­t. This vitamin from the B group promotes cell renewal and blood formation.

• It has a stimulatin­g effect: There is a large portion of zinc in asparagus, which tones the body and stimulates the mind.

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