Anna Rose writes a timely reminder of a tasty product that requires fewer delivery miles to arrive on our menus.
With the transportation of food across the globe it is easy to obtain almost any kind of food from anywhere, at any time of the year. But when foods come into their natural season, it’s in abundance at its natural peak and at its lowest cost. Asparagus is one such food.
A celebrated food source, the official asparagus season starts from 23rd April ending on Midsummer’s Day. Just a stone’s throw away from Birmingham, in the Vale of Evesham, asparagus is farmed and harvested in abundance and there are a whole host of celebrations to mark the season ranging from music festivals to the annual asparagus auction at The Fleece Inn.
Celebrations aside, the asparagus itself – quite a hardy vegetable in terms of structure – needs to be cooked delicately in order to preserve its nutritional quality. The general consensus amongst most foodies is to steam asparagus as that can help to retain its antioxidant content. Equally, added to roast vegetables at the latter stage of the roasting process or sautéed with lemon juice or vegetable broth will also enable this.
If the famed status of asparagus isn’t evidence enough of its glory, here are some of the nutritional benefits claimed for asparagus:
- Rich in glutathione which breaks down/neutralises cell damaging radicals in the body, and it is suggested as a food source that may protect from certain cancers.
- Full of antioxidants.
- Suggested to have properties that slow down the ageing process.
- Contains B12 and folate, which studies show improves mental agility.
- A natural diuretic which helps to alleviate the body of excess salt and in turn helps those with high blood pressure.
- Low in calories, low in sodium.
- Good source of B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, and iron.
- Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K.
- Contains fibre and protein.
- Contains chromium – which assists insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells.
With spring now in full bloom and as thoughts turn to healthier eating, ensure that asparagus is top of your list to try; for its seasonal goodness and abundant health benefits it makes for an essential ingredient when meal-planning. And if you can join in the celebrations along the way, all the better!
Anna Rose blogs at www.wordinvegways.blogspot.com
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