Some vegetables can be bland and boring. But believe me, this certainly doesn’t apply to one of my favorite alkalizing vegetables. It not only tastes delicious. As you’ll find out, it’s a true nutritional powerhouse, rich in no less than six Foundation Supplements. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, prebiotics for digestive health, and plenty of potassium.
I’m referring to the often forgotten asparagus. So let’s take a look at the nutrients it contains.
A Vitamin K Superstar
In ‘Vitamin K: Your Osteoporosis Knight in Shining Armor’, I write about the importance of Vitamin K and how it works synergistically with vitamin D to regulate the production of osteoclasts, as well as its role in preventing fractures.
Just one cup of asparagus gives you almost 70 percent of the daily RDA for this nutrient, as K1.
And asparagus have…
More Foundation Supplements!
If you read the Save Our Bones Program, you know that the Foundation Supplements are nutrients critical to your bone health. And asparagus is a very good source of the following:
- B vitamins are a group of vitamins that have a broad scope of action. They give you energy, improve mental function, and help you control stress – to mention a few. As it relates to bone health in particular, asparagus contain the following potent combination of B vitamins listed in the Program as Foundation Supplements: B1, B2, and Folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid).
- Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that’s crucial for the production of collagen, a protein that maintains – among other things – healthy bones and cartilage.
Copper, a multi-tasking mineral present in an enzyme that produces collagen and elastin.
- Vitamin D, which among many other important functions, plays a crucial role in preventing falls and fractures. You can read more on this in “The Latest News on Vitamin D: What Does It Mean for You?”
The Glutathione Connection
Asparagus also contains glutathione, known as the Master Antioxidant. It consists of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. This power-packed compound protects against the damage caused by free radicals and helps detoxify the liver. Ensuring liver health is a good way to protect your bones as poor liver function has been connected to osteoporosis.1
But there’s more to glutathione. One study found that it can increase the formation of osteoblasts and inhibit osteoclast production and overactivity without harming the osteoclast cells.2
Tips for Storing Asparagus
Of course it’s always important to store produce properly and consume it as quickly as possible, but this may be even more true for asparagus. When a vegetable is picked, its metabolic activity does not automatically stop. The “respiration rate” of a vegetable takes into account how quickly starches and sugars break down and the speed at which carbon dioxide is released.
In comparison with other vegetables, asparagus has a high respiration rate, which means that it’s more highly perishable – it can quickly lose nutrients, wrinkle, and harden if not handled properly.3
The best way to preserve fresh asparagus is to wrap both ends of each stalk with a damp cloth or paper towel before storing them in the refrigerator. And for maximum nutrient retention, asparagus should be eaten within two days.
Below’s my Power of Six Soup recipe. It’s deliciously alkalizing, and just the thing for a cold winter night.
Power of Six Soup Recipe
Makes 6 servings
1 dozen asparagus spears
2 carrots, sliced
2 small onions, sliced
5 cups water (adjust to achieve desired thickness)
1 cup milk substitute
2 teaspoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon vegetarian butter
Sea salt and pepper to taste
In large pot boil the asparagus and carrots in enough salted water to cover them for twenty minutes or so.
In a saucepan, sauté onions in vegetarian butter till slightly browned, for about 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus and carrots removed from salted water (keep stock in pot) and cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring constantly.
Mix in the flour dissolved in a little water to get a pasty texture and heat for 5 more minutes.
Transfer the asparagus mixture into the soup pot with the stock, add the water, and boil for approximately 20 minutes.
Pass through a sieve, return to pot, and add the milk substitute. Heat for a few more minutes, and enjoy!
1 Wariaghli G, Mounach A, et al. “Osteoporosis in chronic liver disease: a case-control study.” Rheumatology International, Vol. 30, No. 7. May 2010.
2 Bilezikian L P, Raisz L G, Martin T J. Principles of Bone Biology. Second Edition. Academic Press. 2002.
3 Albanese D, Russo L, Cinquanta L et al. “Physical and chemical changes in minimally processed green asparagus during cold-storage.” Food Chemistry Volume 101, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 274-280. 2007.
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