It is the undisputed star of spring and Easter tables. Thanks to its properties, it represents a valid ally for health
Protagonists of spring tables, and in particular of Easter, asparagus not only lends itself to many preparations in the kitchen by lovers of good food, but are rich in beneficial properties for health thanks to their strong diuretic action which can prove useful to fight cellulite and water retention, if there are no contraindications.
Their origins are lost in the mists of time, probably in ancient Mesopotamia or in the sandy steppes of the Middle East. Starting with the ancient Egyptians, their fame spread rapidly, finding passionate supporters in illustrious characters such as Cato, Apicius and Pliny the Elder. In the following centuries, this plant was always considered a food-medicine and therefore an object of widespread consumption.
- The health benefits
- What the characteristic odor depends on
- The varieties
- How they prepare
The health benefits
The whole plant contains asparagine, a substance – as we will see below – responsible for the characteristic alteration in urine odor, and antioxidants such as flavonoids (including rutin, quercetin and campferol) and carotenoids. There are also folic acid, tannic and bitter substances, a saponin, traces of essential oil, sugars, vitamins A, B, C and PP, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and traces of fluorine. Being rich in vitamins and minerals, they are particularly suitable for convalescents, sick people or people who follow slimming diets.
Due to their specific diuretic action they are useful for stimulating renal function, eliminating waste and compensating for water retention (thanks to the presence of purines).
What the characteristic odor depends on
It seems that the presence of asparagine (aspartic acid) and the processes related to its degradation (with the production of methyl-mercaptan) are responsible for the characteristic strong and penetrating odor of urine that follows the ingestion of asparagus. If the kidneys work efficiently, this curious phenomenon occurs already after 15-20 minutes of ingesting even small quantities of asparagus, although not all people show an alteration in the smell of urine.
White, green, violet, wild. Among those cultivated, the varieties are very numerous and differ in color, thickness and fleshiness of the shoots and each of them boasts a Protected Designation of Origin.
Among the whites, the best known are those of Verona, Conche, Zambana, Cantello and Bassano del Grappa. Among the pinks, those of Mezzago. Among the violets, those of Albenga and Cilavegna. The green quality of Altedo and Manbrotta are also very famous. From a food point of view, wild asparagus has nothing to envy to the cultivated one: its pleasant flavor is an unparalleled touch of culinary refinement.
How they prepare
The edible parts of asparagus are represented by the young shoots or "shoots", collected in spring when they reach a length of 20-30 cm. To clean them correctly, just hold them with a soft-tipped hand and remove the outermost part by using a potato peeler, towards the root part, which is generally more leathery. Once peeled, a clean cut is made at the base, excluding the hardest and most fibrous part.
To better enjoy their culinary potential, it is good practice to eat them without the aid of cutlery: just bring them to your mouth by squeezing them gently between your index finger and thumb.
They are the main protagonists of numerous recipes: they are eaten alone (seasoned with oil and lemon), sautéed in a pan (with butter and Parmesan), or combined with other vegetables or used in the preparation of omelettes, risottos, sauces, sauces, soups, soups, fillings for pies and ravioli.
Due to their strong diuretic action and the combined presence of purines and oxalic acid, they are not recommended for people suffering from gout and suffering from kidney problems (cystitis, nephritis and kidney stones), especially if the asparagus is not cooked in water (in otherwise most of these substances are dispersed with boiling).
Tag: Face & Body Cellulite