where does asparagus come from ?
The Egyptians and Greeks were the first to eat asparagus, which was most likely native to the Mediterranean region. Later on, the Romans improve the culture, but this vegetable remains a luxury item for the wealthy.
Asparagus, which had fallen out of favor at the time, returned only during the Renaissance, when it regained popularity with gourmets. It is a high-end item that is highly prized by kings and princes. It was served to Henri III's favorites, and Louis XIV insisted on having it on his table at all times. La Quintinie, the manager of the royal gardens, devised a technique of horticulture beneath shelters to fulfill his aim.
However, until the early nineteenth century, only affluent amateurs could purchase this exquisite and costly vegetable. When civilizations are expanding about this time, asparagus is only starting to democratize.
Focus on the micronutrients contained in asparagus
Asparagus comes in three types : green, white, and purple.
Purple asparagus with a tip that protrudes just enough from the earth to become colored; white asparagus that grows underground away from the sun;
Green asparagus that grows above ground and produces chlorophyll to give it color.
The amount of vitamins in them varies significantly according on the kind.
Asparagus, like many fresh vegetables, is mainly water and relatively low in calories.
Carbohydrates provide for the majority of its energy intake. For a fresh vegetable, the protein content is rather high (2.4 g). Lipids, on the other hand, are only found in trace levels.
Asparagus is high in vitamin C, B vitamins, particularly B9 (or folic acid), and vitamin K. It also contains provitamin A carotenoids (which the body converts to vitamin A), vitamin E, and non-provitamin A carotenoids, all of which have antioxidant effects.
It contains a variety of minerals and trace elements, including potassium, alkalium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
It has a lot of fibers. Pectins and mucilages contribute to the tip's soft consistency. The fibrous consistency of its stem is aided by hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins.
Nutritional values per 100 g
|Name of constituents||Unity||Average content|
|Saturated FA(fat acid)||g||0.08|
|Vitamin E activity (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.83|
|Vitamin B1 or Thiamine||mg||0.05|
|Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin||mg||0.08|
|Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacin||mg||0.71|
|Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid||mg||0.11|
|Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine||mg||0.05|
|Vitamin B9 or Total Folate||µg||66.3|
|Vitamin B12 or Cobalamins||µg||0|
Asparagus Health Benefits :
Although they are commonly eaten in the winter and with mayonnaise sauce, asparagus blooms in the spring.
From April to June, asparagus is available at farmers' markets.
The ability to taste them fresh, because asparagus is a vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals that aids in transit.
Even though it is native to the Mediterranean, asparagus is a remarkable vegetable since it can adapt to practically every weather situation. Asparagus grows practically everywhere, from deserts to mountain peaks, thanks to its roots, which can pull water up to 5 meters deep.
The National Health Nutrition Program suggests eating at least 5 servings (80 g minimum) of fruits and vegetables each day, and taking advantage of seasonal diversity, which for asparagus is from April to June. One serving of asparagus is about equivalent to four or five green and three white asparagus spears.
Vitamins, antioxidant chemicals, and fibre found in fruits and vegetables all play an important part in maintaining good health. A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several studies to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other disorders.
Asparagus, in example, has a surprising quantity of carotenoids ( beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin ). However, according to multiple studies, eating foods high in carotenoids on a daily basis lowers the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
From the early days of pregnancy, vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, plays an important function in the development of the baby in pregnant women. It would help to avoid problems in neural tube development in particular.
A vegetable good for transit
Asparagus is an excellent vegetable for regulating transit intestinal without irritation due to its low calorie intake (29.7 kcal / 100 g), low carbohydrate, fat, and, on the contrary, fascinating proportions of protein and fiber.
Asparagus is also an excellent diuretic due to its potassium/sodium ratio.
Urine temporarily takes on a very unique odor after consuming asparagus. This is due to the presence of sulfur compounds, which are formed as a result of the decomposition of particular amino acids found in this vegetable.
A vegetable full of vitamins
The vitamins in asparagus vary based on the kind.
Purple asparagus, for example, includes more vitamins C and provitamins A than green asparagus, which contains more vitamins B1 and B2.
Asparagus, on average, has the following nutrients:
31 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, which is equivalent to tomato contributions in this area; 0.2 mg of vitamins B1 and B2 per 100 g, 1 mg of vitamins B3 and PP, and 0.6 mg of vitamin B5, making it one of the vegetables with the highest concentrations of these vitamins;
Vitamin E: 3.2 mg per 100 g; beta-carotene and provitamin A: 0.6 mg per 100 g
Rich in phenolic compounds
The principal phenolic components found in asparagus are flavonoids (mostly rutin) and phenolic acids (including hydroxycinnamic acid). Antioxidant qualities refer to the ability of these chemicals to minimize the damage produced by free radicals in the body. These are highly reactive compounds that are thought to have a role in the beginning of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders.
White asparagus is thought to have higher phenolic chemicals than green and purple asparagus. When asparagus is fresh, peeling it has no effect on the phenolic content, but peeling it before storage reduces the phenolic level.
Asparagus is thought to have better antioxidant quality than a number of regularly consumed vegetables in Europe and the United States, including yellow onion, red onion, garlic, broccoli, and peppers. However, it has a low consumption rate. An increase in asparagus consumption would thus be beneficial to one's health.
Rich in Antioxidant carotenoids
Carotenoid pigments found in asparagus include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and capsanthin. As asparagus ripens, lutein and beta-carotene concentrations decline while zeaxanthin and capsanthin concentrations increase. Carotenoids are antioxidant chemicals, and eating foods high in carotenoids has been associated to a decreased risk of developing some malignancies and cardiovascular disorders.
A great source of folate (vitamin B9)
Asparagus is high in folate, ranking fifth among foods after beef liver and some forms of legumes. Five cooked asparagus spears supply around 25% of the daily folate requirement for the general population and 15% to 20% for pregnant or nursing women. Canned asparagus has about the same amount of folate as fresh asparagus.
Thiols are abundant in this food.
Asparagus comes first among fifteen plants in terms of its concentration of two forms of thiols, glutathione and acetylcysteine. These substances are thought to have varying levels of antioxidant activity. Glutathione, among other things, may increase the clearance of oxidized cholesterol, which is extremely harmful to the arteries. Consuming glutathione-rich foods may help reduce the incidence of upper digestive tract cancer. Because these findings are unrelated to the particular intake of asparagus, additional research will be required to determine the impact of this vegetable's thiol consumption.
Rich in Saponins
Saponin, mostly protodioscin, is found in asparagus. This saponin is renowned for its toxic effects in vitro on specific human cancer cells, in addition to adding to asparagus's antioxidant activity. Although the effect of this effect on asparagus eating has not been studied, researchers have discovered that the lower section (base) of this vegetable contains up to 100 times more protodioscin than the top part (tip). Because the base of asparagus is frequently removed before ingestion, the compound's therapeutic properties are often lost.
Phytoestrogens with anti-cancer properties?
Asparagus includes trace levels of phytoestrogens isoflavones and lignans. These chemicals, which have a similar structure to estrogen, may lower the risk of some malignancies. It should be noted that asparagus has a far lower isoflavone level than soy products (around 200 times less isoflavones than tofu and 90 times less than soy milk). In contrast, the quantity of lignans found in asparagus is usually equivalent to or greater than that found in soy products. Furthermore, cooking asparagus would have little effect on its phytoestrogen levels. Asparagus may therefore aid in increasing dietary phytoestrogen consumption.
Prebiotic impact of fructooligosaccharides
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or oligofructoses are a form of carbohydrate found in a variety of plants and fruits, including asparagus, onion, chicory, artichoke, garlic, and bananas. Fructooligosaccharides are known for their health advantages, including their prebiotic action, beneficial influence on mineral absorption, and decrease in cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and blood phospholipid levels.
Rich in Sulphide compounds
Dimer, a sulfur component, has been discovered in a number of crops, including asparagus. This molecule has recently been discovered in urine and human plasma, demonstrating antioxidant capabilities. These findings are encouraging, but further study is needed to fully comprehend the compound's effects on humans.
Culinary interests of asparagus
In both fresh and preserved asparagus, cooking tends to increase the amount of some phenolic compounds. Overcooking asparagus, on the other hand, might lower its flavonoid concentration. Boiling asparagus for 60 minutes, for example, can reduce its content by up to 45 percent. As a result, it's critical to cook them in a small amount of water, in the oven, in the microwave, or in a skillet, for only the amount of time required to soften them. Furthermore, the tips of green and white asparagus would have a higher concentration of particular minerals than the base of the asparagus (1.5 to 2.5 times more). This is fantastic news, because asparagus tips are extremely popular among customers.
How to choose the right asparagus?
Contrary to common opinion, fine asparagus is less tender than giant asparagus because it contains more woody fiber. Select asparagus with tightly closed and compact tips. Purple asparagus is available in the market. Cooking, on the other hand, causes them to lose their color.
Prior to cooking, choose those with constricted toes and a still-wet heel.
How to keep asparagus?
The longer you wait to consume asparagus, the more fibrous it will become, especially at room temperature. Their sugars swiftly convert to starch, and the growth of woody tissue is expedited, giving it a harsh flavor.
Refrigerator: first, cover the bundle's base in moist paper towels and place everything in a plastic bag. Alternatively, set them upright in a container with 2 inches of water. They will keep for about a week.
Asparagus will stay in the freezer for around 8 months after being blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water. They must be cooked without being thawed.
canned: peel them and set them in a jar of salted water with a little lemon juice, making sure they don't come into contact with the capsule.
How to cook them?
If you eat them raw, avoid using a sauce that is overly rich, since this can cause them to lose all of their virtues and tastes.
If you cook them, the optimal method is to use steam to retain all of the vegetable's delicacy. You may also cook the asparagus “au blanc,” which means with water, flour, salt, lemon, and a glass of white wine, preserving their wonderful color while seasoning them.
Whether we prefer it green or white, cooked or raw, asparagus provides a plethora of culinary options. It adds as many hues as vitamins to the dish and is an excellent ally in the production of nutritious and appetizing meals.
1.The Flemish design. Serve with melted butter and 1⁄2 a hot hard-boiled egg. The guest crushes the egg yolk with a fork, seasoning it, and mounting it in butter on the dish;
2.Steamed or boiled The green ones take 3 to 5 minutes, while the white ones take 8 to 12 minutes, depending on their diameter.
3.Floods are number three. Serve them with a yogurt-based dip and garnish with greens, whites, and violets;
4.Roasted. Simply brush them with olive oil and a pinch of spice salt, or marinade them in a sauce prepared with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard seeds. After that, cook them in the oven or on the grill (5 to 7 minutes, in either case).
5. Served with Mornay or Hollandaise sauce;
6. topped with grated Parmesan cheese Brown in the oven and serve with a knob of butter;
7. Served with a green sauce composed of yogurt and herbs.
8. Served with a sauce made of butter, orange juice and zest, salt, and pepper.
9. Stir-fry dishes from China. Cook the pieces cut into 1 to 2 cm lengths in heated oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Alternatively, sauté them with shiitake mushrooms and peas. Cook until the veggies are soft, then add the orange juice. Serve with orange wedges and toasted nuts on lettuce.
10. After blanching them for 5 minutes, use them to make an omelet.
11. As a soup, cream, or soup;
12. As an appetizer. Cook them first, then combine them with sour cream, onion, garlic, and salt.
13.As a garnish for canapés Serve delicate tips with a dollop of cream or yogurt.
14.Asparagus may also be used as a foundation in the preparation of ice cream.
15.Asparagus is also delicious candied in sugar syrup and topped with an orange or lemon mousse.
Asparagus contraindications and allergies
As with any cuisine, there are a few precautions to take when eating asparagus. The most serious of these contraindications is likely the use of an anticoagulant medication, with which the vitamin K content of asparagus may conflict.
Anticoagulants and vitamin K
Asparagus has a high vitamin K content. This vitamin, which is required for blood clotting among other things, may be produced by the body in addition to being present in specific foods. People who use anticoagulant medications (Coumadin®, Warfilone®, Sintrom®, etc.) should consume a diet with a rather steady vitamin K level from day to day. Asparagus is one of the meals that should only be consumed once a day. Each time, a serving of 250 mL (1 cup) is advised. People on anticoagulant medication are highly encouraged to visit a dietitian-nutritionist or a doctor to learn about dietary sources of vitamin K and to maintain a consistent daily dose.
Botulism and asparagus
Food botulism is caused by consuming botulinum toxin-contaminated food. Inadequate home canning of low-acid items like asparagus has been linked to a number of documented cases of food botulism.
Symptoms of this type of poisoning emerge 6 to 36 hours after taking the offending meal. They are characterized by double or hazy vision, trouble speaking and absorbing, a parched mouth, and weariness. Food botulism is still uncommon, but because it may be lethal, additional precautions should be taken to avoid it, particularly when home canning.