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What to Eat Right Now: Asparagus   
Daily Dose
We’re all for quick, nutritious meals, and asparagus has helped in this arena for literally thousands of years. Fun fact: The first Emperor of the Roman Empire was a fan, and even came up with a Latin phrase that translates to “faster than cooking asparagus” to describe a quick action. Even better (for those living in colder climates like Cleveland at least!), seeing it in farmer’s markets is a definite sign that spring is right around the corner.

Why It’s Good for You

The importance of digestive health has taken a commanding lead in the health and wellness space; it’s why we’re seeing probiotics added to countless food items, and why more research is focusing on the role of our gut microbiome for obesity, cancer, neurological function, and overall health. And that’s where asparagus come in: It contains inulin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic to support the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. As a good source of other dietary fibers with almost 4g per cup, asparagus is truly a great way to improve gut health.

Each cup of cooked asparagus also provides over 100% of your recommended amount of vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation, calcium regulation, and blood clotting. It also provides over 65% of your recommended amount of folic acid, essential for RNA and DNA production, red blood cell production, and brain function. Asparagus packs other B vitamins, antioxidant vitamins C & E, and other compounds that together make this a unique, nutrient-rich food.

Best Ways to Eat It

Choose asparagus that is firm with smooth skin and a bright green color (although purple and white varieties are available as well) and plan to prepare it within a few days of purchasing. Simply trim the less tender ends by cutting or snapping each spear. Asparagus can be eaten raw (shavings are often used in salads) but usually it’s cooked by roasting, steaming, sautéing, stir-frying, or grilling.

Make it a Meal

While it’s easy enough to serve simply grilled or roasted asparagus alongside fish or poultry, we love the idea of making asparagus the star of the meal. Our Roasted Asparagus Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing makes for a satisfying and delicious lunch or light dinner.

Perfect Pairings
Here are a few ways to highlight asparagus this spring:
  • Whole grain pasta with asparagus, peas, and tomatoes
  • Mushroom and asparagus frittata
  • Part of a grilled vegetable medley
  • Sautéed with slivered almonds and lemon
  • Stir-fried with chicken, red peppers, and cashews
  • Shaved raw on a salad with orange and avocado

ADDED TO  Food- Cooking, Food- Healthy Snacks, Food- Smart Choices  1273 days 19 hours 31 min ago
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