Food of Kings

Asparagus

As the season of spring approaches, one can find asparagus lovers walking along the side of a dirt road in Iowa, looking for wild asparagus growing in the ditches.

Originating 4,000 years ago the eastern Mediterranean regions of the Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Spanish, Persians, and Babylonians this elegant spring vegetable was prized so much so that Queen Nefertiti of Egypt considered asparagus the “food of gods.” Meanwhile, King Louis XIV of France named it the “food of kings.”  Early Greeks and Romans actually believed that asparagus had healing qualities and could be used to treat bee stings and toothaches.  In 1100 AD, Byzantine physicians had declared it a medicinal plant.  Romans considered it an aphrodisiac.

Urine Production

A natural diuretic, asparagus can help increase urine production in the body.  By expelling water from the body, it reduces the concentration of unnecessary salts and fluids.

This is helpful for people suffering from edema, which is retention of water in the body tissues or high blood pressure.

Good for Digestive Tract 

Asparagus has a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is crucial for digestive health.  Dietary fiber
removes mucoid plaque and other toxins from the gut while being expelled.

With regular bowel movements, you find relief from constipation, and gain some protection from colon cancer.  The fiber inulin (a prebiotic ‘a good bacteria food source’ complex of sugar used medically to test    kidney function) in asparagus promotes healthy bacteria growth in the gut.


Healthy Bone

Being rich in vitamin K, asparagus helps lower the risk of coronary calcification and coronary heart disease.

Vitamin K helps you absorb more calcium, and you can thereby prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Pregnancy

Significantly lowers miscarriages or neural tube defects because of folic acid, while chances of low weight, premature delivery, and retardation decrease.

 

 

Destroys Carcinogens

Carcinogens are a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.

Rheumatism is a disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints or muscles.

Asparagus is particularly efficient in immunizing against varieties of bone, breast, lung, pancreatic, cervical, and colon cancers.

Vitamin B3 Niacin (9%) can reduce swelling and lower joint pain.Asparagus has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Since inflammation and chronic oxidative stress often cause cancer, the  anti-inflammatory benefits of asparagus can be a great way to ward it off.

Fights Depression

Depression is becoming more common every day partly because of increased stress and partly because of high homocysteine (amino acid) levels, which impede the pathway to the brain for nutrients and blood cells.  This affects production and secretion of some important hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.   These hormones make you feel good and keep your spirits high.  Besides regulating your mood, these hormones also regulate sleep and appetite, so including asparagus in your diet can help ensure emotional stability.

High homocysteine levels also increases chances of heart diseases.

Blood-Sugar Regulation

The soluble fibers and antioxidants in asparagus can help prevent type 2 diabetes.  They slow down the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract, while the antioxidants remove inflammation associated with    diabetes.

The B vitamins also help metabolize starches and sugars and help manage blood sugar.

Calcium has direct effect on the pancreatic cells that regulate insulin secretion.

Skin Health 

Asparagus is excellent for getting rid of acne (even the severe type).

Its antioxidant glutathione fights free radicals and reverses the aging effect of sun damage on skin.

It also helps heal skin wounds faster.

Copper also helps build collagen and produces elastin (a protein forming the main constituent of elastic connective tissue), which improves the skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Kidney Stone Prevention

Asparagus also contains vitamin B6, which decreases urinary oxalate production, a factor behind calcium oxalate kidney stone production.

It can flush out superfluous salt and fluids from your body as well as toxins in the kidneys, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming.

Anti-urolithiatic (Urolithiasis describedcalculi or stones that form the urinary tract) effect, which can help prevent or cure urinary tract infection by eliminating formation of stony concretions in the tract.

If you aren’t suffering from uric acid kidney stones, however, and want to prevent kidney stones in general, asparagus is a great choice.

Menstrual Health

PMS, mood fluctuation, cramps, and uncomfortably heavy  flows often accompany periods.

Asparagus contains vitamin K and calcium, which can help  combat these symptoms if you happen to have them.

Vitamin K regulates our hormones so that you don’t experience cramps and other pains of menstruation.

Boosts Fertility

It reduces lipid per-oxidation in sperm cells, keeping them
healthy and motile, and also thickens the lining of the uterus.

Vitamin C plus Folate promote and nourish sperm cells and increase sperm count, keeping it voluminous and healthy.

Mainly, Folate helps create sperm cells with the correct chromosomal structure that is required for fertilization.

Hangovers


Hangovers are often accompanied by:  anxiety, nausea, fatigue, dehydration, and stomach disorders.

 

Brain Health

The impact neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, can be very harmful.

By adding more asparagus to your diet, however, you can lessen your chances of developing such diseases.

 

 

Interesting Facts:

  • White asparagus is grown underground or under plastic domes, and the lack of chlorophyll gives it its shade.
  • Purple asparagus is naturally grown and has a fruity flavor that is often enjoyed raw.
  • When it’s really hot outside, asparagus can grow up to seven inches in a single day.
  • Asparagus, coming from the salty Mediterranean basins, can tolerate high levels of soil salinity, which is why farmers once used sea salt as a herbicide.

Recipe tip: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Brush the mix over the asparagus and grill for about 4 minutes on each side.

Sources:

http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-asparagus/

http://drjockers.com/top-5-health-benefits-of-asparagus/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895471

 

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Blueberries, Little Blue Dynamos

In 1974, the USDA declared July as National Blueberry month.  In the 1990’s health researchers began to explore the antioxidant activity in Blueberries.  In 2010 Blueberries became “little blue dynamos” and are considered a “superfood” since they’re full of antioxidants and phyto-flavinoids, both protect body from stress and cell damage.

1. Blueberries are Low in Calories, but high in nutrients ~ Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries. A 1 cup serving (148 grams) of Blueberries contains: Fiber: 4 gram, Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA, Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA, Manganese: 25% of the RDA, Water about 85%

2. Blueberries are the King of Antioxidant Foods ~ Antioxidants help our cells fight stress by neutralizing other environmental damaging effects that cause damage to our cells by 20%.   Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

3. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage ~ which may help protect against aging and cancer.  Oxidative DNA damage (like rusting metal) is part of everyday life and is the reason for the aging process.  It is said to occur tens of thousands of times per day, in every single cell in the body.

4. Blueberries Protect Cholesterol in The Blood From Becoming Damaged ~ Oxidative damage is not limited to our cells and DNA.  It is also problematic when our circulating LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are oxidized.

5. Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure ~ Blueberries appear to have significant benefits to 8% reduction in the risk for developing high blood pressure (hypertension). The anthocyanins (blue, violet, red pigments) in Blueberries help open blood vessels, which allows for smoother blood flow and a lower risk for high blood pressure.

6. Blueberries May Help Prevent Heart Disease ~ In a 2013 study on 93,600 nurses, eating plenty of blue, violet, red pigments linked to a 32% lower risk of heart attacks.

7. Blueberries Can Help Maintain Brain Function and Improve Memory ~ Oxidative stress can accelerate the brain’s aging process, having negative effects on brain function.  According to animal studies, the antioxidants in Blueberries tend to accumulate in areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence.  They appear to directly interact with aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling.  Human studies have also shown promising results. (BrainMemory)

8. Blueberries Can Have Anti-Diabetic Effects ~ Research suggests that these blue, violet, red pigments in blueberries can have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.  In a study of 32 obese subjects with insulin resistance, a blueberry smoothie caused major improvements in insulin sensitivity (Diabetic).  Improved insulin sensitivity should lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, which are currently some of the world’s biggest health problems.

9. Blueberries May Help Fight Urinary Tract Infections ~ Urinary tract infections are a common problem in women.  It is well known that cranberry juice can help prevent these types of infections.  Blueberries are highly related to cranberries, and contain many of the same active substances as cranberry juice (UTI).  These substances are called anti-adhesives, and help prevent bacteria like E. colifrom binding to the wall of the bladder.

10. Blueberries May Help Reduce Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise ~ Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue, in part, by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue (Muscle). Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduction in muscle performance.  In a small study of 10 female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises (Recovery).

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Promoting a lifestyle of preventative care!
WELLNESS PRINCIPAL:  Health comes from within.  You cannot buy it in a bottle.
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