Asparagus – one of the best foods you can eat

This little vegetable looks interestingly funny doesn’t it? It looks more like a green weapon than something you cook and eat. I used to always see asparagus as a dish garnish, usually for steak or other meat, and never thought of eating it. Only recently have I discovered the wonders of this amazing vegetable.

The health benefits of asparagus is quite a long list, and I believe is one of the best vegetable to be eating if you are guilty of not eating enough vegetables and fruits, because just in this one food alone it contains most of the key vitamins you need. Below are some of the health benefits from eating asparagus.

Detoxification

Asparagus have 288 milligram of potassium, and potassium is good for reducing fats in the tummy area. It has low sodium content, no fat or cholesterol, and 1 cup of serving only contains 40 calories. It also contains an amino acid named, Asparagine, that cleanses the body of all toxins. Asparagine is the culprit for making your urine smell really pungent after eating asparagus.

The diuretic effect helps in kidney related problems and water retention, making it good to eat during pregnancy or menstruation. Many pregnant women are advised to take asparagus to lower risks of birth defects too.

Anti-aging properties

Asparagus is rich in folate, vitamin A and high in glutathoine (GSH) which is a compound containing potent anti-oxidant properties and protect cells from free radicals. It also helps fight brain cognitive decline. For those suffering from hair loss, taking asparagus regularly will help stimulate hair growth as well.

Mood boosting food

It fights depression and boosts your mood in general after taking it because it balances insulin levels, ensuring a stabilized general mood.

High in folate

Because asparagus is high in folate, it is said to reduce risks of heart diseases, reduces inflammation and pain, and as a important protection against cancer.

Preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

Being the number 1 source of vitamin K, it provides what is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, which is the protein in bone tissues. Vitamin K also aids in bone formation and repair.

Ways to prepare Asparagus

I prefer mine steamed and plain. But if you like to have more flavor I would suggest lightly steaming the asparagus and then wrap a slice of smoked salmon around it. It isn’t enough to make a meal but would make an excellent healthy snack.

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B for BANANAS!

Bananas are good for you in more ways than it is widely known for. They are one of the superfoods you can integrate into your daily eating habits. Compared to the more popular fruit, the apple, bananas have five times as much vitamin A and iron, three times as much phosphorus and is very rich in potassium. Here are some of the benefits of bananas you might not have known.

Image taken from ‘http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20464846,00.html’

  • Bananas give you energy boosts that are better than caffeine and sugary snacks
  • Potassium in bananas give you maximum performance when exercising or doing tasks that requires physical exertion
  • Potassium is also good for regulating blood circulation in the body, reducing stroke and maintain a regular heartbeat
  • Bananas have fiber that regulates bowel movements
  • Bananas have a chemical called Tryptophan that boosts your mood and makes you feel happier (note to guys: feed your partner bananas when it’s nearing *that* time of the month)
  • Bananas greatly reduce menstrual cramps
  • Bananas help you focus better at work
  • Bananas cure fatigue and hangovers, again, it’s a healthier alternative to coffee
My favourite way of preparing bananas is making it into a smoothie! Here are a couple of recipes you can try using bananas with.
Banana and honey smoothie
Add 2 bananas, 1 tablespoon of organic Manuka honey, and 3 tablespoon of organic yogurt with 4 ice cubes and mix in blender. This takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and it tastes sooo good. Even typing this recipe out now is making me crave for it! This is best taken before or after exercising as it replenishes your body after losing fluids through sweat.
Banana and berry smoothie
Add 2 bananas, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 3 tablespoon of organic yogurt (optional) and mix in blender. If you want it colder just throw in a couple more of ice cubes. This is perfect for a morning perk-me-up in summer (which is practically everyday here in Singapore. Pfft.)
Frozen banana “ice cream”
I just peel the banana, put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it in the freezer. When it’s thoroughly frozen, the texture is almost like ice cream and tastes delicious and it’s a natural food! You can mash it up in a bowl and put some real ice cream with it if you’re in for a real treat.
*UPDATE* After typing this delicious entry, me and my partner both ended up indulging in ice cream!!!

Cooking attempt #1

I contemplated really hard as to whether I should post this up or not. I have no idea what this dish would be called, but it’s basically simmered broccoli, red bell peppers and shitake mushrooms. Along with it is some pan simmered (?) noodles. It turned out surprisingly nice actually. These pictures were taken on impulse while cooking and it doesn’t look exactly good but that’s what happens when you are cooking and trying to snap the best picture at the same time. I’d still give myself points for effort though! And my partner liked it, so I don’t think it was bad at all. 😀

What I did was make my own soup stock from scratch. I am particularly proud of being able to make my soup stock from fresh ingredients as I used to rely on packaged soup stock that can be found in supermarkets. I added chicken with bones, parsley, corriander, onions, garlic and some chili to the pot and filled it with water. I left it to boil and then simmer for around an hour. When it’s done, I removed the chicken and separated the meat from the bones, and kept the soup aside.

Next I stir fried some garlic in olive oil on my pan and added the red bell peppers and mushrooms. Then I put some of the soup stock in the pan and added the broccoli and left it to simmer. After that I used the remaining soup stock to boil and cook the noodles. When it was cooked, I put it in the pan and stir fry (?) it a little and added a little light soy sauce.

I mentioned that I stir fry, but there wasn’t any real frying just lots of stirring in the pan.. So I really have no idea how to describe it!

Well, there you have it. An attempt on stir-frying noodles and a very bad description of my dish on this blog. Today’s lesson also made me aware that I have very little utensils I can use at home, but it was really fun!