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Aphrodisiacal Asparagus?


Recently, I chatted about this cool javelin-shaped veggie that is currently making it's debut at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores.  The name for asparagus (a member of the lily family), comes from the Greek word meaning “shoot” or “sprout.” Now widely cultivated throughout the world, this regal vegetable is believed to have originated 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region, where it was prized for its unique texture and alleged medicinal and aphrodisiacal qualities. (Aphrodisiac?  Hmmm...maybe that's why my parents were always trying to grow it?!?)  Besides these supposed aphrodisiacal qualities, this lovely spring veggie has lots to nutritionally share with us:

1.  It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium...a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
2.  This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a great source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer; such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
3.  Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process...and that my friends, is always a good thing!
4.  Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like other leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 (found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy) to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases greatly with age.)
5.  One more beautiful benefit of asparagus: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic.  Increased urination not only releases fluid, but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body's tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
And here's one last interesting nugget of asparagus trivia for you...apparently, some people say eating asparagus causes a strong odor to their urine??  Asparagus contains a unique compound that, when metabolized, gives off a distinctive smell in the urine. Young asparagus contains higher concentrations of the compound so the odor is stronger after eating these vernal shoots. There are, however, no harmful effects, either from the sulfuric compounds or the odor! While it is believed that most people produce these odorous compounds after eating asparagus, few people have the ability to detect the smell. 

Well, there you go... perhaps more than you ever wanted to know about asparagus!  Admittedly, it is always a blast to throw out an interesting blog title to the world.  We will see how many hits I get with my Aphrodisiacal Asparagus blog post. that's one way to educate the world! 

Springtime Asparagus and Chicken Penne Pasta

  • 1 llb. organic whole wheat pasta, penne or any type you like
  • 8 asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. good quality EVOO
  • 4 organic chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to package directions, 9 to 10 minutes. Add asparagus during last three minutes of cooking.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add salt, pepper,  basil and wine; bring to a boil over high heat, reduce, and simmer until liquid is almost gone and chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add reserved pasta, asparagus and the parmesan cheese to skillet; toss to coat and serve immediately.


  1. So funny you posted this when asparagus is exactly what I bought and made from our Farmer's Market trip last Saturday :)
    It was delish, I just added organic olive oil and sea salt and grilled them.

    Ps. You've got mail, want to join me this Saturday? :)


  2. Hurrah! At last I got a blog from where I be able to in fact obtain helpful data regarding my study and knowledge.

    Have a look at my web blog Diet Plans for Women to Lose Weight


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