*The vegetable asparagus are the tender, succulent, fleshy, young shoots or spears of the plant that are produced from an underground crown of the plant Asparagus officinalis, a member of Liliaceae (Lily family).
*Dehydrated asparagus are asparagus shoots from which most of the moisture is removed.
*They have increased shelf life, inexpensive than the fresh ones or canned ones, and weigh less.
*These are excellent as emergency foods, and widely used in army, military, hiking, etc.
*Dehydrated asparagus need to be rehydrated with cold water for about 15-20 minutes and then cooked. They take a little longer to cook than the fresh or canned ones. On rehydration, the weight and volume increases 2.5 to 3 times their dry weight.
*When rehydrated and cooked, they taste very similar to the fresh or canned asparagus.
*Buying and storage: Select good quality dehydrated asparagus spears. They keep very well for several months when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. No need to refrigerate or add oxygen absorbers to the storage container.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, generally dehydrated asparagus are raw.
*No, because sometimes commercially dehydrated asparagus are sulphured. Make sure you read the label.
1. Asparagus is very low in calories, fats, sodium, and absolutely no cholesterol.
2. Excellent source of Vitamin C, a natural water soluble antioxidant. It enhances the body's immune system, increases the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, and prevents bruising of the skin.
3. Excellent source of Vitamin A and betacarotenes. They enhance the eye sight, fight against acne, and result in smooth radiant skin.
4. Beta-carotenes act as powerful antioxidants and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer, enhance the vision, especially night vision, reduce the risk of cataract formation and macular degeneration in the elderly.
5. Vitamins A and C together also act as powerful antioxidants. They scavenge the free radicals and reduce the risk of inflammatory, cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
6. Very good source of Vitamin K, which plays a very important role in building and maintaining strong bones. It acts by activating a protein in the bones called osteocalcin that anchors calcium in the bones and helps in mineralization of the bones.
7. Good source of Vitamin E and selenium, which are natural antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that oxidize fats, preserves the integrity of cell membranes, and protects our body.
8. Good sources of Vitamin B6 and folic acid, which are very important in reducing the risk of diabetic heart disease, atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia, heart attack, etc by reducing the homocysteine levels in the blood.
9. They are low in sodium and have good amounts of potassium, and so help to maintain blood pressure and reduce water retention. Good amounts of potassium is also important for active muscles and nerves.
10. Low sodium and high potassium combined with the amino acid, asparagine, makes asparagus a very good diuretic. Asparagus is used in the treatment of PMS-related water retention and hypertension.
11. Very good source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in many enzymatic reactions in the body, especially in the production of energy and antioxidants defenses.
12. Very good source of copper, which reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, enhances the activity of enzymes that are needed to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments and joints.
13. Very good source of iron, which helps in respiration at the cellular level by synthesizing hemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen to cells.
14. Moderate source of magnesium. It helps in relieving fatigue, relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus relieving the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches, tension and soreness in muscles etc.
15. Excellent source of dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, reducing the risk of colon cancer, etc.
16. Good source of inulin that promotes the growth of the beneficial intestinal flora in the colon, which fight against harmful bacteria and promote a healthy colon. Inulin is a polysaccharide that cannot be digested in the human intestinal tract but can be digested by the intestinal flora.
17. Very good source of rutin, a flavonoid and antioxidant that strengthens the capillary walls.
18. Used to treat urinary tract infections, and stones in the kidneys and urinary bladder.
19. It is a natural diuretic and laxative, thus has beneficial effect s on bowel, kidneys and liver.