Celebrate spring with the nutritious benefits of asparagus

By Wendell Fowler

Woohoo! Spring is here, so it’s time to celebrate the season of re-birth with the edible, young, health-creating shoots of the noble asparagus plant.

I remember mom opening a can or defrosting frozen pre-cooked, slimly asparagus resembling swamp foam. No wonder why many folks are grossed out by its mere mention. Well, those days are in the past as beautiful souls gradually awaken from their programming (did you take the blue or red pill?) to the truth that plant foods in their freshest, most energetic, organic state, are earth’s supreme pharmacist.

Fresh, not canned or pre-cooked and flash-frozen, asparagus owns a galaxy of brilliant health benefits. Mayo Clinic reports asparagus detoxifies our temple’s internal ecosystem, speed-bumps aging, protects against cancer and heart disease, reduces pain and inflammation, prevents osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and with its folic acid, can prevent birth defects. The green spears are a rich source of folate, which speed-bumps aging and supports brain health.

The member of the lily family contains protein, antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamins A, K and C and glutathione, a plant amino acid compound medical scientists believe can prevent some kinds of cancers.

Planning and planting your summer garden? Asparagus is said to be a useful companion plant for tomatoes, as tomato plants repel the asparagus beetle.

Growing and harvesting asparagus requires patience. The nutritious crunch spears are usually not harvested until the third or fourth year to allow the crown to develop a strong root system. The plants will produce spears for about 15 years. Under good conditions, spears can grow 10 inches in 24 hours.

For 100 years, we’ve been encouraged to eat dead, zero energy processed food from a can or box, rather than God’s colorful apothecary, and it’s abundantly clear we’ve been detoured off the sensible road of nutritional righteousness.

And for goodness’ sake, evolve! Buy fresh at the local farmer’s market, not frozen or canned, and please, don’t cook it to oblivion. Heat kills the digestive enzymes and destroys asparagus’ impressive vitamin profile. Take the “less you do to a food, the more the food does for you,” approach. We either lightly steam or grill them al dente’, leaving a little crunch inside. If it’s goes limp, you’ve overcooked it. BTW: asphyxiating asparagus spears in Hollandaise isn’t cool

With eyes closed, bite into and feel the toothy crunch of a freshly harvested spring asparagus and taste the flavor of health. May you be strong, healthy and enjoy well-being.