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The mighty asparagus

We can’t talk about asparagus without mentioning the unmentionable – the strange odour it gives our urine! Help! What is that?! Apparently not everyone can smell it and it’s all down to our genes whether we can or not! So if it wasn’t any good for us we probably wouldn’t eat it for that reason.

Way back in time it was known for its diuretic properties and was regarded as an aphrodisiac. In the nineteenth century French grooms were apparently fed 3 courses of asparagus on their wedding nights to help with performance -although science doesn’t seem to back this up!

The diuretic properties come from an amino acid called asparagine and can be helpful in cases of urinary tract infections as it helps to flush out the bad bacteria. Lots of other conditions benefit from this diuretic property such as pre- menstrual bloating and high blood pressure.

Asparagus contains inulin. Inulin is a plant fibre that feeds our healthy gut bacteria – yes they need fed but they like the good stuff. Inulin is useful in constipation and because it is a fibre can help to curb appetite and so potentially help with weight loss. It binds to toxins and excess cholesterol helping to remove them from the body, reducing the risk of heart disease. Asparagus is good for our bones due to its vitamin K content. It is also a very good source of a molecule called glutathione.

Nicknamed ‘the Mother of all anti-oxidants’ by Dr Mark Hyman it is indeed so important that our body makes its own! Unfortunately in today’s world of toxins, pollution, medications, bad diet etc our supplies get used up. So it’s good to know we can replenish the cupboard by eating things like asparagus.

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