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8 Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Asparagus!

8 Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Asparagus!

One of the earliest signs of a new growing season is the presence of asparagus at the supermarket. Asparagus is a tall plant from the lily family whose shoots are edible and considered a health vegetable that is perfect for almost any diet. There are many reasons why everyone should be eating asparagus. Let’s take a look at exactly why you should make this tasty vegetable a part of your diet.

1. Asparagus is Loaded With Nutrients

Asparagus is loaded with nutrients your body needs such as fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. It also contains chromium, a mineral that helps improve insulin’s ability to remove glucose from the body’s cells, meaning it is great for diabetics.

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2. It Will Keep You Regular

All jokes about the smell of your urine after you eat asparagus aside, this little veggie is a natural diuretic due to the presence of the amino acid asparagine. This increased urination will help your body shed excess salts, which is particular beneficial for anyone that retains too much fluid in their bodies.

3. Asparagus Can Help You Shed Excess Weight

At only 3 calories per spear, asparagus is a great vegetable to add to any diet, and especially good for those that are looking to lose weight. You can easily snack on these at any time without having to worry about the extra calories. Just think of it as a guilt-free snack.

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4. It Helps Prevent Cancer

Asparagus is a great source for glutathione, a known agent that can help your body break down and remove carcinogens from your body. This means that it, in effect, can help prevent cancer from forming and growing in your body.

5. Naturally Organic

Asparagus is one of the fastest growing of all the spring vegetables. Because of this fact, there is very little need to continually spray them with pesticides to protect the crops. While some are still used, asparagus has some of the lowest concentrations of any non-organic crop on the market. Of course, you can still buy organic to support the cause, but you have less to worry about it when you purchase asparagus.

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6. Great Food for Bacteria

Remember, not all bacteria are bad. In fact, there are many types of bacteria living inside each and every one of us as we speak, and without them we couldn’t survive. Asparagus contains a unique carbohydrate known as Inunlin. This carb is great for those bacteria living inside you as it promotes healthy growth and activity of these bacteria.

7. Natural Aphrodisiac

Admittedly, more research needs to be done in this area, but it is a long held belief that asparagus is an aphrodisiac. Whether you are male or female, there is a long held belief that it can help improve your sex drive and it has even been used to increase pregnancy chances and to treat many of the symptoms of menopause.

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8. It Tastes Great

I admit, taste is a rather subjective subject. However, when it is prepared correctly, asparagus tastes great and can compliment almost any meal. There are many ways you can prepare it. You can steam it, roast it and even grill it. No matter which method you choose, you will have a wonderful side dish perfect for almost any meal.

To steam asparagus, place a steamer basket in a saucepan and add water filling the saucepan to just below the basket. Bring the water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the basket, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes covered until the asparagus is somewhat tender yet crisp.

Who Should Eat It

With very few downsides to asparagus, it is really a great vegetable for everyone to enjoy. When you do eat it, make sure you cut off the very bottom of each of the stalks, as they tend to be difficult to chew. Some people who are following a strict diet for other health reasons should always consult with their physician before adding asparagus to their diet.

Conclusion

Asparagus is a great tasting vegetable that is good for your health in many ways, making it the perfect side dish for any meal or even a great snack idea to help get you through those hungry times. With all its health benefits and its great taste, it’s perfect for anyone looking to live a healthier life. So why not steam some asparagus today and start reaping all the benefits it has to offer.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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