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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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