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The Amazing Health Benefits of Asparagus + 5 Great Recipes

The Amazing Health Benefits of Asparagus + 5 Great Recipes

Asparagus is one of the most delicious vegetables of the spring and it is easy to overlook the fact that it is such a nutritional powerhouse. But the benefits of asparagus are just as amazing as its taste, and include everything from more better skin to stronger bones.

Asparagus Promotes Beautiful Skin

A clear, glowing complexion is a necessary part of being truly beautiful….and asparagus can help. Why? It is rich in vitamin E, which is one of the nutrients your skin cells need to help reproduce and keep your skin looking fresh, firm and young-looking. Part of this is the antioxidant power of this vitamin which reduces oxidative stress and slows the aging process.

Asparagus Gives Your Strong and Healthy Bones

You probably know all about the fact that you need plenty of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet to build strong bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of fractures later on in life. But did you also know that generous amounts of vitamin K  are needed for bone health as well? And you can get it with foods like asparagus, which contains vitamin K in spades.

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Asparagus Improves Your Digestion

If sluggish digestion, heartburn or feeling overly full is a problem, consider adding more asparagus to your diet. Asparagus is an incredibly fiber-rich food and fiber is one of the best things for your g.i. tract, acting as a sort of scrubber to clean it out and keep it free of extra waste and improving the whole digestive process. It can also help reduce your chances of problems like constipation.

Asparagus Helps You Get Rid of Water Weight and Bloating

Excess water weight and feeling bloated or swollen is just no fun – but there are natural ways to help deal with this. Asparagus is one of them. It is a great source of an amino acid called asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic to remove extra fluids and salts from the body. This makes it a great choice for people who suffer from chronic edema problems or certain heart conditions.

Asparagus Strengthens Your Immune System

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have to spare a week or two by nursing yourself out of a cold or the flu. A diet which includes vitamin C can prevent this from happening because it strengthens your immune system and makes it easier to fight off bacteria and viruses – and asparagus is powerhouse for this important nutrient.

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Asparagus Boosts Your Brain

Most people worry at least a little bit about cognitive decline as they age – the slow loss of memory, reasoning and other skills that can eventually lead to a loss of independence if they get bad enough. However, a diet which includes asparagus can help keep the brain active and agile: it is a good source of folate which, along with B-12, keeps the neurons of the brain healthy. Studies have shown that older adults with healthy levels of these nutrients performed better on tests that called for mental agility and flexibility.

Asparagus Helps Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control

Anyone with diabetes knows how hard it can be to keep the blood sugars balanced and under control. Diet makes a big difference – and asparagus is a great dietary choice to make. This vegetable gives you plenty of chromium, a trace mineral that is needed in small amounts in order for insulin to more efficiently transport sugar from your blood and into your cells where it is needed for energy. Several studies have linked chromium to better blood sugar control.

Asparagus is Easy to Add to Your Diet

Want some great new ways to try asparagus? Here are five simple, diverse recipes that show it at its best.

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1. Asparagus Soup

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    2. Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

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      3. Asparagus and Shrimp

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        4. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

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          5. Asparagus Stir-Fry

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            These recipes are all widely different, but each one showcases the amazing flavor of this vegetable and each is simple and easy to put together so that you can start benefiting from its unique blend of vitamins, minerals and fiber that can start improve your health today.

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on September 10, 2019

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

            Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

            This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

            One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

            Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

            Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

            1. Gratitude

            Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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            The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

            Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

            So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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              2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

              This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

              For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

              What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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              Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

              3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

              This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

              Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

              An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

              Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

              write down goals

                4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                6. Rise Earlier

                The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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