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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 May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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