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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 January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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