Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

Five Benefits of Asparagus, plus Roasted Asparagus Soup Recipe

I love asparagus! It is one of my favorite vegetables! Some of the benefits of asparagus are:

1. It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

2. This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

3. Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.

4. Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)

5. One more benefit of asparagus: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.

So, with all of that in mind, here’s a wonderful Asparagus Soup recipe:

Roasted Asparagus Soup

2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
1 onion finely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and asparagus, cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

If I’m not having a vegan day, I like to top mine with a small round of goat cheese.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do!

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