We try to eat asparagus once a week because it is a vegetable packed with an impressive balance of nutrients, let’s focus on B. Asparagus is high in vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and folate. Both help the body clear homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are related to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and decreased collagen production. There have been over 100 enzymes identified that are dependent on vitamin B6 which makes it crucial to proper protein synthesis. Vitamin B6 also helps makes various neurotransmitters and hormones, specifically, melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Vitamin B6 is also needed for the body to effectively absorb vitamin B12.
All the B vitamins are crucial to converting to carbohydrates to available glucose. No one I was serving has a history of diabetes or low blood sugar so I piled the spears high on each plate, do some more research and exercise caution when doling out portions of asparagus if you have diabetes or low blood sugar until you talk with your doctor about a safe level of daily vitamin B6 intake. Don’t shy away from B vitamins, however, since a lack of them has been associated with neuropathy (damage to the nervous system from elevated blood sugar levels). Increased risk of heart disease, depression, and muscle weakness have also been tied to vitamin B deficiencies.
Asparagus is also high in antioxidants. I focus on maximizing the antioxidant concentration in every meal I feed my family (in response to the oxidate stress theory of aging). Asparagus contains a broad swath of antioxidants: glutathione, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, and selenium. All of these help control the amount of free radicals in your blood stream wreaking havoc.
- 1 lb asparagus – ends snapped off
- 4 tbs oil
- Heat 4 tbs oil in a large saucepan or skillet on medium-high.
- Add asparagus to pan, arrange in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 6 minutes.
- Flip asparagus, let cook for another 3 minutes.
- Flip again, let cook for another 2 minutes or until spears reach desired tenderness.
This is the recipe for the chicken. It is amazing!