The British asparagus season runs from April to June and it is considered to be the best in the world, read on for fun facts and reasons to eat this great home-grown 'Queen of Vegetables' kindly provided by the British Asparagus Growers.
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Some sources claim that Asparagus health benefits include preventing miscarriage by nourishing and strengthening female reproductive organs. Others claim it supplies oestrogen hormone making it good for women with menopausal problems and those who have had hysterectomy and oophorectomy. These things may or may not be true, but was is true is that results of tests on mice in one study, suggest the Shatavarins isolated from the roots of wild Asparagus, exhibited anti-cancer activity. What ever the truth Asparagus is tasty and that's a good enough reason to eat any food!
Here are some fun facts about asparagus as well as some reasons to eat it.
- Asparagus was served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its well know aphrodisiacal qualities
- The proper way to eat it is with your fingers according to etiquette guide Debrett's - even the Queen eats it this way
- It is part of the lily family and was called "sparrow grass" in the 17th Century.
- Asparagus is the Usain Bolt of the vegetable world: on a hot sunny day an asparagus spear can first appear in the morning and be big enough to harvest by the same evening. It can grow six inches in 24 hours on a warm day. And it turns from white to green only when it hits the sunlight
- Asparagus is known around the world as the "Queen of Vegetables".
- During the British season we eat an average of 4.6 million spears a day
- We don't export any asparagus
- Asparagus comes in green, purple and white. The white variety, which is grown in the dark to stop the colour developing, is popular in Europe, whilst the majority of British asparagus is green.
Reasons to eat:
- It's only in season for 3 months (April-June) – so get it while you can.
- It can help to cure hangovers and protect the liver against toxins
- It improves digestion: eating asparagus promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine and can help reduce bloating
- It is incredibly low in fat and calories, making it great if you're on a diet
- Its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants will help to reduce your risk of developing certain cancers
- Asparagus contains vitamin K, essential for healthy blood clotting
- It's also a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system