A few months before the pandemic and all the lockdowns had come into the picture, I had been to an Italian restaurant (pure vegetarian, surprisingly)in Besant Nagar, Chennai. That was my first ever visit to a purely Italian eatery and being a foodie, I rustled through the pages of the menu card and soon got intimidated with each item. When we were about to order, my eyes were glued to the first page which had a list of soups and starters. The soups section had the usual Indian-restaurant-template which showed Cream Of Tomato, Hot and Sour, Mushroom…- and that’s when I saw it : Cream of Asparagus Soup. Wow, sounds cool. I’m that sort of person who sees an uncanny name of any vegetarian food item and the next moment decides to try it. Asparagus soup was something I heard of earlier, but never got to try it. The waiter stood blinking as I was the only one in my family of 5 to actually order it. Now my family is the ‘always-order-1/2-type’, so my poor brother too had to wait with me having no other choice.
When it arrived, it was exactly as what I had expected. The pale,olive green shade, with some cream, and thick as froth. Woah. I took the first sip, and, man, it was heaven. I loved it so much that I grabbed my brother’s share too. Poor guy.
Asparagus isn’t something that you get easily in India, so sadly, I couldn’t prepare at home. But let me share the benefits of this soup, and if you are interested, you can try it at home by following the recipe.
- Asparagus, like other green vegetables, is high in antioxidants.
- Not only is asparagus low in fat and calories (one cup sets you back a mere 32 calories), but it also contains lots of soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Because your body digests fiber slowly, it keeps you feeling full in between meals.
- Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, making it a natural diuretic. In other words, eating more of the spears can help flush excess fluid and salt from your body, which may help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Asparagus is also a source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. This vitamin helps strengthen your immune system and protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. To fill up on its benefits, roast asparagus with a little olive oil.
- If you crave a greasy breakfast the morning after too many drinks, research suggests that a side of asparagus might be the better choice.
- When it comes to fighting bloat, asparagus packs a mean punch. The veggie helps promote overall digestive health (another benefit of all that soluble and insoluble fiber!). And thanks to prebiotics—carbohydrates that can’t be digested and help encourage a healthy balance of good bacteria, or probiotics, in your digestive track—it can also reduce gas. Plus, as a natural diuretic, asparagus helps flush excess liquid, combating belly bulge.
- Along with other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus is a good source of vitamin K. The vitamin is crucial for coagulation (which helps your body stop bleeding after a cut) as well as bone health.
- Asparagus is full of folate, a B vitamin that could lift your spirits and help ward off irritability. Researchers have found a connection between low levels of folate and vitamin B12 in people who are suffering from depression, leading some docs to prescribe daily doses of both vitamins to patients with depression. Asparagus also contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that has been similarly linked to improved mood.
- 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.
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