How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
The first sign of asparagus at the farmers' market brings cheers of delight, as well as a competitive rush to bag the treasured stalks. It's a clear signal that spring has finally come. The bright green spears are an equal favorite at Passover and Easter tables, evoking memories of celebration and unfurling spring flowers. True asparagus fanatics far and wide can make a pilgrimage in late spring to Stockton, California for the annual Asparagus Festival. See you there!
Detoxifies Your BloodAsparagus purifies your blood by sending toxins out through your urinary tract. You may notice that after eating asparagus you need to make an extra trip to the bathroom. On these trips, you might have noticed that asparagus even makes your pee smell funny. Asparagine, an aptly named substance in asparagus produces an acetone smell in the urine after eating. Asparagus' high content of saponins and potassium are responsible for its diuretic properties. Kapha constitutions will benefit from asparagus' drying effect, while it can be too drying for vata in large quantities. Dry, deficient vata should especially avoid asparagus during the dry months of August to October.
Reduces Puffiness in Your SkinAre you waking up in the morning feeling puffy? Asparagus for dinner is like a facelift in the morning. This spring time vegetable directly helps your body remove water retention, relieving you from the discomfort of awaking in the morning with puffy eyes, hands and feet. It's diuretic action directly eliminates puffiness and water weight, while astringency serves to tone blood vessels and tighten the skin. Asparagus' blood purifying properties are useful for purging any remnants of spring congestion from the lymphatic system.
Soothes InflammationWhen you cook asparagus (even without adding oil) it becomes slightly slippery and slimy like licorice or oatmeal. This demulcent quality serves to coat and soothe mucus membranes of the digestive and urinary tracts, causing asparagus to act as a balm for inflammation. Its cold astringency adds to this soothing effect. If you notice a little burning sensation when you pee, have some asparagus and see what happens!
Your Spring Appetite
It's okay to eat lighter foods in early spring, as the body gets its energy by metabolizing the winter fats that kept you warm during long, cold months. If you observe the seasons in your diet, you will notice that springtime's harvest matches the desire for bright, light greens. Your body's craving for asparagus in early spring is an impulse that should be honored. Weekend warriors rejoice; the defiant, ambitious spears build your strength and inspire your vitality, while remaining very easy to digest.
Green, White and Purple Varietals
Be daring in your selection of asparagus. Green is where it begins, but you can also find white and purple varieties. Abundant green asparagus are rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins, namely potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B, folic acid, beta carotene. Equally nutrient rich purple varieties tend to be thicker and less stringy. When cooked they offer a slightly sweeter flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Appearing alien or albino, stark white asparagus have actually never seen the sun! These plants are covered with soil and kept from receiving sunlight. Therefore they lack chlorophyll and never turn green. They have somewhat less nutritional value than green and purple varieties because they are lacking phytonutrients called anthocynanins.
BUYING & PREPARATION
Appearing alien or albino, stark white asparagus have actually never seen the sun! These plants are covered with soil and kept from receiving sunlight. Therefore they lack chlorophyll and never turn green. They have somewhat less nutritional value than green and purple varieties because they are lacking phytonutrients called anthocynanins.
Asparagus tips rot may rot before the rest of the staulk. Always guage freshness of asparagus by looking at the tip first. Check for sliminess or bad smell.
Note: Wild asparagus grows in North America. For those of you extra interested in asparagus, see the book "Stalking the Wild Asparagus." The base of the asapargus is stringy and fibrous. Break off these woody tips with your hand. The asparagus will naturally break at the point where it's edible.
COOKING ASPARAGUSBrowse Recipes
Fast & EasyAsparagus is an excellent treat for those on the go, since it is so easy and cooks quickly. "As quick as cooking asparagus," is an ancient Roman saying for something that can be done quickly. Take advantage of the ease of asparagus to ensure your body gets all the vegetables it needs each day.
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is Asparagus Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
SERVING SIZE: 1/2 c
SPECIES: Asparagus officinalis
AYURVEDIC MEDICINAL BIOCHARACTERISTICSWhat is the biocharacteristic theory of medicine?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Here are the herbal actions of Asparagus:
APPETITE-SUPPRESSANTSuppresses hunger without causing weight gain
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
SATISFIES-STOMACHProvides a sense of gratification and fullness in the stomach.
REFRESHES-SKINFlushes the lymphatic system to cool, awaken, and revive the skin.
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
HYPOTENSIVEAn herb that lowers blood pressure.
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.
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HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for SummerAsparagus is recommended for Summer. Check out these other Summer foods here.
Comments & Impressions of 'Asparagus'Do you like 'asparagus'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'asparagus'?
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I have a question regarding "FODMAPS" (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols), since asparagus is supposed to be included in this list: Are vatas the most prone to having issues with these food substances? Thanks!
It's aggravating to Vata because it's a diuretic and Vata already tends toward dryness.
TRADITIONALLY INDICATED FOR THESE SYMPTOMSAsparagus may be beneficial for these symptoms. The suitability of any food for a condition is highly dependent on the individual. Please see your doctor before using this food to treat a medical condition.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.