Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius's 3rd century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter. It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the 17th century.
Only the young shoots of asparagus are eaten. The shoots can be prepared and served in a number of ways, but are usually boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Tall asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently. The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand, and as such proper preparation is generally advised in cooking asparagus.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts: Calories, Carbs, and Health BenefitsTweet
The composition of asparagus is 93.22% water, 3.88% carbohydrates, 2.2% protein, 2.1% dietary fiber, and 0.12% fat. One cup of asparagus supplies you with 5.199 grams of carbohydrates, which is 4 percent of the minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates you should have daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (US). That same it has an energy value of 85 kJ (20 Calories) in a 100 g (3.5 Oz) amount and is an important source of Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) (46.22% of the Daily Value). So if your diet contains asparagus, it helps your body to regulate concentration of calcium in the blood, retent of episodic memory (in older people), maintain healthy bone growth and resorption and it is effective against osteoporosis by regulating calcium levels, high cholesterol level and neuronal damage in the brain. Furthermore it contains a large amount of Copper attaining 21% of the Daily Value in a 100 g (3.5 Oz).