ASPARAGUS & GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH BASIL PESTO

The asparagus give the lowly green bean a bit of class, as does the basil pesto

  • 1 packet fresh green asparagus – lightly steamed
  • 1 packet young green beans – lightly steamed
  • Vegan Basil Pesto (see recipe below)– enough to toss the beans in. – you may need to thin the pesto by adding more oil
  • Young or new potatoes steamed and quartered if too big
  • Olives – pitted
  • Cocktail tomatoes halved
  • If not adding potatoes, add lightly toasted almonds.

    Asparagus is a very low calorie vegetable. 100 g fresh spears give only 20 calories. More calories will be burnt to digest the asparagus than gained from them.
    100 g of fresh spears provide 2.1 g of roughage. Fiber helps control constipation, decrease LDL cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels. Studies show that high-fiber diet help cut down colon-rectal cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption. Asparagus have long been used in many traditional medicines to treat conditions like edema or water retention and irritable bowel syndrome.

    Fresh asparagus spears are a good source of anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, carotenes, and crypto-xanthins. Together, these flavonoid compounds help remove harmful oxidant free radicals from the body protect it from possible eye diseases, cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, and viral infections.
    Fresh asparagus are rich in folates.

    Folates are important co-factors for DNA synthesis inside the cell. Scientific studies have shown that adequate consumption of folates in the diet during pre-conception period and during early pregnancy, help prevents neural tube defects in the newborn baby.

    They are rich in B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions. Fresh asparagus also contain fair amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin-E.
    Asparagus is also good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuro damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    Asparagus is high in minerals, especially copper and iron. In addition, it has other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for cellular respiration and red blood cell formation.

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