Improve Your Gut Health With Delicious and Tender Asparagus!
Looking to improve your gut health? It’s not too late to “stalk” up on Spring’s favorite prebiotic - Asparagus!
Like peas, asparagus is another spring vegetable with lots of benefits from weight loss to helping with hangovers but many people are unaware of the fact that asparagus is also considered a prebiotic as well.
Nope, it’s not a typo! Prebiotic food helps feed the probiotic food. Together these two make a powerful duo. Unfortunately prebiotic foods are still largely under-appreciated and often lacking in the typical American diet. The lack of these foods can result in serious issues like indigestion, inflammation, impaired immunity, weight gain and an increased risk for many chronic conditions. Who needs that type of trouble?
A non-digestible fiber called “oligosaccharides” is what makes prebiotic foods different from other fibrous food. This fiber likes to hang out in our large intestine. When you eat probiotic foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, keffir, a perfect marriage is made. Our body uses this fiber to help enhance our gut flora, which in turn helps our gut health. Research shows that good health stems from healthy gut flora.
Asparagus isn’t the only prebiotic spring food you will find in the markets. Garlic, leeks, onions and dandelion greens and many leafy greens also fit the bill. The trick is eating them raw to get the greatest benefit, but cooking them is ok too. Here’s a great raw asparagus recipe with an Asian flare from #NewYorkTimes that fits that bill. Adding the mint helps make it feel fresh like spring.
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced (optional)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1 ½ pounds fat asparagus
Salt and pepper
½ cup slivered scallions
Squeeze of lime juice, to taste
Mint leaves, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, stir together rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Add jalapeño and sesame oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Snap or cut off the tough bottoms of each asparagus spear. With a vegetable peeler, peel each tough-skinned spear, starting halfway down from tip and peeling toward bottom end.
Cut the asparagus at a long diagonal into very thin slices (not paper thin — about the width of a thinly sliced onion). Place asparagus slices in a wide salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper