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Posted Aug 04 2009 6:28am

By Marie Dufour, RD- Among the healthiest vegetables and one of the favorites for summer grilling is the fabulous asparagus.   Like the other members of the lily family, it has important antioxidant properties.

Topping the nutrient density chart, these little green spikes offer a bundle of vitamins, minerals and fiber, all for only 27 calories per cup (4 calories per spear).   They are a terrific weight-loss food as well as all-around good health warrior.

Loaded with vitamin K (70% of recommended daily value), very low in sodium, with 3 grams of fiber, but only 5 grams of carbohydrates, they score a 94 on the nutrient balance scale.

But that's not all.   Asparagus are rich in folacin (for heart health), and one of the richest source of rutin, an antioxidant that strengthens the walls of capillary blood vessels.  

As for cancer prevention property, asparagus contain glutathione, a potent antioxidant thought to have anti carcinogenic properties.

Fresh or frozen, asparagus spears are easy to prepare.   Lightly steamed, sautéed, or grilled, they are one more green vegetable to put on your plate.

For quick summer grilling try this: place a bunch of fresh asparagus (after washing them) in a baggie, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and the juice of ½ lemon and refrigerate for 1 hour.   Heat up the grill and cook the asparagus, rotating them often, for about 7 minutes.   A twist of cracked pepper, no salt needed.   Enjoy!




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