The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender, and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. Asparagus has been prized both as an epicurean delight and for its medicinal properties for almost 2000 years.
Originating in the Eastern Mediterranean region, it has become a native product throughout much of the world. It was thought to be cultivated in ancient Egypt with varieties discovered in Northern and Southern Africa. Falling into relative obscurity in the Middle Ages, asparagus was “rediscovered” and popularized in the 18th century by French king Louis XIV. Today, asparagus is cultivated in most subtropical and temperate parts of the world with the majority of commercially available asparagus grown in United States, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, France, Spain and other Mediterranean countries.
This highly prized vegetable arrives with the coming of spring. Nowadays you don’t have to wait for spring to enjoy them; canned quatro folhas® asparagus are available all year round.
Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. They are an excellence source of vitamin k, folate, vitamin C and Vitamin A, they are also a good source of trypthopan, vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), fiber, copper, phosphorus, protein, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and calcium.
Vitamin K is used in the body to control blood clotting and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, promotes healing and helps prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin, internally and externally, as well as in protecting the eyes, building strong teeth and bones, and healthy hair. Since little vitamin A is lost during the canning process, canned quatro folhas® asparagus have similar levels of this vitamin to their fresh and frozen counterparts.
Folate (folic acid), helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anaemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid. which recent studies indicate plays a critical role during pregnancy.
In addition to being nutritious and convenient, quatro folhas® asparagus are also versatile as a flavourful and colourful addition to numerous recipes.