Welcome to day twenty three of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
During the height of lockdown, I was thoroughly enjoying all the fresh, wonderful asparagus that was being grown locally in Norfolk. It is such a delicious and versatile vegetable, and was perfectly suited as a springtime treat!
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
From an Ayurvedic perspective, we understand that asparagus is both sweet (madhura) and astringent (kashaya) by its taste. Sweet taste promotes enzyme and pancreatic activity, helping to nourish all components of the body while also being high in minerals and anabolic in action. Meanwhile, astringent taste is high in polyphenols (micronutrients that are packed with antioxidants) that can help improve digestion issues, diabetes, and weight management.
Asparagus has this lovely cooling property on the body. We see it and understand it as being slightly diuretic, so if you have any excess water retention, eating asparagus regularly can help to keep that under control. It also really supports the lymph and the blood: this is because asparagus contains potassium, a mineral that can help lower high blood pressure.
In Ayurveda, we also have a sister plant that we use as a tonic.
If you are familiar with Ayurveda, you may have heard of it before. It is called shatavari, and it is a member of the asparagus family. As an adaptogenic herb, it is said to help your body cope with physical and emotional stress. It does this by helping to balance the hormonal system, at all stages of life. Shatavari has cooling, calming properties that can help to balance Vata and Pitta (two of the three doshas). In Ayurveda, we particularly use it for women’s health to support the female’s reproductive system.
How should I look after asparagus?
When you get some fresh asparagus, trim the bottoms just as you would a bunch of flowers. Next, place the spears in a glass with about an inch of water and store them in the fridge. If the water gets cloudy, change it to keep the asparagus fresher for longer.
How should I cook my asparagus?
When you come to cook asparagus, my preferred way is to steam it for a couple minutes. Until, when you put a knife into your spears, it goes through like a knife into butter. However, make sure your asparagus is not too soft, and that there is a little bit of firmness.
To serve, take out your asparagus and drizzle it with a little bit of oil. I also like to add some cracked salt and pepper. The result is a delicious treat that is quick and easy to make!
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share how you like to eat your asparagus? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube