Top 3 Asparagus Benefits For Children & Adults
Whilst imported asparagus can be found on most supermarket shelves year around, nothing beats the flavour and taste of in season asparagus.
With a season spanning just 8 weeks, from the end of April until June, British asparagus is a short lived luxury. Boil, steam, grill, roast and BBQ! Asparagus is so versatile you could eat it a different way every day of the 8 week season!
In this blog post I’m going to give you the Top 3 Health Benefits of Asparagus. I’m also going to share with you how you can use this nutrient packed vegetable into your baby’s diet.
Did you know that approximately seventy to eighty percent of our immune system is located within our digestive system?
Our gut health and immune system are inextricably linked, so it’s therefore vital to keep a healthy balanced gut for overall immunity and well-being.
The friendly bacteria in you digestive system, also known as probiotics, feed of foods that are high in prebiotics. Prebiotic foods nurture the gut bacteria and therefore help to keep the gut healthy.
Asparagus is one of many vegetables known to be high in prebiotics, in particularly inulin which is a non-digestible carbohydrate. Your gut bacteria will love you for loving asparagus!
Asparagus is a good source of folic acid which is a nutrient vital for a healthy pregnancy. It’s recommended that women trying for a baby must consume 400mcg folic acid daily from the day contraception was stopped until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
However, if you have diabetes or a family history of spina bifida then you may need a higher dose.
Other great sources of folic acid include spinach, peas and broccoli.
Along with other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus is a good source of vitamin K.
This fat-soluble vitamin is crucial for coagulation (so helps your body stop bleeding after a cut) as well as bone health. Most people are well aware that calcium plays an important role in bone health, however, vitamins and minerals including phosphorus, vitamin K and zinc are also important.
If you eat variety of green vegetables (spinach, avocado and broccoli) then you most probably will be meeting your dietary requirements for vitamin K. In the the UK, 1microgram of vitamin K is recommended per kg bodyweight. So for example, my body weight is 67kg, hence my requirements are 67 microgram of vitamin K per day. I eat plenty of veg so I’m covered, are you?
Baby ‘Asparagus’ Food
According to OGP, asparagus is not considered one of the “dirty dozen” foods most highly contaminated with pesticides – purchasing organic is therefore personal choice.
This recipes makes a great meal for a baby aged 7-10 months. Ensure you consider the consistency of the food depending on YOUR baby’s deveopment. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that lumpy foods should be introduced between 6 and 9 months of age. Research shows that babies who are not introduced to new textures during this time are less likely to accept new foods later in childhood
1 bunch of asparagus
Step 1: Wash the asparagus well
Step 2: Steam or boil asparagus until very tender and mushy
Step 3: Puree the asparagus to level of consistency depending on your baby’s age.
Step 4: Add breastmilk or formula milk as necessary to boost the nutritional content of the meal
Add choice of carbohydrate for energy, so for example you could add potato, rice or yam.
Steamed asparagus makes a great finger food too!
Remember, because asparagus is classed as a prebiotic food you may want to watch out for signs of bloating. If this occurs, then reduce the amount of asparagus used, to determine your baby’s level of tolerance or eliminate it completely. Speak to a health care professional such as a dietitian if you are unsure.
Asparagus hold many health benefits for both babies, children and adults.
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Please note that this information neither is medical advice, nor is it meant to replace the advice of your doctor or dietitian and I assume no liability for the use or misuse of this information.