It’s asparagus season now in my native Hokkaido — time to enjoy these succulent shoots at their best!
Asparagus grows mainly in cooler regions, which is why most Japanese asparagus production happens up here in the northern island of Hokkaido.
Green asparagus is easiest to find, but it also comes in white and purple varieties.
The ultimate healthy vegetable!
Vegetables don’t come more nutritious than asparagus. Its stand-out nutrient, aspartic acid, gives stamina and builds resistance to fatigue while also supporting the efficient circulation of minerals throughout the body.
And you might not know that purple asparagus, which is more and more popular these days, contains a type of polyphenol called anthocyanins which help protect the skin against harmful UV rays.
The perfect medley of nutrients
Asparagus tips contain vitamin P — otherwise known as rutin — which teams up with vitamin C to improve blood flow, helping to keep the body warm and relieve puffy ankles.
And asparagus also provides a good dose of gamma aminobutyric acid, which is a common component in oriental medicine, glutathione, which helps detoxify the liver, as well as a range of antioxidant vitamins.
What’s more, asparagus is a great source of folic acid, an essential nutrient during pregnancy that is known to help prevent birth defects. So if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, eat up!