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May 05.1

10 Things You Might Not Know About Asparagus

Posted In: LUSH Facts >> LUSH Life

May is National Asparagus Month! A crown jewel of the spring crop, asparagus is enjoyed in cuisine around the world. It’s more than just a mouth-watering veggie with a ton of nutrients, though.

·1. 1. The name for asparagus comes from a Greek word, asparagos, which means “sprout” or “shoot”. This word was likely borrowed from the Persians, with their similar word of the same meaning, “asparag”.

·    2. After planting, asparagus is not usually harvested in the first 3 seasons, which helps the plant develop strong, sturdy roots. Generally, a plant that is tended well will produce for 15-20 years. 

·     3. A member of the lily family, Asparagus spears are the best known part of the plant, but it also blooms with a fernlike, feathery foliage, flowers and small, non-edible berries.  There are both male and female varieties of the plant. 

·    4. Asparagus is believed native to North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Wild asparagus tends to grow in taller, thinner stalks than its more common cultivated varieties.  

·    5. While most asparagus varieties are naturally green or purple, white asparagus is popular in Europe. The stalks are repeatedly covered with earth as they emerge, blocking sunlight and therefore the process producing chlorophyll. 

·    6. Asparagus contains antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, which battle skin-damaging free radicals, and promote production of collagen, which plumps up our skin cells and adds to skin’s elasticity. We use it in Ayesha Fresh Face Mask for a healthy enzymatic action on the skin, which helps reveal fresher, smoother skin. 

     7. Nutrients in asparagus like folic acid, potassium and the healthy dose of vitamins may boost sex drive--leading to its reputation as an aphrodisiac food. That, and it’s fairly suggestive shape! 

·    8. Often translated as “one who possesses a hundred husbands”, Shatavari is an Indian variety of asparagus commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating female reproductive system issues. 

·    9. Fresh asparagus should be stored standing up in a mason jar or other container, which mimics their natural growth direction.  Add about an inch of water at the base of the stalks, which will keep them fresh for a few days. Keep your asparagus towards the back of your fridge, as they like it a bit colder.

·    10. British “Asparamancer” Jemima Packington uses asparagus to predict the future.  She tosses asparagus in the air and based on how the spears fall, reads the results to make her predictions. Watch her at work here

While asparagus is in peak season, get a bundle and make the most of this perennial favorite!  It’s a delicious flavor boost to your next stir-fry, risotto or crudité, and a huge serving of nutrients as well. Now you know 10 more tidbits about asparagus--and not one involves urine!