homocysteine

Amazing Asparagus

For centuries asparagus has been consumed for medicinal purposes due to its array of wonderful health properties. Asparagus is a fantastic source of antioxidants and carries a unique range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Asparagus provides superb digestive support. It is one of a few vegetables (including chicory and artichokes) that contain inulin. This special type of fibre passes undigested through to our large intestine and provides food for our beneficial bacteria. This will allow our healthy bacteria to flourish and consequently strengthen our immune system and optimise digestive health.

Asparagus is an outstanding food for heart health and blood sugar balancing. Its unique combination of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants help to reduce the risk of these chronic health conditions and provide anti- cancer properties.

Additionally, the B vitamins and choline play an important role in the breakdown of starches and sugars, aiding the regulation of blood sugar. Furthermore, these particular nutrients contribute to a healthy heart by reducing our homocysteine levels. (High levels of this substance can be a risk factor to heart disease.)

Asparagus can be enjoyed in a host of ways; in salads, stir-fries and frittatas; steamed and topped with a poached egg, blended into a soup or simply combined with gorgonzola and hazelnuts to create a delicious aromatic risotto.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Fabulous Fennel

Fennel plants at the market   

Fennel contains a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and has countless health benefits. Furthermore, it has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for congestion, digestive problems and to promote breast milk flow, menstruation and urine flow. 

Clinical studies have indicated that the phytonutrient anethole has anti-cancer properties and can reduce inflammation. The research found that anethole inhibits the promotion of a harmful molecule which can alter genes and cause inflammation. 

Fennel promotes bone health due to it’s combination of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Fennel’s potassium, calcium and magnesium composition can help to lower blood pressure and the fibre content will help to reduce cholesterol levels. Heart disease is associated with elevated levels of the molecule homocysteine in the body, however, fennel’s folate content can help to prevent it’s build up.
 
Fennel consists of a crunchy white bulb, pale green stalks and feathery green leaves from which flowers grow and where the seeds are found.
 
All parts of the fennel can be used in your cooking. The stalks are a delicious addition to a soup base or stock .They can be sautéed with fennel leaves and onions. Additionally, the leaves can add a subtle liquorice aroma to many a dish. The seeds can spice up any meal, be brewed as herbal drink or just chewed to promote good digestion. The bulb can be chopped into salads, steamed, sautéed or roasted as a delicious starter or side.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk

Luscious Leeks

Leeks share similar health promoting properties to other ‘allium’ family vegetables including garlic and onion. They are bursting with nutrients and are particularly wonderful for cardio-vascular health.

Many components of leeks contribute to supporting the cardio vascular system. The flavonoid, kaempferol present in leeks, increases a natural gas in blood vessels which helps to keep them flexible and protect them from damage.

Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However the B vitamin folate, found in leeks, will help to reduce this risk by helping to keep our homocysteine levels low.

There are also a number of fantastic antioxidant nutrients which help to protect our blood cells from oxidative damage.

In order to boost the leek’s health promoting properties, leave them to sit for over 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking.

Try combining your leeks into a healthy sauté with fennel or seasonal greens, include them in a tasty frittata or blend them into a rich vichyssoise soup.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more of my ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk