Food of the Kings! Or Gods?

I think it is time to talk more about good stuff, so not everything feels so depressing. There are tons of different types of food that you can consume, but getting my DNA results leaded me to talk about… asparagus 🌱

First of all, asparagus is suuuuper low on calories. Per 100 grams you get only 20 calories, isn’t it cool?! It is also rich on Potassium, Vitamin A, Iron and more. Now, let me feed you with health-miraculous benefits of it, because this vegetable IS amazing and was called by Nefertiti “food of the Gods” for a reason (articles are here and here ):

  • Besides low calories, its spears contain moderate levels of dietary fiber. 100 g of fresh spears provide 2.1 g of roughage. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and regulate blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that high-fiber diet help cut down colon-rectal cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.
  •  Its shoots have long been used in many traditional medicines to treat conditions like dropsy and irritable bowel syndrome.
  •  Fresh asparagus spears are a good source of anti-oxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenes, and cryptoxanthins. Together, these flavonoid compounds help remove harmful oxidant free radicals from the body protect it from possible cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and viral infections. Their total antioxidant strength, measured regarding oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 2150 µmol TE/100 g.
  •  Fresh asparagus is rich sources of folates. 100 g of spears provide about 54 µg or 14% of RDA of folic acid. Folates are one of the essential co-factors for the DNA synthesis inside the cell. Scientific studies have shown that adequate consumption of folates in the diet during pre-conception period and early pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.
  •  If you’re planning on conceiving, asparagus is your vegetable. Asparagus is a source of high-quality vitamin C, which keeps sperm healthy, as well as increasing its volume and mobility.
  •  Its shoots are also rich in the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid. These group of vitamins is essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.
  •  Fresh asparagus also contains fair amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin-E. Regular consumption of foods rich in these vitamins helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  •  Its shoots are also an excellent source of vitamin-K. 100 grams carry about 35% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role bone health by promoting bone formation activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established a role in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  •  Asparagus is an excellent source of minerals, especially copper and iron. Also, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and red blood cell formation.
  •  And finally, another health benefit – asparagus is also supposedly great for your sex-life. For centuries it has been regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac. Aside from its phallic shape, asparagus stirs up desire in both men and women 💕. This is due to the large amounts of vitamin E present which stimulates the production of sex hormones.

Now when we know how healthy asparagus is, I want to add some interesting facts to it (and you can read more about it here https://www.thelocal.de/20140509/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-asparagus :

  •  First of all, the reason why I mentioned my DNA test is that it told me that I have a gene that makes me smell “asparagus pee” (and I can indeed). So fact #1 is everyone makes “asparagus pee,” but not everyone can smell it. Scientific study has confirmed why some individuals don’t notice the uniquely pungent urine experienced by others after eating asparagus: The sulfurous compounds in asparagus pee are highly correlated with a condition called “specific anosmia,” the genetic inability to smell certain odors.
  • Apparently eating asparagus, before and after drinking alcohol can have beneficial effects 🍷. If you’re planning a night out on the tiles, eating the vegetable before you start drinking could help protect your liver. The minerals and amino acids it contains not only protect the liver from toxins, the enzymes in asparagus can help break down the alcohol and alleviate hangovers. (OH MY GOD, isn’t it a miracle?!😵)
  • White asparagus is in fact the same as green asparagus, but grown underground. German farmers plant their asparagus under mounds of soil called hillings. Deprived of sunlight which prevents the development of chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants), the spears stay white. No magic or genetic modifications! Just hard work of farmers.
  • Asparagus was considered as food of the kings for a long time and not everyone was able to eat it. Appreciate it.

And lastly, I want to share how I cook asparagus. I like to put it on a baking sheet, add olive oil, sea salt, and sometimes sprinkle some small bacon pieces over it. Bake it at 375 degrees, for 15-20 minutes. Yummy! 😋

Conclusion: Huuuuge +! Asparagus is so great for your health, while low on calories, that everyone should eat it, seriously! Time to run to the store!

Sea-delight… scallops!

I had a task to cook scallops (mmmmm!🐟) for the first time in my life. It isn’t hard, but I also heard that it is easy to mess them up. Because of that, I decided to learn a bit more about this delicious sea-protein. Normally seafood is good, not fatty, protein rich, contains oil that your body needs the most and doesn’t really contain carbs (whoot-whoot!). Now, what is the trick? Or maybe scallops are expensive for a reason? Scallops have some cholesterol in them, as most of seafood does, but actually less than even a mozzarella cheese balls (24 oz – described in the article before). So good dish (very good) contains about 400 grams of scallops? It will have only about 170 gr. Of cholesterol. Theoretically even if your heart is not in perfect condition, you can have it, which is good news! The only concern is sodium (which is not salt, actually. Sodium is sodium and table salt is a sodium chloride (NaCl)). Anyways, in 400 grams of scallops (almost a pound) you will get your daily sodium intake, which might be not so good, but we don’t eat pound of scallops every day, and once in a while a bit more sodium won’t harm you too much 😉 Need to remember that frying is not a best option, when we are talking about health tho, so if you can cook scallops on the special wooded plant, at the grill, it is a better option, but if you have to fry them, then don’t forget to use olive oil for that.

In the end, my scallops turned out very good! Here is this small recipe for you! (recipe link)

  1. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper:Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the pan:Heat the butter or olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. When a few flecks of water evaporate on contact, the pan is ready.
  3. Add the scallops to the pan:Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer, spaced about an inch apart. The first scallop should sizzle on contact. If it doesn’t, wait a few seconds to let the pan heat before adding the rest. Do not crowd the pan; work in batches if necessary.
  4. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, then flip:Cook the scallops without moving them for 2 minutes, then flip them over. If the scallop doesn’t release easily from the pan, let it cook for another few seconds until it does.
  5. Cook the scallops for another 2 to 3 minutes:Cook the scallops on the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes without moving. Both sides of the scallop should be seared golden brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft, like well-set Jello; do not overcook or the scallops become tough and chewy.
  6. Serve immediately:Serve the scallops immediately while they are still warm.

Conclusion: Scallops are pretty healthy choice of food! Eating a lot of them and often might make you consume too much sodium, but overall it is a fat (not in a bad way) + !🐟

Balls… Mozzarella Balls!

Finally, time for some practical information and opportunity to show you what kind of articles I will make! 😃 How often do you think about your food? What do you eat? Is it actually good or bad for you? And yes, it is important to know if it is good, or bad for you! It is hard to decided where to start, but not long time ago I’ve been at Trader Joes and picked a mozzarella balls in olive oil marinade. Another woman took one too and said “I am addicted to them. I don’t know if they are bad for me, but I love them so much!”, so it made me very curious if it is mostly bad or good? Maybe other people have this question too? So, let’s dig in!

As we all know, olive oil is one of the best and healthiest oils out there, so that is a + . In general, our bodies need oil. It helps organs to function properly and it keeps skin elastic, so don’t be afraid to add some oil in your diet. The bad thing about it is that many olive oils are only “olive oils” on a paper, when in reality they contain only small amount of real olive oil and rest of it is… well, fake. This problem is especially huge in America, where is no regulation on definition of “virgin olive oil”, so product makers use it for own profit (surprise!). If you want a real thing, always try to buy olive oil that was made in Europe, not in America. Anyways, back to mozzarella balls! Mozzarella is a good (not the best!) cheese calories-wise, so that is a plus too. Some spices and pepper are, of course, not bad things either. So, from surface analysis mozzarella balls in oil marinade are good! You can have them and not worry too much about your health. However, if we will look deeper, we will notice, that the whole container (24 oz) has not only full daily vitamins A, C intake, but also more Calcium than you need daily. Moreover, it has 364 mg of Cholesterol! While healthy (no hearth diseases, etc.) person needs only 300 mg per day. Of course, different companies can make them a little bit differently, but the core recipe is most likely similar in any of them.

Conclusion: Fresh Mozzarella Balls (In Marinade) are a good treat for now and then, but shouldn’t be eaten everyday AND the whole container (24 oz) shouldn’t be eaten in period of 24 hours, unless you want to flood your body with cholesterol. Happy to know that in smaller quantity they are good, because they are delicious. Whoo-hoo!