I love roasted asparagus, but sometimes, it just needs a little flavor updating! This Sesame Garlic Roasted Asparagus with olive oil, minced garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds is exactly what I mean. The recipe only takes 20 minutes from start to finish and is an excellent spring detoxifying side dish.
Eastern View: In India, asparagus is called shatavari and it means "one possessing 100 husbands," indicative of the herb's exceptional ability to tackle sexual debility and fertility issues in both sexes.
Shatavari, or Asparagus racemosus, has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to support the reproductive system, particularly for females, and as a support for the digestive system, especially in cases of excess pitta. Shatavaris’ name gives reference to its traditional use as a rejuvenative tonic for the female reproductive system. This support is not only for the young woman, but also for women in their middle and elder years, to help them gracefully transition through the natural phases of life, including menopause.
Shatavari is used in Ayurveda to balance pitta and vata, but can increase kapha due to its heavy nature. It’s bitter and sweet taste has a cooling effect on the system, and its unctuous (oily), building nature makes it a great support for anyone looking for a nourishing, grounding effect. These combined qualities make it a rasayana (rejuvenative) for the reproductive system (particularly female), the digestive system (particularly when pitta is involved), and for the blood.
Western View: The health benefits of asparagus have largely been attributable to the saponins in the roots. Saponins have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties
Asparagus contains a unique carbohydrate called inulin that does not get digested in the anterior part of the intestine, but travels to the large intestine where it is broken down by the bacteria residing there (the Bifidibacteria and Lactobacilli). These bacteria use inulin as food to thrive and multiply, thereby lowering the risk of colon cancer and allergies, and increasing the absorption of nutrients.
Its anti-inflammatory properties, and also its various B-complex vitamins (especially choline, biotin, and pantothenic acid) play a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and keeping the levels of the amino acid homocysteine low. This reduces the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. It also helps regulate blood fat and cholesterol levels.
Ayurveda uses asparagus/shatavari in treating a variety of problems related to digestion. The unique carbohydrate inulin, and the dietary fiber (which is a combination of insoluble and soluble fiber), relieves constipation, dyspepsia, ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery, and colic, and improves digestion by increasing the levels of the enzymes amylase and lipase, which digest carbohydrates and fat, respectively.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also translate into the lowering of blood sugar levels, with the dietary fiber also pitching in. This especially reduces risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sesame Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, washed and ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (can also use black sesame seeds)
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the dry woody ends of the asparagus and discard.
Place asparagus in large bowl and add sesame oil and minced garlic; toss to combine. Arrange spears on large baking sheet and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds. Season with a good amount of sea salt and black pepper.
Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until spears reach desired consistency. They should still be a bit crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate to serve immediately.
Great with chicken or fish for a heartier meal!
Check out my meal plan program for more meals that heal so that you know you are eating the right foods for your metabolic type.