Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally dense vegetables that you can eat. It contains B vitamins, folate, calcium, manganese, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. All of these nutrients make it an extremely healthy food that you can enjoy with virtually any meal or even as a snack. Thanks to the fact that a regular serving of five spears contains only 20 calories, you won’t have to worry about eating too much of this vegetable.
Top 20 Health Benefits of Asparagus
Improved Heart Health
There are a few reasons why asparagus improves heart health. First of all, it contains a lot of vitamin K, which is known for preventing blood clots. The B vitamins found in this vegetable are also responsible for reducing the risk of heart disease. Finally, asparagus contains fiber, which lowers your cholesterol levels.
Asparagus contains a specific antioxidant called glutathione, which is thought to be able to slow down the aging process. Additionally, vitamins B9 and B12 that are present in this vegetable are responsible for preventing cognitive decline.
Nourishment of the Digestive Tract
Thanks to a nutrient called inulin, asparagus nourishes the digestive tract. Inulin is special because it doesn’t break down in the digestive tract, but instead becomes a food source for healthy bacteria in the large intestine. Nourishing the digestive tract will improve your nutrient absorption.
A Natural Diuretic
The unique chemical properties of this vegetable make it a natural diuretic. In other words, asparagus promotes the production of urine. The reason why this will improve your health is because it will increase the excretion of water from your body, thus helping you rid yourself of excess fluid and salt.
The previously mentioned antioxidant glutathione is responsible for this health benefit as well. Namely, it helps protect your skin from pollution and damage from the sun.
Regulated Blood Sugar
Thanks to the presence of vitamin B6 in asparagus, your blood sugar levels will be regulated if you eat this vegetable regularly. However, it’s worth noting that people with low blood sugar levels or diabetes should watch their asparagus consumption.
Decreased Risk of Diabetes
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased with excessive oxidative stress and inflammation. Considering that asparagus contains a huge amount of antioxidants, it’s able to decrease the risk of oxidative stress. On top of that, the vegetable also holds certain anti-inflammatory properties.
Improved Bone Health
One cup of asparagus contains 101% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin K, which is a nutrient known for keeping your bones healthy and strong. By consuming the recommended daily dose of this vitamin, you’ll reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Although you probably wouldn’t consider it as important as the other health benefits on this list, it’s still worth noting that asparagus is really good for your hair. Due to the presence of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and certain antioxidants, this vegetable will make sure your hair is healthy.
Prevention of Birth Defects
Vitamin B9, otherwise known as folate or folic acid, is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. The benefits of this vitamin are truly wondrous, considering that it is very effective at preventing birth defects. So much so that Australia and New Zealand made it mandatory that all bread be fortified with folate, so that less babies would be born with birth defects. Asparagus is high in folic acid.
One cup of asparagus contains only 40 calories, making it the perfect snack if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. This vegetable contains a lot of fiber, which is an important tool for weight loss, since it will make you feel full for an extended time period. It also contains potassium, a mineral known for reducing belly fat.
A Natural Aphrodisiac
If you want to slightly improve your sex life in a completely natural way, then you should eat asparagus more often. The vitamin E content in this vegetable helps stimulate sex hormones in both women and men.
Improved Eye Health
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight, since it aids your retinas in light absorption. This vitamin, which is present in asparagus, is also known for reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
A Cure for Hangovers
A hangover can prevent you from normally functioning throughout the whole day. It will make you feel sluggish and can even cause mood swings, dehydration, and vomiting. Thankfully, asparagus seems to be a great hangover cure. More specifically, asparagus extract is effective in curing hangovers, mostly because it contains certain essential amino acids that cure the unpleasant physiological effect caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Reduced Symptoms of Epilepsy
The roots of asparagus have been proven to aid in reducing the intensity of certain symptoms of epilepsy.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
The compound that’s responsible for lowering the risk of cancer is glutathione. This amazing compound is known for aiding in the destruction of carcinogens. Glutathione is extremely important for maintaining a strong immune system, as it will help you fight against numerous types of cancer.
Lower Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases
By eating asparagus often, you’ll reduce the risk of suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Vitamin B9 is responsible for improving your neural health, thus helping you be more prepared to deal with these diseases.
Improves Cell Growth
In developing countries, copper deficiencies are one of the main problems among the general population. Copper deficiency is especially dangerous if kids suffer from it. Negative effects of this deficiency include underdevelopment. Copper is a mineral that your body needs in order to properly oxygenate red blood cells. If your red blood cells don’t get oxygenated, then they won’t allow your organs and other cells to develop properly. Thankfully, you can increase your copper levels in a very healthy and delicious way – by eating more asparagus.
Increased Energy Levels
Your diet greatly affects how you’ll feel throughout the day. People who feel weary and sluggish every other day probably don’t eat healthy or skip the most important meal of the day – breakfast. However, if you follow a healthy diet, then you’ll always feel energetic, alert, and focused. Asparagus is a great breakfast or midday snack because it helps increase your energy levels. This vegetable contains B vitamins, magnesium, and copper, all of which are nutrients known for increasing energy levels.
Your mood has a huge impact on your everyday life. If you’re in a good mood, you’ll be more efficient in your work and you’ll improve your emotional health. On top of that, you’ll also decrease your stress levels, which is essential to good health. Stress is one of the main causes of serious health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6, which is found in asparagus, will increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a considered to be a natural mood stabilizer. Other nutrients present in this vegetable that may have a positive impact on your mood include folic acid and vitamin C.
Fun Facts about Asparagus
- This vegetable has been cultivated for more than 2,500 years.
- Ancient Romans were the first to successfully preserve asparagus by freezing it in the Alps.
- White and green asparagus come from the same plant.
- Asparagus spends three years in the ground before a harvest.
- In the city of Stockton, California, the entire month of April is devoted to celebrating the delicious vegetable.
- France’s King Louis XIV called asparagus the “food of kings,” and was the first person to consume it year-round, since he had them cultivated in greenhouses.
- There is a museum dedicated solely to asparagus in Schrobenhausen, Germany.
- Asparagus contains absolutely no fat or cholesterol.
- During warm weather, this vegetable is able to grow as much as 7 inches in just one day.
- Due to the health benefits it offers, asparagus was used as medicine by both the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Dangers and Side Effects of Eating too Much Asparagus
There are no life-threatening effects that you can experience from eating too much asparagus. However, you may experience certain uncomfortable side effects, such as gas and a strong smell in urine. This noticeable smell is present because the vegetable contains a chemical known as asparagusic acid, which breaks down into compounds that contain sulfur. However, the good news is that not everyone can notice this unpleasant smell. In fact, only people with a specific have the ability to detect the smell.
If you’re allergic to members of the lily family, such as onions, leek, and garlic, then you may also be allergic to asparagus, since this vegetable is a distant relative to the lily family.
People with kidney stones shouldn’t eat asparagus since it contains a substance called purine, which creates uric acid. Uric acid can accumulate in your body and cause complications like gout or kidney stones.
Asparagus is a vegetable that has been cultivated for more than 2,500 years, meaning that even ancient civilizations were aware of the nutritional power it holds. Apart from offering you numerous health benefits, asparagus contains very little calories, making it the perfect healthy snack.
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