Asparagus is a green fleshy spear that is succulent and tender. They have a very distinct and delicious flavour. Asparagus was also popularly known as “sparrow-grass”. Asparagus is from the lily family -leeks, garlic, onions, etc. There are hundred varieties of asparagus, though only some are edible. It is available throughout the year and grows about 6 to 8 inches tall when it is harvested. Green or greenish purple colour asparagus is usually consumed by many. Asparagus is an expensive vegetable when compared to other vegetables as it is harvested by hand.
Asparagus should always be bought from the local grocery shop. With time, asparagus tends to lose its flavour. Keep in mind to buy firm, straight, smooth, tender, dark green or purple stalks with closed tips.
Asparagus is alkaline in nature and is filled with protein but is very low in calories and carbohydrates. It is the richest source of folate, vitamins A, C and K, potassium, and vitamin B complex. Asparagus contains good amount of copper and iron. This also has some minerals and electrolytes like potassium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus.
Let us look at the top benefits of asparagus, one of the wonderful gift of nature:
1. Low Calorie Vegetable:
100 g of fresh asparagus contains only 20 calories. Digesting this will absorb more calories, thus it is a perfect negative-calorie vegetable.
2. Dietary Fiber:
Asparagus contains good amount of dietary-fiber. 100 g of this can give you 2.1 g of fiber. This can treat constipation, lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, balance blood sugar levels. Dietary fiber can also reduce the risk of colon-rectal.
3. Bowel Syndrome:
This is used since many years to cure disorders such as dropsy and irritable bowel syndrome.
Fresh asparagus is the richest source of anti-oxidants like carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, and crypto-xanthins. This is useful to kill free radicals from the body to protect from cancer, neuro diseases, and viral infections. Asparagus also contains powerful anti-oxidants like carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E and manganese.
Fresh asparagus contains good amount of folates. 100 g of it can give you 54 µg or 14% of RDA of folic acid. Folates are essential for DNA synthesis in the cell. It is advised to consume folates in your daily diet during pre-conception period and pregnancy. This helps in preventing neural tube defects in the infants. The diuretic effect of this vegetable helps in water retention reduction in the pregnant women.
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6. Metabolic Functions:
Asparagus is a good source of B-complex vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. This vital nutrient helps to maintain the level of cellular enzymes and metabolic functions.
7. Cure Infection:
Fresh asparagus has many anti-oxidant vitamins like Vitamin-A, Vitamin-C, and Vitamin-E. Consume them in your daily diet to boost your body’s resistance power and cure infections.
8. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Asparagus is the richest source of Vitamin K. It can give 35% of DRI. Vitamin K promotes healthy bone and its formation activity. Consume Vitamin-K in your daily diet to prevent neuronal damage and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Asparagus has anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces the risk of chronic health issues like Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. This property can also show positive result in some cases of cancer.
10. Heart Health:
Folate in this vegetable helps to cure many cardiovascular related problems.
11. Urinary Tract Health:
Asparagus extract is the best herbal ingredient for urinary tract health. This detoxifies and stimulates proper urinary tract functioning.
You can apply asparagus directly to your skin. This cleanses the face, dries the sores, and treats acne.
This is an herbaceous plant like avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts. It is a good source of glutathione that breaks down carcinogens and free radicals. Hence, asparagus can protect and cure cancers of the breast, colon, larynx, bone, and lung.
It has an anti-aging properties, folates and B12 that increase brain speed and mental flexibility. Maintaining proper levels of these nutrients can help in lowering anti-aging symptoms.
15. Natural Diuretic:
This is another health benefits of asparagus – it acts as a natural diuretic. It is a rich source of amino acid asparagines that helps to create the urge to urinate. This helps to release fluid and flush off excess salts from the body. It can be very beneficial in cases of edema, high blood pressure or heart-related diseases.
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16. Build Up Protein:
Asparagus is a rich source of proteins. You can dip them in mayonnaise for healthy snacks any time during the day.
17. Lose Weight:
Each spear of asparagus contains just four calories. This is also very low in fat. Include them in your breakfast, lunch or dinner to get numerous benefits and at the same time, lose your weight. If you are suffering from obesity or high cholesterol, regular consumption of asparagus can help in reduction of cholesterol levels.
18. Healthy intestines:
Asparagus is the only vegetable that contains insulin and feeds friendly bacteria in the large intestine. This helps to prevent yeast overgrowth in the intestine and leads to healthy digestive system and belly.
The asparagus is a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac due to its distinct shape. It also contains many nutrients required for healthy hormone production.