Asparagus is well known for its nutrition-packed profile and health benefits (1), (2). However, just like the two sides of a coin, there are certain side effects of asparagus that you can not ignore. Asparagus is packed with nutrients and low in calories and has made its way to many healthy weight loss diets. It is rich in fiber, has anti-aging properties, and is touted as one of the best detoxifying veggies (3), (4). However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind while consuming asparagus. To help you stay safe and keep you aware of its potentially harmful effects, we have summed up all the possible risks associated with asparagus. Read on to know more.
In This Article
10 Side Effects Of Asparagus
Read on to know about the various side effects of eating asparagus and the right way to use it to avoid the negative effects.
1. Might Experience A Dry Mouth
Asparagus stems are powerful natural diuretic veggies. This diuretic nature triggers frequent urination, leading to dehydration. The lesser the fluid levels are in your body, the more the dehydration levels will be. This, in turn, will leave you dry mouthed.
2. Bowel Mobility May Suffer A Setback
This springtime bright green veggie stalks are potential treasure troves of fiber. 100 grams of this veggies contain 2.1% of fiber, meeting up to 8% of the recommended daily value of the nutrient. Excessive intake of fiber is not advisable. The fiber eliminates the moisture, thus hardening the stools. Thus, in turn, affects the bowel movement in the small intestine negatively. The result – you might experience an obstruction in the intestine, accompanied by constipation, cramps, and pain.
3. Foul Smelling Urine
This is one of the most commonly reported side effects of eating asparagus. This vegetable contains aspargusic acid, a compound that breaks down into sulfur compounds, which make your urine smell foul (5). However, keep in mind that the smell can vary depending on the genes, i.e., some genetic variants may not experience smelly urine.
4. Not Safe For People Having Edema Conditions
If you have an edema due to some renal failure or cardiac disorders, then please use asparagus carefully. Studies suggest that this nutrient dense veggie might pose harm for people with such conditions. Hence it is advisable to take the opinion of your health care provider in such cases to avoid any complications.
5. Could Develop Allergies To Asparagus
Allergic reactions have been reported in many cases after consuming this vegetable (6). Some of the most common allergic reactions include:
- Inflammation of the eye – allergic conjunctivitis with itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Irritating and itching throat
- Dry cough
- Hives on the skin with itches
- Inflammations on the skin with rashes, redness, and itching
- Difficulty in breathing/obstructed breathing
6. May Cause Flatulence
Foods rich in carbohydrates, especially dietary fiber, causes gas in the digestive tract. While studies suggest that people, on a daily average, pass gas 14 times. Asparagus is the trove of raffinose, the complex carbohydrate that contains 3 different sugar variants – glucose, fructose, and galactose. We do not possess the enzyme essential for breaking down this carbohydrate and hence, it gets fermented by bacteria, triggering the formation of gas in excess. Excessive gas puts you under the siege of burp as well as flatulence. Just make sure you do not overindulge in this healthy delight!
Asparagus also contains fructan, a carbohydrate, which may be difficult to digest and cause intolerance. The typical symptoms of fructan intolerance are gas, bloating, belching, distension, and constipation or diarrhea (7).
7. Not Safe For Those On Anti-Hypertensive Drugs
Asparagus is known to have a positive role in regulating the blood pressure level, thus alleviating the risks associated with hypertension. However, if you are hypertensive and you have been advised anti-hypertension medications, then please be a little extra cautious while indulging in asparagus. Asparagus could possibly react with the medications, forcing the blood pressure levels to fall down to a dangerous level.
[ Read: Benefits Of Asparagus For Health ]
8. Sudden Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the undesirable side effects of consuming large quantity of asparagus. People, especially, those who are on a weight loss track do have this temptation of overindulging in this green stalk. When consumed in excess, your weight does go down on the scale due to the diuretic nature of this vegetable. However, excess loss of water from the body could leave you under the attack of dehydration. Moreover, this could be an unwanted weight loss also. So, always keep your portion under check to avoid such unwanted effects.
9. Affects Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Asparagus is not safe to use in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding (8). In fact, asparagus extracts are used for birth control, as it plays a role in affecting the hormones. There is no solid scientific evidence to recommend this veggie during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is advisable to check with your doctor before going for it.
10. Interactions With Drugs
There are two cases, mainly, where asparagus has shown interacting with prescribed medications:
- With anti-hypertensive drugs: Asparagus possesses the potential to lower BP. So, together with anti-hypotension medications, it could result in a drastic dip of the blood pressure levels, leaving you in danger.
- With diuretic drugs: Diuretics are prescribed for people suffering from renal issues or edema conditions. These spears are natural diuretics and could actually accentuate the results of diuretic medications.
It is advisable to take the advice of the consulting medical practitioner, if you are on any of the aforementioned drugs, to thwart of undesirable consequences.
[ Read: Foods For Healthy Hair And Scalp ]
Infographic: Asparagus – Recommended Daily Intake
There is an infamous side effect associated with asparagus: stinky pee. This can, however, be the least of your worries if you are a devout supporter of this veggie.
As outlined above, consuming large quantities of asparagus regularly can lead to a host of health problems. Check out the infographic below for the general recommendations for asparagus consumption and a few points to keep in mind.
Don’t panic after reading all the above potential side effects of asparagus. Akin to 2 sides of a coin, everything in this nature has a good and bad side. It is up to you to identify the goodness over the bad to reap the benefits. Using every fruit, veggie, herb, and spice within the permissible levels will definitely bestow you with gifts. So, use asparagus in a judicious way and thwart the side effects.
Have you ever noticed any of these symptoms while consuming asparagus in excess amounts? What did you do to overcome those effects of asparagus? Share your views and experiences with us below in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to eat asparagus every day?
Yes, asparagus can be eaten every day. It is loaded with many beneficial nutrients that promote overall health.
Can eating too much asparagus be harmful?
Although eating asparagus may not pose any serious side effects, eating it in excess may trigger gastrointestinal issues, gas, and bloating.
Is asparagus good for your liver?
Yes, consumption of asparagus is good for the liver. It is loaded with many polysaccharides that affect liver health positively.
Can kidney patients eat asparagus?
Yes, people with any kidney ailments can eat asparagus in moderate amounts.
- Although asparagus is known for its detoxifying and anti-aging benefits, it may have certain side effects as well.
- It can cause an allergic reaction or alter your bowel movements.
- Asparagus can interact with anti-hypertensive drugs and cause your BP to fall to an extremely low level.
- Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid eating asparagus.
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