Asparagus Health Benefits

In this article, we cover health benefits of asparagus, nutrition facts, history and side effects.

Asparagus is a great addition to one’s diet.  It is loaded with nutrients that protect the body and fight off various illnesses. The nutrients in asparagus are similar to the nutrients found in most dark green leafy vegetables, which include thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A and so much more.

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Asparagus belongs to the Lily family along with garlic, leeks and onions. Some people consume it raw while others prefer to have it steamed or roasted. Some asparagus are thin while others are thick. The thin ones are great for grilling and steaming, whereas the thick variety is ideal for roasting.

History of Asparagus

The popularity of Asparagus dates back to ancient Greece where it got its name which means “shoot”. It was a highly regarded vegetable by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians alike due to its aphrodisiac and medicinal qualities. The vegetable is now cultivated in many countries and can grow up to 10 inches within 24 hours. They are widely available in green as well as in purple and white varieties.

Asparagus Health Benefits

  • Prevents Cancer

Asparagus is a great food for fighting different kinds of cancers such as ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and cancer of the bladder. It has huge amounts of antioxidants, glutathione and amazing anti-inflammatory properties which all work in preventing cell aging and damage.

  • Encourage urination

Asparagus has long been used as a diuretic or a substance to stimulate urination in people who are suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, swelling and water retention. This is attributed to the presence of asparagines, a type of amino acid which is proven effective in encouraging urination.

  • Keeps the heart healthy

Folate not only helps in preventing birth defects, but it also aids in keeping the heart healthy by regulating the level of homocysteine, a dangerous form of amino acid that is bad for the heart. It also works in keeping the blood sugar levels in check by metabolizing the sugar effectively.

  • Boosts the Immune system

Asparagus is a good source of vitamin C which helps in strengthening the immune system and in lowering high blood pressure. It also increases a person’s resistance against visual problems like macular degeneration and cataract.

  • Strengthen bones

This vegetable contains vitamin K which helps strengthen the bones. Vitamin K is also important in preventing calcium build up within the tissues which could result in stroke, cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.

Side Effects of Eating Asparagus

Despite the number of asparagus health benefits, eating too much of it may result in annoying side effects. Among the side effects of eating too much asparagus is frequent urination, not to mention foul smelling urine. The most embarrassing side effect of asparagus is gas which is released either by farting or burping. This occurs due to the absence of enzymes that will break down the complex carbohydrate found in asparagus.

Asparagus Nutrition Facts

One cup of asparagus contains the following:

  • Calories – 27
  • Total fat – 0.16g
  • Cholesterol – 0mg
  • Sodium – 3mg
  • Potassium – 271mg
  • Total carbohydrates – 5.2g
  • Dietary fiber – 2.8g
  • Protein – 2.95g
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