Asparagus is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that can be eaten every day. Low in calories and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s great to include in a fiber-rich diet to keep your digestive system healthy.
However, eating asparagus can also have some side effects:
- Because of its high fiber content, asparagus can cause flatulence, stomach cramps, and gastric upset in some people.
- Asparagus contains asparagusic acid that may break down to sulfurous compounds and lend a funny smell to your urine.
- If you take lithium, asparagus may interact with the drug in your body and increase its retention, causing adverse effects.
- If you are allergic to asparagus you may experience skin rash, watery eyes, and breathing difficulties.
What is the nutritional value of asparagus?
Asparagus is 93% water and low in sodium, as well as a good source of:
- Vitamin B6
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C, E, A and K
- Folic acid
- Chromium (trace mineral that regulates the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells)
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
This succulent, savory vegetable contains a powerful blend of nutrients that help boost energy and cleanse the system. Health benefits of asparagus include the following:
- Heart health:
- Asparagus is extremely high in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.
- High levels of vitamin B complex also help regulate homocysteine (amino acid), which is a risk factor in heart disease.
- Asparagus has more than one gram of soluble fiber per cup, which lowers the risk of heart disease, and the amino acid asparagine helps the body flush out excess salt.
- Asparagus has excellent anti-inflammatory effects and high levels of antioxidants, both of which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Anti-aging benefits: The antioxidant glutathione is believed to slow the aging process and the folate in asparagus works with B12 to prevent cognitive decline.
- Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes:
- As with heart disease, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, asparagus' impressive anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants can prevent these diseases.
- Asparagus' ability to improve insulin secretion and improve beta-cell function also helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnancy health: Asparagus is packed with folate. Folate can decrease the risk of neural-tube defects in fetuses, so it’s important for pregnant women to consume enough on a daily basis.
- Digestive health: Asparagus is known to help with digestion due to its high fiber content. Fiber helps move food through the gut and provides relief from discomfort during the digestive process.
- Kidney health: Asparagus can act as a natural diuretic, helping the body excrete excess salt and fluid, making it especially good for people suffering from edema (swelling) and high blood pressure. It also helps flush out toxins in the kidneys and prevent kidney stones.
- Immune system health and cancer risk:
- Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which are found in great quantities in asparagus, are claimed to be associated with decreased risk of cancers.
- Asparagus also contains a group of phytonutrients called saponins that have both fat-soluble and water-soluble components. These are known for their effects on cell membranes and immune response.
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Gabrick A. The Health Benefits of Asparagus. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-health-benefits-of-asparagus
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