Asparagus health benefits come in many forms like vitamins and minerals. We all know that in general, vegetables are rich in fiber. But, if you are not familiar with asparagus, you may be missing some vegetables that have unique nutritional components.
Asparagus health benefits promote reducing cholesterol levels. Besides, it contains fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients like potassium and folate.
Vegetables are the main choices of people who are in a calorie-restricted diet. Having a low energy density food intake can help you reduce your consumption of calorie. It can be the perfect combination with fruits if you are trying to lose some weight.
The combination of fiber, protein, and low-calorie content can make a difference in your metabolism. It can give you vitamins, and minerals in burning fats to your body. Aside from the advantages to lose weight, vegetable nutrients are very useful in fighting cancers and other diseases.
Vegetables can be the winner in a high-fiber diet. As one main factor in calorie-restricted diet, almost everyone is trying to have this diet. Given this, asparagus calories are only a small percentage of its content. When combined with high fiber content in vegetables, asparagus is one of the best sources of weight loss foods.
Origin of Asparagus
For over many ages, asparagus has been cultivated around the world. At the beginning of time, asparagus originated in some parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. Later on, it spreads widely to become popular in North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
The current largest asparagus producing country is China, with almost 7-million metric tons production. The following countries are Mexico and Peru. The asparagus production reaches about 175,000 to 400,000 metric tons. Therefore, asparagus is one of its priority crops.
Varieties of Asparagus
Production of asparagus affects its varieties. The farming methods for asparagus develop two varieties. The green asparagus grows with more exposure to sunlight. On the other hand, white asparagus is covered with soil to hinder sunlight exposure. Different types of asparagus include purple varieties. Purple varieties tagged as one of the healthiest variety of asparagus because of its flavonoid phytonutrients.
You can have the Purple Passion, Sweet Purple, or Pacific Purple. While for green asparagus variety, you can choose from Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight and Mary Washington.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts
Asparagus nutrients come in many forms. It is a good source of vitamin and minerals for digestion and immune system. It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart attack and diabetes.
Vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B9, C, A, and E can be found in asparagus. It has some minerals like manganese, phosphorus, choline, protein, and potassium. Both vitamins and minerals are a good source of dietary nutrients, combined with the fiber in asparagus. Aside from fiber, asparagus contains phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory components.
Having an adequate amount of these nutrients can increase the overall health of our body. It is essential that we maintain to be fit and healthy. It will prevent our body from infectious diseases and other health problems.
Asparagus Health Benefits
Is asparagus healthy? What are the asparagus health benefits while consuming it daily?
Asparagus offers low calorie but high in protein, and an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and provides 0% fats. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory component. These nutrients help our body to lower blood pressure as well as weight loss.
One of the most amazing benefits we can get from asparagus is, it slows down the signs of hangovers. According to a study from South Korea, the extract of asparagus leaves have a significant effect on our liver cells by providing anti-oxidants. The asparagus leaves increase healthy cells by up to 70%. These two essential enzymes can excrete alcohol out of your body.
Asparagus may give some side effects to our body, but it has more health benefits. Asparagus health benefits can be determined in different aspects. Like other vegetables, it can target the central functional systems of our body.
Asparagus health benefits contribute to our overall health. Adequate eating and proper cooking of asparagus can lead us to a healthy lifestyle.
The best healthy diet is composed of vegetables, fruits, fish, and dairy products. They are a good source of low purines level. Red meat is a high-purine food source. It can aggravate your uric acid level and symptoms of gout arthritis and kidney stones. Vegetables are a low-purine food source. Therefore, asparagus protein is sufficient to keep our uric acid at a reasonable level.
Asparagus during Pregnancy
Asparagus as pregnancy food has folate. Vitamin B9 or folate is one of the essential factors to prevent some baby neural-tube defects during pregnancy. It helps in the promotion of ovarian hormones. Increase in ovarian hormones level can avoid the risk of congenital child disabilities.
Most common newborn health problems are because of vitamin B9 deficiency. Inadequate intake of folate during pregnancy or early stage of pregnancy can result in several health problems. The complications may occur not only to the baby but also to the mother.
During pregnancy, asparagus plays a significant role because of its vitamin K and vitamin E. These two vitamins are vital for the early stage of pregnancy. It also plays a crucial role before the sperm and egg cells meet.
Asparagus vitamin K helps reduce PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Most women are experiencing PMS which are hard to deal with and uncontrollable. Extreme mood swings, severe migraine, and cramps in the lower abdomen of women are some symptoms. It occurs before the monthly menstruation period. Excessive clotting of blood in the reproductive system causes cramps. By eating asparagus, it can prevent excessive blood clotting. Moreover, vitamin K combined with calcium can also address the migraines. It controls mood swings before and after menstruation period.
Vitamin E in asparagus contributes to preparing the uterus lining for the implantation of the sperm and egg cells. Through lipid peroxidation, sperm cells remain to be healthy in the entire early stages of pregnancy.
Reduce Early Signs of Chronic Diseases (Heart attack, Diabetes)
We can reduce the early signs of chronic diseases like heart attack and diabetes by changing our eating lifestyle. We can prevent most of the common ailments if we have a healthy eating lifestyle.
For example, adequate consumption of nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, and anti-inflammatory can reduce early signs of chronic diseases. We can get these nutrients from asparagus, known as one of the best weight loss foods.
Asparagus fiber does not only promote weight loss. It also reduces the risk of getting a heart attack by gradually decreasing the bad cholesterol in our body. The anti-inflammatory component decreases the chances of getting heart diseases as well. Also, asparagus B vitamins keep our blood vessels protected. Healthy blood vessels will prevent the development of other heart diseases.
Meanwhile, vitamin B6 from asparagus regulates blood sugar to its average level. It promotes insulin secretion and production that can affect the blood sugar level in our body. As high fiber foods, asparagus contribute to the proper regulations of blood sugar.
Improves Brain Function
Another significant role aside from reproductive hormones, asparagus vitamin B9, or folate helps in serotonin production. Serotonin is a compound responsible for cognitive and behavioral development. It can prevent Alzheimer and dementia occurrence.
Promotes anti-aging benefits
As we grow old, our body functions are slowly depleting. Our immune system is becoming weaker. It is getting worse if we do not have a healthy lifestyle.
Over time, our body needs to replenish the nutrients to perform on top of everything. There are beauty products that can alter our physical appearance. However, our intake of healthy foods is more important.
Further, asparagus vitamins B9 and B12 can ward off early signs of aging. Also, it is glutathione-rich food, which has antioxidant properties. Moreover, it can elevate our skin moisture. It will delay wrinkle formation and make our skin smoother over time. The antioxidant with niacin in asparagus can deliberately fight off irritation. It reduces redness from acne scars. Acne if not treated early can cause injuries. These scars are painful and hard to remove.
Improves Nutrients Absorption
If we have an adequate amount of fiber in our body, it enhances nutrients absorption from our intake of healthy foods. However, too much consumption can cause digestive problems and discomfort.
A specific dietary fiber can be found in asparagus. According to an academic study, inulin in asparagus is essential in the digestion process. It supports the good bacteria in the large intestines. Because inulin goes to the large intestines directly, it becomes a food source for good bacteria. It helps in our body’s nutrient absorption. As a prebiotic, inulin can reduce the risk of colon cancer over time.
If nutrient absorption is right, we can acquire magnesium from asparagus. Magnesium is a mineral that provides energy and reduces the feeling of fatigue. It is one of the best weight loss foods because it improves metabolism. As a result, it can boost physical performance as well.
Help reduce symptoms of cancer
Adequate daily consumption of asparagus helps reduce symptoms of cancer. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are what make the asparagus an anti-cancer. Asparagus fights cancers by suppressing cancer cells in our body.
Asparagus saponins involve in the prevention of cancer tumors formations. As phytonutrients, saponins can penetrate through cell membranes. With that, it promotes the immunity response of our body to damage cells. It prevents the symptoms of ailments.
In the prevention of cancer in our body, asparagus has copper to provide oxygen in our blood. It stops any blockage in blood circulation. It improves metabolism and prevents undernourishment.
Risks of eating asparagus
Like other vegetables, overeating of asparagus can lead to health problems. Too much fiber in our digestive system will make us feel bloated. With too much consumption of asparagus, you will notice the change of your urine odor. Some people have an allergy to eating asparagus. Allergy symptoms include runny nose, swelling of mouth and lips and trouble breathing.
The precise cooking of asparagus is the key to prevent nutrition loss afterwards. Asparagus recipes should avoid the methods of grilling, frying and baking. These cooking methods can create a compound that fuels cancer cells. Besides, improper cooking of asparagus can create carbs that can cause health problems later on.
Before cooking, you will need to wash the asparagus thoroughly to be sure that no foreign compounds like soil and sand will be included in your dish. Use cold water to clean asparagus to maintain its freshness. While peeling of asparagus, you should separate thick stems from the flesh. Thick stems are not edible unlike stems from thin asparagus, which are pleasant and tender in texture.
Ideally, you should cook asparagus in the whole portion. The best way to cook asparagus is to expose in minimal heat, shorten the cooking duration and at least a small amount of oil used in cooking. Too much heat can result in overcooking. It will lose all the nutrients of asparagus. Likewise, too much cooking oil can produce cancer-causing chemicals from asparagus.
An example of cooking asparagus is to sauté. Prepare five tablespoons of broth with your preference of vegetable, chicken, or water and put in a skillet. Heat the broth and wait for the bubbles to begin formation. Once it appears, you can add the whole asparagus and cover for five minutes. After exactly 5 minutes, you can chop the asparagus to complement your vegetable salad. You can also make it a side dish of your favorite salmon.
Other asparagus recipes include as a topping to your favorite pasta with thyme, rosemary, and basil. You can add it to your favorite breakfast egg omelets. As a main dish, asparagus can be combined with mushroom, tofu and chicken as options for your meal plan.
Proper selection and storage of asparagus before cooking
Finding the right quality of asparagus is a little challenging for market goers. You can find three varieties in the shelf at supermarkets. You can choose from green, white, or purple.
The appearance of asparagus is important in choosing the freshest and has the quality to last about two days. You can enjoy the flavor and health benefits of asparagus if you consume it within two days, proving that it is freshly harvested. If you can see the stalks, the shape should be round and not deform. Firmness is next for you to check on. Quality and fresh asparagus usually have thin stems with closed tips. For green and purple variety, the tips should have dark shades of the hues. The end should be half-timber and half-tender. The reason that the end of asparagus has a woody texture is to maintain freshness.
How can we preserve the asparagus nutrients if we plan to cook it a few more days apart from the day we bought it?
One way to preserve asparagus is to refrigerate it while wrapping the ends with a paper towel. However, how long can we store it when wrapped with a paper towel? Like other vegetables, asparagus has no expiration date as long as it is not rotten. The freshness of asparagus depends on how we preserved it in our refrigerator. Nutrients from asparagus will not leave as long as our cooking methods are in minimal form.
Indeed, asparagus is one of the best weight loss foods that we can have in our meal plan daily. The fiber, vitamins, and other minerals are significant which can help us to be fit and healthy. The anti-oxidants are also essential to fight off symptoms of cancer in our body. It heals the damage cells that can trigger cancer cells.
Asparagus, if cooked right, has an intense flavor and have all the vitamins you deserve. From eating asparagus, you can have a good source of vitamin A. It can provide the nutrients for your eyes to prevent retinal problems. Surprisingly, you can have a certain amount of vitamin C from asparagus. On the contrary, do not expect it to be as adequate as the grapefruit. Vitamin C in asparagus provides additional support to our immune system.
One of the best things about asparagus that most of us could not imagine is its cleansing power and making our kidneys on the tract without infections or kidney stones. According to a medical study, asparagus promotes a natural way to excrete oversupply of salt in our body. If you ate salty foods like dried fish, asparagus can normalize your body’s salt content as well as detoxify it. An adequate amount of asparagus per daily consumption can make your blood pressure healthy.
On the contrary, if you have an allergic reaction with asparagus, you can avoid eating it. You can have other alternative healthy foods. Aside from asparagus, there are plenty of healthy foods from fruits and vegetables.
Most importantly, you should always be considering the cooking method to prevent altering the nutrients of asparagus from healthy to ‘asparagus cancer food source.’ Overall, asparagus has many health benefits, and therefore, you should consider it as one of your best weight loss foods.