Asparagus is one of the tastiest and most versatile vegetables around. In this article, we will look at its health benefits.
Asparagus not only contains vitamins and minerals, but it is also a diuretic and is rich in fiber which helps to counteract fluid retention and prevent constipation. In this article, we are going to look at a number of amazing health benefits of asparagus that you can easily enjoy if you just consume this vegetable in the right way.
Properties of asparagus
It is the stem part of the plant called Aspargus officinalis , and it can grow up to one and a half meters long. It belongs to the same family as leeks, onions, and chives, although it doesn’t look like it belongs there.
Green asparagus comes from the area around the Mediterranean Sea, more specifically the areas around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, people ate asparagus and gave it as an offering to the gods. It spread to the rest of Europe thanks to the Romans, who ate a lot of it because of its medicinal properties.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, people stopped consuming asparagus.
But in the 17th century, asparagus was popular again, it was one of the most consumed foods among the bourgeois and upper classes. Until the 1800s, green asparagus was the type of asparagus that people knew. But due to a change in how many people were growing it (underground), the white asparagus began to grow.
The difference in color thus depends on how much sun the plant receives (the green color is due to chlorophyll ). Today, this vegetable is grown in regions with a mild climate, the largest producers being Italy, Germany, and France.
Although greenhouses and the possibility of freezing allow us to eat this vegetable all year round, spring is really the best time to eat asparagus. Then you can eat it fresh.
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
Because it is very high in vitamins, asparagus has been popular since ancient times, and there are many health benefits of asparagus. Read on and we’ll tell you who they are:
1. It is a diuretic
As it consists predominantly of water, asparagus facilitates the removal of fluids.
- We recommend asparagus for those suffering from fluid retention, swelling, or kidney problems (such as kidney stones and infections), and also for people with high blood pressure.
- It contains the substance asparagine, which stimulates urine production.
- Asparagus does not naturally contain sodium and therefore it does not contribute to the usual swelling you can get with PMS, among other things.
2. It is a laxative
Another among all health benefits of asparagus is its ability to regulate intestinal transit thanks to its fiber content. Eating asparagus can help treat and prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the colon, and irritable bowel.
Fiber also has other beneficial properties. For example, it can reduce cholesterol and improve the breakdown of sugar in the blood.
3. It is an antioxidant
Eating a meal containing asparagus can be far more effective than any beauty treatment. This is because this green (or white) vegetable contains a lot of antioxidants that have the ability to neutralize the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals attack cells and cause aging. Asparagus also contains beta-carotene which is good for keeping the skin healthy and fresh.
4. It is an antidepressant
Asparagus also contains a large amount of folic acid. This nutrient not only improves the health of pregnant women and helps the fetus develop, but it is also good for the brain. Asparagus reduces the risk of cognitive decline, which helps you sleep well, overcome insomnia and even treat depression.
If you find it difficult to relax, or if you experience a lot of stress and exhaustion, one of the best things you can do is add some asparagus to your meals.
5. It is very nutritious
Its nutritional composition consists of vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as chromium, fiber, and folic acid. If you eat asparagus regularly, this will provide the body with lots of important nutrients that are needed for all the body’s functions.
6. Health benefits of asparagus for bones
Adults over 50 (especially women going through menopause ) and children under 5 should eat more asparagus than others. Why? Due to its vitamin K content, it makes the bones stronger and healthier, preventing bone fractures.
As you get older, your bones become weaker, and you may suffer from osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. Asparagus is part of how to prevent this. Children should eat asparagus to grow and develop properly. Thanks to this vegetable, the protein osteocalcin (found inside the bone tissue) will help the body to function better.
7. Health benefits of asparagus and weight
If you are on a diet to lose weight, you should add asparagus to your diet plan.
- 100 grams of raw asparagus contains 300 mg of potassium (and cooked about half as much). This nutrient is known to reduce belly fat.
- The fiber content prevents constipation and helps the body remove toxins.
And as if this were not enough, it also satiates hunger, which prevents snacking between meals and overeating due to anxiety, depression, or boredom.
8. It is antiviral
Finally, the last health benefit we want to talk about is that asparagus contributes nutrients that help the body’s immune system. If you eat asparagus, this can therefore help prevent colds, flu, and other viral or bacterial diseases.