Health benefits of Asparagus
Asparagus is fantastic for health and it marks the onset of spring. The vegetable is loaded with nutrients which makes it a must included vegetable in our diet. Due to its savoury taste, asparagus is also used as aphrodisiac during ancient period. There are numerous health benefits of asparagus primarily because of the high content of folate and Vitamin K, anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-carotene along with numerous minerals like manganese, zinc and selenium. Asparagus is also a good source of asparagines amino acid and chromium, a trace metal. Glutathione, present in asparagus acts as a detoxifier and help in destruction of carcinogens. Health benefits of asparagus are discussed as below:
- Asparagus for healthy heart: the richness of Vitamin K in asparagus helps in preventing the clotting of blood. Similarly the Vitamins B present in asparagus helps in regulation of homocysteine amino acid. The high levels of homocysteine can lead to risk of heart strokes. Asparagine helps in flushing out excess of salts from the body. The anti-inflammatory effect also reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- Regulation of blood sugar: Vitamin B6 helps in regulating the sugar levels in the blood. Asparagus juice is beneficial for people suffering from diabetes to control the sugar in the blood.
- Lowers down Type 2 Diabetes risk: A health benefit of asparagus includes preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes. This is because of the strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Asparagus helps in improving the process of insulin secretion. It also improves the functioning of beta cells which are responsible for the storage as well as the release of insulin from pancreas. Thus, asparagus helps in controlling Type 2 diabetes.
- Anti-ageing effect: glutathione, acts as an anti-oxidant and help in slowing down the process of ageing. It also helps in protecting the skin from the damage caused by the pollution and sun.
- Functions as natural diuretic: asparagus, acting as natural diuretic helps cleansing the body by getting rid of excess of fluids and salts. Therefore, asparagus is very beneficial for people suffering from blood pressure problems and edema. Asparagus also works towards removing the toxins from the kidney and helps in prevention of kidney stones.
- Rich in folates: asparagus are excellent source of folates, particularly folic acid. Folates play a crucial role in processes like synthesis of DNA. Folates consumption during pregnancy helps in preventing the neural tube disorders in the newborns. Thus it is advisable during early pregnancy to consume asparagus.
- Healthy gut: Another health benefit of asparagus is that they help in digestion and keep the gut healthy. Asparagus is rich in fibre as well as proteins and thus help in movement of food though the digestive tract. Also, asparagus contains inulin which is a probiotic dietary fibre. It helps in improving digestion and does not get digested unless it reaches the large intestine. It also helps in nurturing of bacteria which further improves the absorption of nutrients.
- Prevention against cancer: there are several anti-oxidants present in asparagus like zea-xanthin, carotenes, lutein and crypto-xanthin which help in removal of free radicals from the body. Thus asparagus helps in protecting against several diseases like viral infections, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
Asparagus is very good source of minerals like iron and copper. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and for cellular respiration. Other electrolytes present in copper include potassium, calcium, manganese etc. potassium helps regulating the blood pressure and heart rate by working against the effect of sodium.
Asparagus health benefits make it a must included vegetable in daily diet. Asparagus and cancer are sometimes closely associated with the saying that asparagus helps in fighting cancer. There are researches going on to find out the truth about the saying the asparagus cures cancer. However, it has also been established that with the consumption of asparagus cancer can be controlled to some extent, even though not to the marginal extent. This is because the presence of amino acid methionine which along with Vitamin B6 and folate helps in fighting cancer. Asparagus extract supplements are widely for stimulating the immune system and for the treatment of ulcers. Fresh asparagus is very rich in calcium, potassium, iron and Vitamin A and Vitamin C. it becomes important to cook fresh asparagus gently to preserve its nutrients.