Asparagus is a green vegetable. It is known for its peculiar taste and texture. This vegetable is a good source of vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, and copper. The asparagus has a zero GI value. Asparagus belongs to the lily family.
Asparagus is a perennial plant indigenous to Europe, North Africa, and temperate regions in Asia. This plant is a flowering perennial herbaceous plant characterized by fleshy stems and green fern-like foliage. The stems of this vegetable have a shallow root system that grows straight up from the ground for about 20 to 120 cm in height. This plant is also known as sparrow-grass or sprue grass because it was used as an antidote against food poisoning during ancient times.
Benefits of Asparagus:
Helps Lower Cholesterol:
Asparagus contains dietary fiber which can help lower cholesterol levels in the human body when consumed regularly in a diet. This vegetable is a good source of vitamin B, folate, and potassium which help lower blood cholesterol. A compound called asparagine present in asparagus inhibits the process of breaking down cholesterol naturally produced by the body. The Vitamin C found in asparagus helps to break down cholesterol for elimination from the body through bile acids.
Eating asparagus may help reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer because it contains high levels of folic acid, which has been linked to a reduced risk of breast and cervical cancers. It also contains glutathione, a substance that has been shown to protect cells from carcinogenic substances and encourages healthy cell function. Glutathione also helps protect cells from damage due to free radicals, which can cause cancerous mutations in DNA.
Cures Respiratory Disorders:
The potassium and vitamin C in asparagus can help strengthen the immune system, which in turn strengthens resistance against respiratory infections. Vitamin B in the asparagus helps with disorders of the bronchial passages, open sinuses, and nasal areas. It also prevents the thickening of mucus membranes lining the breathing passageways that may lead to the growth of bacteria or viruses. The diuretic properties in asparagus act like a mild laxative for relieving constipation by increasing bowel movements. They also purge waste toxins from your body via urine, thus helping resolve the root cause of bloating and water retention.
Asparagus is a low-glycemic index food, which means it does not cause blood sugar levels to spike after eating it. Glycemic index foods help prevent insulin spikes and subsequent drops in blood sugar levels, which can lead to hunger pangs and overeating. Asparagus has also been known to lower A1C (a long-term measure of blood glucose level). According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, asparagus contains several nutrients that may help maintain healthy glucose metabolism. The benefits were seen when asparagus was used either raw or cooked. However, boiled asparagus had the highest concentration of an anti-diabetic compound called asparagusic acid.
Helps Strengthen Bones:
Asparagus is rich in calcium, which is an important mineral for the growth and strength of bones. Asparagus also contains magnesium, vitamin B1, and phosphorus, all of which are necessary for maintaining strong bone tissue. Calcium intake has been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis substantially in women with lactose intolerance. The high levels of folic acid in asparagus help prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy by preventing excessive cell growth in the fetus. It may also improve fertility rates in infertile men or women.
If you’re looking to add more asparagus into your diet, consider adding this vegetable to salads or stir-fries. You can also pair it with a protein such as chicken breast for a well-balanced meal. If you enjoy the taste of asparagus but don’t have time to prepare it yourself, try drinking green smoothies made from fresh vegetables and fruits instead.