One of the first foods that signal the start of the spring season is the fresh asparagus that we see in grocery stores and farmer’s market. The asparagus doesn’t just taste good, it also has amazing benefits which are all amazingly good for the overall health of the body. The benefits of asparagus are all because of its nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to learn more about asparagus, continue reading on!
What is Asparagus?
Asparagus is actually a green spear that is fleshy, tender, and succulent. It has a very distinct and delicious flavor. Moreover, the asparagus was also called, the “sparrow grass”. Asparagus is from the lily family same with the garlic, onion, and the likes. Actually, there are hundreds of varieties of asparagus, even though only some are edible. It is available all over the year and it grows approximately up to 8 inches tall when you harvest it. The color of the asparagus is usually green and greenish purple. The vegetable is quite expensive compared to some other vegetables. This is since it is harvested by hand.
The asparagus must always be from the local grocery stores. This is since with time, the vegetable tends to lose its flavor. You must always keep in mind that when you buy asparagus, you must check if it is straight, firm, tender, smooth, dark green or violet with a closed tip.
What are the Nutritional Values of Asparagus?
Asparagus like some other vegetables is a great source of minerals, vitamins, and essential proteins. Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin E, folate, and vitamin K.
The mineral content of the vegetable includes calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, selenium, potassium, and zinc. Furthermore, it also contains a low amount of calories that has no cholesterol and has a low sodium content as well. Furthermore, it is also a rich source of dietary fiber that is quite essential for the body.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Since it the vegetable is very rich in vitamins and minerals, it is a home of many benefits. Furthermore, the benefits of asparagus are beneficial for the overall health. The following are some of the numerous benefits of asparagus:
Prevents aging. The folate and vitamin B12 content of the vegetable help increase the mental flexibility brain speed.
Cures infection. The fresh asparagus has a lot of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Consumption of these antioxidants in the diet helps in boosting the resistance of the body and cure infections.
Reduces the risk of cancer. Since asparagus is a herbaceous plant, it is a good source of glutathione, which helps in breaking down carcinogens and free radicals in the body. Thus, the asparagus is beneficial in protecting the body and treating various types of cancers.
Improves the metabolic function. Asparagus has rich contents of B-complex vitamins like vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and some pantothenic acids. The B vitamins are beneficial in maintaining the level of cellular enzymes and the metabolic functions.
Rich in antioxidant. The fresh asparagus has the richest amounts of antioxidants like lutein, cryptoxanthins, zeaxanthin, and carotene. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in killing free radicals from the body to help protect against neuro disorders, cancer, and some viral infections.
Dietary fiber. Asparagus has ample amount of dietary fiber. A hundred gram of asparagus may contribute about 2.1 grams of fiber. This can be beneficial in treating constipation, balance the blood sugar level, and reduce the bad cholesterol.
Low in calories. A hundred grams of asparagus only has 20 calories. If you digest this, it will help you absorb more calories. Hence, it is beneficial in shedding-off calories.
Side Effects of Asparagus
Even though there are a lot of benefits of asparagus, like any other foods that we consume, it also has side effects. Listed below are some of which:
Kidney stones. The purines content of the vegetable breaks down to create uric acid that may accumulate as a result of high purine content in the body.
Allergic reactions. If you are not used to eating asparagus, it may cause some allergic reactions. This is due to its reactions to leeks, onions, and some other parts of the lily family.
Pregnancy and lactation. The vegetable has an effect in altering the hormonal balance. During the stage of pregnancy and lactation, they usually consider that it is safe to eat a normal amount of the asparagus. However, doctor’s consultation is a must.
Gas. The vegetable has raffinose carbohydrate –in order to digest it, the body must ferment it. In the process of fermentation, gas is being produced and released from the body.
Asparagus truly isn’t just a delicious vegetable you can eat when you are craving for it. Its delicious taste comes with a lot of benefits as well. Moreover, these benefits of asparagus are spectacularly amazing.