Have you heard of or seen an ashitaba before? If yes, then I’m going to say you are lucky! If not, you are still lucky, because you are reading the right article! Ashitaba is actually one of the most important culinary ingredients in the whole wide world. It also plays a very important role in the field of medicine, particular used in Japan for centuries now. However, there are some things that you should understand about this amazing plant. Read this article to get more information on the nutrition and health benefits of ashitaba. I am telling you, you will be surprised!
What is Ashitaba?
Scientifically referred to as Angelica Keiskei, ashitaba (Japanese for flowering plant) is a member of the carrot family. It bears dissected, fast-growing leaves which are typically used as both medicine and food in Japan. Ashitaba contains high levels of vitamin B complex, as well as a moderate amount of protein, calcium, iron and potassium. Not only that, there is also a multitude of powerful antioxidant properties in this particular plant.
The leaves of ashitaba are the most typically used part, although the taproot and stems are also beneficial for other preparations. The plant is often called ‘tomorrow’s leaf’, but it is best used today (corny, no?). Looking at it, you may just see a simple plant. Inside, though, it is bursting with nutrition. Many turn to ashitaba as a replacement for other leafy greens, particularly due its milder taste, which is comparable to that of guava leaves or celery root.
Nutritional Value of Ashitaba
- Zinc: 9 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 2 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 75 micrograms
- Sodium: 9 milligrams
- Vitamin E: 39 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 15 milligrams
- Potassium: 81 milligrams
- Phosphorus: 75 milligrams
- Pantothenic acid: 14 milligrams
- Vitamin B2: 4 milligrams
- Niacin: 21 milligrams
- Manganese: 16 milligrams
- Magnesium: 9 milligrams
- Iron: 15 milligrams
- Vitamin B1: 2 milligrams
- Vitamin A: 66 micrograms
- Folate: 15 micrograms
- Fat calories: 5 calories / 15 grams
- Copper: 2 milligrams
- Calories: 33 calories / 100 grams
- Calcium: 75 milligrams
Ways to Consume Ashitaba
Here are some of the possible uses of ashitaba:
- Tinctures and extracts are available from health stores for a variety of purposes.
- The dried leaves may be chopped and ground into a powder and placed into capsules.
- 1-2 dried leaves of ashitaba may be brewed into a powerful tea, consumed twice every day
- Many experts recommend rinsing the leaves with some salt water, then rinsing again with fresh water before consumption.
- As a food, ashitaba leaves may be a good substitute for other green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach, collard greens etc.
Health Benefits of Ashitaba
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of ashitaba:
- Helps brain function: there is a high level of vitamin B12 in ashitaba, making it a good way to prevent memory loss, increase attention, increase concentration and maintain emotional control.
- Helps prevent and cure stomach problems: since ashitaba is a diuretic, it helps the body to release excess water weight, making you feel better and improving your digestion. It also helps reduce stomach secretion, thus helping treat heartburn and peptic ulcers.
- Helps increase metabolism: ashitaba is great for the body, increasing energy and stimulating the metabolism. When you combine it with regular exercise and a healthy diet, it may be also beneficial in eliminating excess weight.
- Helps prevent and treat diabetes: ashitaba helps reduce insulin levels by preventing spikes in blood sugar. It also increases insulin sensitivity.
- Helps boost immunity: regular consumption of ashitaba may have a great effect on the immune system. Its anti-inflammatory properties help prevent diseases like arthritis and help reduce joint and muscular pain.
- Helps prevent cancer: the antioxidant properties of ashitaba are beneficial in preventing the onset of cancer. They have a remarkable ability to suppress cell growth abnormalities. This is one of the best health benefits of ashitaba.
- Helps slow down aging: the rich antioxidant contents of ashitaba are beneficial in slowing down the aging process, making you look younger than your age. It also helps exfoliate off dead cells, leaving the skin soft.
Side Effects of Ashitaba
Although there are many health benefits of ashitaba, there may also be some side effects if you consume it excessively, including trouble breastfeeding and pregnancy complications, so women must practice extra caution. Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet.