Asparagus is a member of the lily family, known scientifically as Asparagus officinalis. This popular vegetable comes in a variety of colors, including green, white, and purple. It's used in a variety of meals, including frittatas, pastas, and stir-fries. In addition to being low in calories, asparagus is abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Benefits of asparagus
- Many nutrients but low calorie
Asparagus have a low calorie count but a high nutrient profile. In fact, half a cup of cooked asparagus (90 grammes) includes:
- 2.2 grams of protein
- 0.2 grams of fats
- 1.8 grams of fiber
- 20 calories
- 6% potassium
- 7% vitamin E
- 5% phosphorous
Other asparagus benefits include iron, zinc, and riboflavin in tiny levels. It's a good source of vitamin K, a substance that helps with blood clotting and bone density. Furthermore, asparagus plants are high in folate, a mineral that is essential for a healthy pregnancy as well as a variety of body processes such as cell growth and DNA creation.
- It is a rich source of antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that help protect the cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Aging, chronic inflammation, and a variety of disorders, including cancer, are all linked to oxidative stress. Antioxidants abound in asparagus, as they do in other green vegetables. Vitamins E, C, and glutathione, and also flavonoids and polyphenols, are among them. The flavonoids quercetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol are particularly abundant in asparagus.
In a variety of human, test-tube, and animal studies, these compounds were discovered to have blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer activities.Purple asparagus also contains anthocyanins, which are strong pigments that give this vegetable it's brilliant color and have antioxidant properties in the body. In fact, studies have shown that increasing anthocyanin intake lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of a heart attack and heart disease. Consuming asparagus, as well as other fruits and vegetables, can give your body a variety of antioxidants that can help you stay healthy.
- It improves the digestive health
Dietary fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system. Half a cup of asparagus has 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the daily fiber requirement. According to research, consuming a diet rich in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Asparagus is high in insoluble fiber, which helps maintain regular bowel motions by adding weight to the stool.
A minor quantity of soluble fiber is also present, which degrades in water and creates a gel-like consistency in the digestive tract. Healthy bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus, are fed by soluble fiber. Increasing the quantity of these good bacteria aids in the immune system's strengthening and the production of critical nutrients such as vitamins B12 and C. Asparagus is a great method to meet your fiber needs and keep the digestive system healthy when eaten as part of a fiber-rich diet.
- It helps in having a healthy pregnancy
Asparagus plant is high in folate, which is also known as vitamin B9. Adults get 34% of their daily folate requirements from half a cup of asparagus, and pregnant women get 22% of their daily folate demands from half a cup of asparagus. Folate is a nutrient that aids in the formation of red blood cells and the production of DNA for proper growth and development. It's especially critical throughout the first trimester of pregnancy to support the baby's proper development. Folate, which can be found in asparagus, green leafy vegetables, and fruit, can help prevent neural tube disorders like spina bifida. Learning issues, lack of bowel or bladder control, and physical disability are all possible outcomes of neural tube abnormalities.In fact, enough folate is so important throughout pre-pregnancy and early gestation that women are advised to take folate supplements to ensure they achieve their needs.
- Reduces blood pressure
More than 1.3 billion individuals worldwide have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Increasing potassium intake with lowering salt intake appears to be an effective method to manage high blood pressure, according to research.Potassium reduces blood pressure in two ways: by easing blood vessel walls and excreting excess salt in the urine. Asparagus is a strong source of potassium, with a half-cup portion supplying 6% of your daily requirement. In addition, studies in rats with high blood pressure indicate that asparagus may have further blood pressure-lowering characteristics. Rats were fed either a 5 percent asparagus diet or a regular diet without asparagus in one research. The rats on the asparagus meal had 17% lower blood after 10 weeks than the rats on the normal diet.
This impact was thought to be caused by an active chemical in asparagus that stimulates blood vessels to widen, according to researchers. However, human research is needed to see if this active chemical has the same impact in humans. In any event, eating more potassium-rich foods like asparagus can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
- Helps in losing weight
There have been no studies on the effects of asparagus on weight loss yet. It does, however, have a variety of qualities that could help you lose weight. For starters, it's very low in calories, with half a cup containing only 20 calories. As a result, you can consume a large amount of asparagus without consuming a large amount of calories. Furthermore, it contains around 94 percent water. Weight loss has been linked to the consumption of low-calorie, liquid foods in research. Asparagus also has a lot of fiber, which has been linked to losing weight and a slimmer body.
- Easy to include in diet
Asparagus is delicious and easy to integrate into the diet, in addition to being healthful.
Boiling, grilling, steaming, roasting, and sautéing are just a few methods to prepare it. You can also buy canned asparagus that has already been cooked and is ready to eat. Salads, stir-fries, frittatas, omelets, and pastas are just a few of the meals that asparagus may be used in. It also makes a great side dish. It's also very inexpensive and commonly available in most supermarket stores. Look for sturdy stems and tight, sealed tips when buying fresh asparagus.
Asparagus is a healthy and delicious complement to any diet. It's low in calories and high in nutrients like fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K, to name a few. Asparagus also boasts a number of possible health benefits, notably weight loss, digestive problems, a healthy pregnancy, and decreased blood pressure. It's also affordable, simple to cook, and adds flavor to a variety of dishes.