Asparagus has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and ritualistic purposes. Its usage can be traced back to Egypt, Syria and Spain. It was used in ancient Greece and Rome for its diuretic properties. Owing to its phosphorus content, asparagus was also considered an aphrodisiac in the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. In fact, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, asparagus was grown only for the nobility. It was in the eighteenth century, that the asparagus entered the local market for the common people to enjoy.
One of the most nutritionally rich vegetables, asparagus is a rich source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, zinc and magnesium. It also contains proteins, beta-carotene, thiamine, folic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. Asparagus makes a perfect component for salads, owing to its low calorie and sodium content. Typically eaten as an appetizer, asparagus can be also being eaten stir fried, grilled, or raw in salads. Given its nutritional values, asparagus has a number of health benefits ranging from skin care to cancer prevention.
Read On To Find The Health Benefits Of Asparagus:
Asparagus is a rich source of folate, which according to experts may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and oesophageal cancer. The presence of vitamin C and beta-carotene also aids in cancer protection. Other than folate, asparagus also contains glutathione. The detoxifying property of this compound is helpful in breaking down carcinogens. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate called inulin. Inulin is not digested in the upper intestinal tract and helps in the better absorption of nutrients in the lower gastrointestinal tract, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Prevention Of Cognitive Impairment
Other than cancer prevention, the presence of folate aids in the prevention of cognitive impairment leading to better mental flexibility and response speed.
The presence of the amino acid asparagine in asparagus makes it an effective diuretic, helping the body in getting rid of excessive salts. This property of asparagus is particularly helpful for people suffering with edema, heart related issues and blood pressure.
Asparagus is an excellent source of dietary fibres and proteins and both the nutrients are considered essential for digestion. Dietary fibres are particularly known for boosting digestive health and help in treating severe problems such as acid reflux as well.
Prevention Of Type 2 Diabetes And Maintenance Of Blood Sugar Levels
The presence of anti-inflammatory compounds and anti-oxidants prevents the body against inflammation and oxidation stress, aiding in the prevention of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. The vitamin B6 present in Asparagus helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Glutathione is also helpful in protecting the skin against sun damage and acts as an anti-ageing agent.
Prevention Of Kidney Stones
Owing to its diuretic property, asparagus has been used in getting rid of kidneys toxins and the prevention of kidney stones for centuries. It also acts as a laxative owing to the presence of water-based fibre, which helps in passing out the kidney stones easily.
Pregnant women and women planning to conceive are advised to include a significant amount of folate in their diet. The folate present in asparagus helps in the healthy development of the foetus, particularly, the neural tube. It also helps in the breaking down and formation of new proteins.
Strengthening The Immune System
Asparagus is a rich source of rutin, which along with vitamin C, helps in strengthening the immune system.
Improving Bone Health
Green asparagus is a rich source of vitamin K, which is known for increasing bone density and reducing fracture rates.
Thiamine or vitamin B1 is helpful in converting carbohydrates to energy. Therefore, consuming asparagus, which is a source of thiamine promotes healthy metabolism and increases focus. Asparagus is also a good energy booster due to the presence of vitamin B, the “energy vitamin.” Including asparagus in your diet can help you in overcoming that nasty spell of tiredness.
Lowered Risk Of Depression
Increased levels of the amino acid homocysteine can cause a number of health issues, including blood clotting, heart diseases and even depression. Folate, present in asparagus, prevents the formation of excess levels of homocysteine in the body. Asparagus can thus prove beneficial to ward off depression, improve sleep and apetitite.
Relief In PMS Symptoms
The diuretic property of asparagus also helps in relieving premenstrual bloating. Magnesium, present in asparagus helps with mood swings, typically associated with PMS.
Urinary Tract Health
Asparagus is used to treat urinary tract infections and swelling. Due to its detoxifying nature, it is known for maintaining urinary tract health.
Treatment Of Blemishes
Washing your face with boiled asparagus is beneficial in getting rid of blemishes.
Massaging with asparagus oil is known to help with the treatment of lower back pain, sciatica and paralysis.
Treatment Of Fatigue
Asparagus neutralizes ammonia in the body, due to the presence of amino acid, thus treating symptoms of fatigue. It can also be used to treat hypertension.