When spring comes, it’s time for including asparagus to your healthy meals. You can find it easily in your local grocery stores and get all the nutrients packed in this vegetable. There are numerous vitamins and minerals contained in asparagus and it is quite flexible for any kind of diet you are planning. Get to know what is containing inside asparagus, what benefits you can reap, how to consume it and what cautions should be taken should be the first thing to do before start eating.
Asparagus Nutritional Value
1. Folic Acid
Folate is highly recommended for pregnant women or those who are planning to be pregnant. As a kind of B vitamin, folate can help your body producing new cells. The amount of folate in asparagus is quite high, which covers 34 of your required folate intake. Eating asparagus will prevent you from taking folate supplements since you already had a large amount of it from your foods.
Asparagus is low calorie, low sodium and no cholesterol. This is just perfect for anyone who is planning to lose some weight. You need this kind of food to keep your body healthy. Also, asparagus is rich in fiber allowing your digestive system work better.
3. Vitamins, Minerals and Proteins
Some vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B-6, A, E, C and K are available in high amount. Some minerals that are good for your body such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphors can be also found in asparagus. Simply eating asparagus can make you healthier and giving your body more required nutrients.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
While in the inside asparagus is packed with perfect nutrients, it is also delicious to eat and easy to add in many kinds of dishes. Moreover, due to the richness of nutrients contained, asparagus provides numerous benefits for your health.
- Healthy Bones
Vitamin K is one of the important nutrients for your bones since it can help them to be stronger and healthier. The good news is you can find about 69 percent of daily vitamin K recommended intake from asparagus. Taking vitamin K can help to repair the formation of your bone while preventing some bone illnesses such as osteoporosis.
- Younger Skin
If you like taking vitamin E supplement for giving your skin some nutrient, now you can find this antioxidant inside asparagus. Vitamin E is effective in keeping your skin look younger since it provides protection from free radicals, preventing your skin from damage.
- Better Digestion
Eating asparagus can make your digestive system works better with its fiber content. Your regular basis can be easier so that you don’t have to deal with constipation that is not comfortable for your stomach. Not only the fiber, it is also packed with inulin or prebiotic that is beneficial for your digestive system. Prebiotic helps your body absorb nutrients easier while reducing some risks of allergies and cancers targeting your stomach. Constipation and bloating can be effectively prevented using the dietary fiber containing laxative properties for making your bowels function smoother.
- Healthy Hair
Not only the antioxidant is good for your skin, this is also keeping your hair healthier. With the additional beneficial vitamins such as vitamins C and A completed with the calcium, your hair can get the nutrients needed. Hair follicles tend to produce sebum, which in some cases; this is bad because it can make your hair sticky and nasty. However, sebum is important for keeping your head moisturized and preventing it from becoming dry. When the nutrient is fulfilled, the follicles are stimulated to produce sebum and it acts as a natural conditioner for your hair.
- Weight Loss Aid
One of the key points of losing some weight is to give your digestive system a kick start. The reason why fiber is needed for diet is because its ability in keeping your stomach feeling full longer after eating. With the fullness in your stomach you can hold the temptation to eat more. Asparagus is also low in cholesterol, which is good for your body. Moreover, it also contains potassium that is helpful in cutting the fat in your belly. So if you are planning to lose some weight don’t forget to include this green vegetable.
Vitamin E contained in asparagus is more than just an antioxidant property for your skin and hair, but this is also helpful in stimulating your sex hormones. The vitamin B6 and folate are also beneficial for orgasm making asparagus is an excellent option for those who need some help in their marriage life.
- Cancer Prevention
Folate is indeed beneficial for health. The high amount of folate in asparagus makes it wonderful for preventing cancer. You don’t have to take folic acid anymore because you can give your body natural forms of folate from asparagus. The natural one is always better. So leave out your supplement and get the more natural instead. Not only the folate, but also glutathione, a kind of compound used for breaking down harmful compounds in your body, can be also found in a high amount. So it is clear why asparagus is effective in preventing many kinds of cancers including breast cancer, bone cancer, ling cancer and colon cancer.
- Healthy Eyes
Eyes need vitamin A for maintaining its vision. You can find this vitamin from asparagus by helping the retinas work more effectively in absorbing light.
- Birth Defects Prevention
Still about the excellent benefits of folate for your body, this is also needed for pregnant women for preventing birth defects while regulating the formations of fetal. Pregnant women are usually suggested to take folic acid supplement due to the incredible benefits, but now you can make it safer by going with the more natural option.
- Iron Richness
Iron is usually found in meat, but some people can’t stand the taste of meat due to certain conditions. If you are one of them, consider including asparagus in your daily meals since it covers around 15 percent of your required daily intake of iron. Iron is very important for health since it has a significant role in carrying oxygen through your body. Experiencing in iron deficiency will make you less resistant of disease and infection.
- Brain Booster
The combination of vitamin b12 and folate that can be found in asparagus is the same kind you can get from meat, fish and dairy. Giving your body those nutrients can boost your brain and mental. The older you are you need to maintain your B12 and folate intake because the brain’s ability is decreasing as well. It can also relax the nerves and promote your health both mentally and physically.
- Natural Diuretic
If you are suffering from high blood pressure, asparagus can be a healthy treatment since this is rich in amino acid asparagine. This is natural diuretic that can help your body releasing fluid and increasing urination. Especially for people with edema, asparagus can be very helpful. Not only the fluids, but also the excess salts in your body can be released.
- Homocysteine Controller
Homocysteine is created in your blood caused by the breaking down of amino acids. The content of B6, B12 and folate in asparagus can help homocysteine to be converted into cysteine and then methionine. If you are lack of vitamin B, the level of homocysteine in your blood will raise and it can led to some serious problems to the blood such as the blockage of nutrients and blood to reach your brain.
- PMS Reliever
It is very common to feel bloating when women are getting their PMS, but this is really uncomfortable. If you experience such PMS symptom, just take some asparagus since tit can help your body reducing the cramps from menstruation. The nutrients contained in asparagus are also excellent in combatting the fatigue during your PMS. The balance of your hormone can be also maintained by consuming asparagus.
Wild asparagus contain saponins and this is said to be anti-tumor property. Eating asparagus can help the glutathione level in your body increasing providing more protection for your health from many harmful diseases such as cancer, cardiac disorders, HIV and AIDS.
- Diabetes Treatment
Considering its anti-inflammatory properties, asparagus is able to regulate the levels of blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to some studies. There are some proven results that asparagus can improve the secretion of insulin and keep blood sugar stabilized. Remember that it is only reducing the risk, not healing the disease. It is a kind of prevention and treatment, not medicine. People suffering from diabetes should consult with their doctor first to ensure the safety.
- Neurodegenerative Treatment
Asparagus racemosus contain phytoestrogen that is effective in addressing neurodegenerative, a condition where the neurons in the brain getting damage. Since your body needs stimulant in treating the brains’ neurons, consuming asparagus can be helpful. This is also helpful in treating Parkinson and Alzheimer.
- Preventing High Cholesterol
Asparagus is packed with anti-oxidants, which are not only helpful in improving the health of your sin, but also effective in treating certain diseases leading to high cholesterol. It has been known that high cholesterol is harmful since it causes many fatal conditions to your health.
- Normal Blood Flow
Its richness of vitamin K is helpful in ensuring your blood flow is normal. It is beneficial for stabilizing your blood sugar as well. So eating asparagus daily can be great for your health, but note that those suffering from diabetes and lower blood sugar might not be appropriate consuming asparagus.
- Fertility Benefits
Asparagus racemosus contains anti-anxiety properties that can be used to cure mental or physical disorders for males. Both males and females can get the fertility benefits from asparagus. For males it can enhance the libido while for females asparagus can address menopausal syndrome and improve breast milk, both in the quantity and quality.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Being high in folate, asparagus can be used to treat rheumatism. This is because asparagus is containing anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to address the inflammation in the joints, a condition happens when you are suffering rheumatism. The pain in the joints can be relived as well as the other inflamed body parts related with the disease.
- Cataracts Prevention
Not only asparagus is rich in vitamin K, it is also packed with vitamin, which is excellent for your eyes. With the combination of vitamin A and antioxidants, asparagus can protect your retina from free radicals to keep it healthy. Also, glutathione and amino contained is great in reducing some eye-related diseases like cataracts.
Asparagus Side Effects
Asparagus is rich in nutrients and benefits, but there are also some side effects if you eat it too much. So control your asparagus intake no matter how good this is for your health. Here are some side effects you can be aware of before consuming.
- Bloated Stomach. Although asparagus is packed with nutrients, it also contains raffinose. This is a kind of carbohydrate that is not easy to digest and it can lead to the form of excess gas in your stomach making you feel bloated. This carbohydrate can be digested through fermentation process your body produces gas and it gives impact to your stomach. So try to limit your asparagus intake for preventing bloated stomach.
- Allergy. If you are allergic to onions, garlic and leeks, you might also experience the same symptoms when eating asparagus. So if you are having certain allergies, try to eat it in a small amount first and see the result. If nothing happens, then you can eat more. It is also better if you consult it with your doctor to check whether or not asparagus is okay for you.
- Smelly Urine. Asparagus is rich in vitamin C and this is why when you consume it too much, you can get urination more often. Not only more frequent, it becomes smellier caused by the methionine derivative produced by your body. When you eat asparagus, that compound is produced since your body is trying to break down the vegetable. Also, there is sulfur containing in the amino acid from asparagus that adds more smells.
Tips Cooking Asparagus
Cooking asparagus can be done in many ways to suit your personal taste. Before cooking, it is best to peel and wash asparagus to ensure it is clean enough. You don’t have to peel the thin ones, but the thicker stems need peeling. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the stem in the bottom part where the tough skin is located and wash it afterwards in cold water. This will effectively clean the vegetable from soil and sand and make it more hygienic. Remember to not peel the tips, but only the bottom part, which is the tough skin, existed.
Steam your asparagus by filling a large pot with water and put a steamer in. make sure the water is not seeping through the steamer’s holes and bring it to boil. When the asparagus getting softer with your desired texture, put it out and enjoy with melted butter.
Cut your asparagus at the ends to remove the thick spears and wash it before grilling. Make a shape of boat using aluminum foil as a place for putting the asparagus and add two tablespoons of olive oil into it before placing the asparagus and grill it on an outdoor grill. Grilling asparagus might not make it soft enough, but it will keep its nutrients. This method is very easy so if you don’t want to have too much time and effort eating your asparagus, you can just go with grilling. You can also use a griddle pan to grill asparagus by trimming the spears first, and then add a mixture of seasoning and olive oil to drizzle. Once they mixed well, put it on a griddle over a medium heat and let each side about two minutes to turn a little black before serving.
If you want your asparagus to be richer in flavor, consider roasting it. Again, trim and wash the asparagus and peel the tough stalks lightly. Pat it to dry and drizzle it with olive oil, pepper and salt on a baking sheet. Make sure the asparagus is well coated before baking it about 15 minutes at 220°C. This roasted asparagus can be served with pasta, meat or stirred with a risotto. You can make it tastier by mozzarella, grated lemon zest and butter into the seasoning when baking. Chop the roasted asparagus to drizzle your baked macaroni is a good idea too.
This is also a nice option for cooking your asparagus, simply chop it and mix with butternut squash and eggplant in a pan. Simmer it on a stove at a medium heat and add some pepper, salt and tomato sauce. Let it for about 10 minutes or less to get the asparagus cooked and mixed well with the sauce. You can also mix it with shitake mushrooms and garlic for another alternative.
- Quick Cooking
Sometimes you want it to be quick and simple to eat asparagus and luckily there are many ways that you can do. You can simply toss it to your pasta along with spices and olive oil. Adding other kinds of vegetables will be also a good idea if you want to make it healthier. Asparagus is flavorful. It is great to add in omelets simply by chopping it.
Note that you need to consume it in the right amount, cook it with the right method to not lose its nutrients and pay attention to the side effects in case you are suffering from allergies.