Asparagus is a nutrient dense food with high folic acid content and is also a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C and thiamine. Extensive research on asparagus nutrition has resulted in this strange-looking vegetable being among the best fruits and vegetables for its ability to reduce the effect of harmful free radicals for cells. Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it has been used as a medicinal vegetable for 2,500 years. The list of its nutritional benefits is long, as they help the heart, digestion, bones and even cells.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts:
The nutrition of asparagus is impressive, since it contains virtually no fat and is still very low in calories, with only 20 calories for five asparagus, however, it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Otherwise, it contains two grams of protein, only four grams of carbohydrates and zero sodium.
Asparagus Nutritional Data, Listed in the Recommended Daily Values:
- 20 calories per cup
- 2 grams of protein
- 60% folacin
- 38% vitamin K
- 20% vitamin C
- 15% vitamin B1 thiamine
- 10% vitamin B6
- 8% vitamin A
- 6% vitamin B2 Riboflavin
- 5% vitamin B3 Niacin
- 2% calcium
- 4% magnesium
- 4% copper
8 Health Benefits of Asparagus:
1. Good Source of Vitamin K
- Asparagus has a high content of vitamin K, which is the vitamin that coagulates the blood. Many studies have found that vitamin K can also improve our bone health.
- These studies have also shown that vitamin K can not only increase bone mineral density in osteoporotic people, but can also reduce fracture rates.
- Vitamin K is also a key actor in supporting heart health. It helps prevent hardening of the arteries, including keeping calcium out of the lining of arteries and other body tissues, where it can cause damage.
2. Contains Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties:
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients help reduce common chronic health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Asparagus has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, a condition that makes them a great ally for disease prevention.
- It is believed that antioxidant glutathione delays the aging process and breaks down free radicals; It can also help protect your skin from damage and sun pollution.
3. Serves as a Natural Diuretic:
- Another thing to know about asparagus nutrition is that the unique chemical properties of this make them act as a natural diuretic, which means that it promotes urine production. This increases the excretion of water from the body, in particular by removing excess salt and fluids.
- Asparagus is used together with many liquids as “irrigation therapy” to increase diuresis. This is especially beneficial for people suffering from edema, which is the accumulation of fluids in body tissues. It is also useful for people who have high blood pressure or other heart related diseases.
- In addition, researchers have concluded that another benefit of this nutrition is that it can also be used to treat urinary tract infections and other urinary tract conditions that cause pain and inflammation.
4. Nourishes the Digestive Tract:
- Asparagus contains significant amounts of inulin, which does not break down in our digestive tract. Instead, it passes without digesting our large intestine, where it becomes a source of food for good and healthy bacteria.
- Good bacteria are responsible for better nutrient absorption, a lower risk of allergies and a lower risk of colon cancer.
5. Help with a Healthy Pregnancy:
- Researchers now know that asparagus nutrition can help maintain a healthy pregnancy. There is a significant amount of folate in it, which makes this as an important plant option for women of childbearing age.
- Folate can decrease the risk of neural tube defects in fetuses, so it is essential that women who want to get pregnant enough.
- Together with folate, vitamins C and B12 work to contribute to the formation, use and breakdown of proteins. Folate performs functions in the constitution of red blood cells and in the production of DNA, known as the building block of the human body, which is the one that carries genetic information.
6. Good Source of Fiber:
- Asparagus fiber helps improve digestion because it moves food through the intestine. One serving of this vegetable contains more than one gram of soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce our risk of heart disease.
- Soluble fiber dissolves in our bodies in a sticky mass that works to trap fat, sugars, bacteria and toxins and eliminate them from the body.
- Our digestion can be delayed due to the soluble fiber attracts water and it becomes a gel during the digestion process.
- Something you don’t know about asparagus nutrition? The three grams of dietary fiber found in asparagus can reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Insoluble fiber does not dissolve; instead, its rigid components rub the lining of the digestive tract, eliminating mucoid plaque, trapped toxins and other materials.
- Fiber also releases organic acids in the body that provide us with fuel, cleanse the digestive tract, help the liver function and free our body from toxins, pathogens, added cholesterol and extra sugar.
- Dietary fiber intake provides many health benefits, but unfortunately the average fiber intake for children and adults in the United States is less than half of the recommended levels.
- Individuals with a high consumption of dietary fiber seem to have a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake reduces blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.
7. High Content of Vitamin B1 Thiamine:
- Like most B vitamins, thiamine plays a role in the way our body uses energy from food and is vital for cellular function. Thiamine specifically helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy, which is important for metabolism, concentration and strength.
- The vitamins of group B exert a key function in the metabolism of sugars and starches, so they are essential for the management of blood sugar.
- B vitamins also play a key role in the regulation of homocysteine, which is an amino acid that can lead to heart disease if it reaches excessive levels in our blood. This makes asparagus also a great option for heart health.
- One study showed that older adults with healthy levels of vitamin B12 performed better on a test that measured speed and mental flexibility.
- Vitamin B is commonly known as the “energy vitamin” because it can definitely improve your energy and help you overcome fatigue and exhaustion. It improves energy by supporting thyroid function and cell methylation.
8. Help Fight Cancer:
- An amazing aspect about asparagus nutrition is that it is rich in glutathione, a detoxifying compound that can help destroy carcinogens. Researchers believe that glutathione is so important to our health that levels in our cells are becoming an indicator of how long we will live.
- An essential role in immune function is that fulfilled by glutathione. This means that it can help fight or protect against certain types of cancer, including bone, breast, lung and colon cancers.
- Persistent inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are risk factors for many types of cancer, and both problems can be deferred by a dietary intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants.
- Three varieties of asparagus are known: American and British, which is green; French, whose color is purple; and Spanish and Dutch, who are white. The most common variety is green; white is more delicate and difficult to harvest; Purple is smaller and more fruity in taste.
- Asparagus was classified in the lilies family, along with onions and garlic, but now they are considered part of the asparagus family. It thrives in any area where the soil freezes during winter or goes through dry seasons, and it is difficult to grow it in temperate or humid areas.
- Asparagus plants are monoecious, this means that each plant has a defined male or female sex. Male plants harvest more shoots because they don’t have to invest energy in seed production.
- Asparagus was first cultivated about 2,500 years ago in Greece, and it is a Greek word that means stem or bud. Its native to most of Europe, West Asia and North Africa.
- From the beginning, the benefits of asparagus nutrition were noted and appreciated. When they were first grown, this was used as a natural medicine. He became known for his diuretic properties, and enjoyed his delicate and distinctive taste.
- Emperor Augustus of Rome created the “Asparagus Fleet”, when it was taken to the Alps to freeze the vegetables during winter. There is even a recipe for asparagus in the oldest preserved recipe book of the 3rd century AD
- The French began growing asparagus in the fifteenth century, and the English and Germans began to notice this nutritious vegetable in the sixteenth century. It is met in the United States around 1850.
- Currently, the main importers of this vegetable are the United States, the European Union and Japan. China is the world’s largest producer, and United States production is higher in California, Michigan and Washington.
How to Choose and Prepare Asparagus?
- When buying asparagus, look for the strongest spears with a tight head. You can test the freshness by making sure it breaks when it is bent and, when preparing this vegetable, trim the lower ends first. Be sure to wash the lances thoroughly before cooking.
How to Cook Asparagus?
- There are many ways to cook asparagus: You can cook in a pan with water, lemon and olive oil; it can be broiled over medium heat; It can be roasted in the oven or even in the microwave if it has little time.
- Although the taste of asparagus is delicious on its own, it can always be spiced a little. Try adding garlic, lemon, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. You can add this to a healthy meal or eat them as a snack or side dish. Take it with the meat of your choice, add it to a salad or taste it with an easy egg.
1. Garlic Asparagus Recipe:
Total time: 15 minutes
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and asparagus to the pan.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Continue cooking until you achieve the desired tenderness.
2. Asparagus Tapas Recipe with Red Pepper Sauce:
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 large red peppers, seeded and seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 – 4 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1-pound asparagus, cut
- 1/2 cup of water
- Chop the red peppers into large pieces.
- Cook the peppers and garlic in oil over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Puree in the food processor or blender.
- Add vinegar, basil, pepper and salt.
- Boil the water in the pan and add the asparagus. Boil the water again; simmer, covered 5 minutes or until the vegetable is tender and crispy.
- To drain.
- Put the red pepper sauce on a plate and place the asparagus on top of the sauce.
- Garnish with red pepper and basil, if desired.
Concerns About Asparagus:
- Asparagus is safe when eaten in food quantities, but there is still not enough information regarding its nutrition to know if it is safe when used in larger medicinal amounts. This can cause allergic reactions when eaten as a vegetable or used on the skin if you have food sensitivity or intolerance.
- Asparagus can cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to other members of the Liliaceae family, which includes onions, leeks, garlic and chives.
- Asparagus works like a water or diuretic tablet. Consuming large amounts of this vegetable or using a supplement may decrease the body’s ability to get rid of lithium. This could increase the amount of lithium in the body and cause serious side effects. Lithium interests sodium circulation through nerve and muscle cells in the body. It is sometimes used to treat the symptoms of manic depressive syndrome, such as aggression, hyperactivity and anger.
- After eating asparagus, some people report that their urine gives off a strange smell. The smell, once it is suspected to be a product of a defective metabolism, is actually harmless – it is produced due to asparagus sulfur compounds that your body did not absorb.
- One study showed that 10% of 307 subjects analyzed were able to smell the smell in the urine at high dilutions, suggesting a specific genetically determined hypersensitivity.