Asparagus belongs to the family of lilies and is botanically termed Asparagus Officinalis. This popular veggie grows in a variety of colours such as white, green and purple. Asparagus is majorly used in dishes worldwide including frittatas, pastas and stir-fried dishes. The best and most unique part of asparagus is that it has low calories and is a rich source of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
In this blog, we will discuss the health benefits that are offered by the consumption of asparagus, all medically researched and proven.
Low calorie, high nutrient content
Asparagus has a sound nutrient profile that boasts fewer calories. Medically proven, a mere weight of 90 grams of cooked asparagus contains the following count of nutrients:
Calories 20 grams
Protein 2.2 grams
Fat 0.2 grams
Fiber 1.8 grams
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 12%
Vitamin E 7%
Vitamin K 57%
There are also traces of micronutrients such as iron, zinc and riboflavin. Also, being a good source of vitamin K, it immensely helps in blood clotting and improving bone health. Being high in folate, which is quite essential for a healthy pregnancy and many other procedures in the body, that includes cellular growth and the formation of DNA, asparagus is highly recommended for consumption.
Rich source of antioxidants
Antioxidants are those essential compounds that aid in the protection and rejuvenation of cells from the harmful repercussions of free radicals as well as the stress caused by oxidative elements. Oxidative elements contribute to immature ageing, chronic conditions in terms of inflammation and many diseases including cancer. The content of antioxidants in asparagus. These include vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione and various flavonoids and polyphenols.
Asparagus especially has high flavonoids like quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol. These flavonoids are typically known to lower blood pressure levels and work as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer in the human body. These are proven results based on tests and studies. The purple-coloured asparagus consists of strong pigments called anthocyanin that greatly reduce blood pressure levels and the risk of heart attacks and other heart-related ailments. Combining the intake of purple asparagus with other fruits will definitely boost the release of antioxidants in the body, ensuring good health.
Improves digestive system
This is a universal truth and we all are aware that fibers are important for a healthy digestive system. Half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fiber, which provides almost 7% of our daily fiber needs. It has also been proven clinically that any sort of diet consisting of fruits and vegetables that contain high fiber content, greatly impacts lowering blood pressure levels, heart diseases and diabetes. Soluble fiber is present in high quantities in asparagus which adds to the stool and smoothens the bowel movements.
These soluble fibers dissolve with water and form a gel-like slippery substance that makes the passing of the stools easy and without any discomfort. Soluble fiber found in asparagus feeds on a bacteria named bifidobacteria and lactobacillus found in the gut of the human body. The increase in the number of these good bacteria, furthermore, strengthens the immune system and manufactures the essential vitamins B12 and K2. Therefore, eating asparagus to fortify the requirement for fiber, is a great way to improve the digestive system.
Favours healthy pregnancy
Asparagus is a very good source of vitamin B9, which is folate. Half a cup of asparagus provides an adult with almost 34% of their daily folate needs and 22% to a pregnant woman. Folate is a nutrient that is instrumental in the formation of red blood cells and in the production of DNA for healthy growth and development. Folate is particularly important during early pregnancy as it ensures the healthy development of the baby. The intake of enough quantity of folate from sources like asparagus, green vegetables and fruits can secure the body from neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Hence, an adequate proportion of folate is very important during pregnancy and asparagus can provide this supplement in a natural way.
Lowers blood pressure levels
High blood pressure is a common ailment that impacts almost 13 billion people around the world. It is a major reason for heart attacks as well. Potassium is an extremely important mineral that helps in lowering blood pressure levels that decreases the risk of a heart attack. Asparagus contains a good amount of potassium that does the needful. Consuming a potassium-rich diet is a good way of keeping a check on blood levels and all sorts of heart-related diseases.
Assists in weight loss
Although there is not much evidence to prove that asparagus can effectively help in reducing weight, scientists believe that the fiber content present in asparagus might do the magic. The property that might potentially lead to weight loss is the low-calorie count in asparagus. In addition to this, asparagus contains 94% water. It is believed that any sort of food that is low in calories and has high water content, aids in weight reduction. Fiber also helps in managing weight and asparagus is bounteous in fiber.
Finally, we can conclude that asparagus is definitely a nutritious and tasty compliment to any cuisine. The calorie count is low in asparagus and it is also a great source of nutrients consisting of fiber, folate, vitamins as well as minerals. Moreover, the consumption of asparagus has multiple health benefits and because it is inexpensive and easy to prepare, it makes it a great choice worldwide.