Another one of those vegetables that you might find difficulty in getting kids to eat, asparagus finds itself in the same family as garlic and onions while tasting much different. Asparagus is a common vegetable all around the world, and its use dates back to Egypt thousands of years ago when it was both eaten and used as a medicine. After gaining popularity throughout Europe, asparagus then became popular in the western part of the world during the late 19th century.
Asparagus makes for a great side dish to a healthy meal, though you might find yourself chomping on it as a snack. However you choose to eat asparagus (unless covered in salt and butter), there are going to be a lot of great health benefits that you get. This vegetable that is mostly made of water is the perfect tool in a healthy diet, and this breakdown of the nutrition and benefits will make you wonder why you aren’t eating more.
Nutrition of Asparagus
While you might be eating more than one cup of boiled asparagus at a time, that’s the recommended serving and more than enough if you want to get some great nutrients. You are getting more than 10 percent of your daily recommendation in both fiber and protein from each serving, while only packing 32 calories. Of the vitamins found in asparagus, vitamin K is the most abundant with 180 percent of daily recommended value. Vitamin C (73 percent), folate (61 percent) and vitamin A (29 percent) also come in high amounts.
While values for other vitamins and minerals aren’t high, asparagus is still a significant source of vitamin E, riboflavin, manganese, selenium, potassium, copper and many more. You are getting at least two percent of all recommended values in vitamins and minerals, with the exception of sodium and vitamin B12, which come only in trace amounts. Overall, asparagus has a wide range of amazing nutrition.
One of the better foods that you can eat to help with your digestive system is asparagus for many different factors. First off, asparagus contains plenty of fiber that will allow you to become more regular, while also managing the cholesterol in your body. Asparagus is comprised mainly of water, so it has a laxative effect for those that suffer from constipation. You can also find inulin in asparagus, which helps your body to create some of the helpful bacteria that you need for better overall digestion.
This leads to a lot of benefits, such as a reduction in your chances of getting cancer throughout the digestive tract. So whether your problem is cramping, bloating, diarrhea or anything else, you can help to solve those problems with more asparagus. Of course, there are some odd things that asparagus can do to your digestive (and urinary) tract, as well, but we’ll get to that.
Just looking at the nutritional value of asparagus alone, you probably could have guessed that it was going to help you lose some weight in the process. There are only around 30 calories per serving in asparagus, meaning that you can eat quite a bit without worrying about putting on weight. As a matter of fact, eating more will make you feel more full thanks to the fiber content within.
As we mentioned with the digestive tract, eating more asparagus will allow you to lose a few pounds just from waste. Seeing the numbers move quickly on the scale because of that is a great motivator to keep going. With regulated blood sugar (we’ll get to that), and an enhanced digestive system without eating too many calories, your metabolism is going to experience a boost that helps to lose more weight.
Not only will asparagus help your digestive health, but it can even help your brain. If you find yourself dehydrated (whether it be from working out, not drinking enough water or having too much fun on a night out), asparagus allows your body to absorb more water and minerals while flushing the toxins from your liver.
Asparagus has also been linked to help you fight neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and Parkinson’s. That’s because racemosus is found in asparagus, which helps in all of those aspects while improving your memory. Another problem that we have to worry about with aging is our vision, and asparagus can help you out thanks to the vitamin A content that helps your brain health while allowing you to avoid cataracts.
Asparagus has been one of the foods that doctors will recommend most to a patient that is dealing with type 2 diabetes. Asparagus is very low on the glycemic index, and can help you regulate your blood sugar. Asparagus is packed with plenty of antioxidants that can cause inflammation, and the vitamin D lowers your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place. Along with this, you can also prevent many different heart diseases that are brought on by an unhealthy blood sugar level.
There are many specific problems that only women face on a regular basis. For starters, premenstrual syndrome can create some unwanted bloating and cramps. Asparagus has been found to be a good way of clearing up some of those symptoms, while also helping with the mental aspect. Asparagus even helps you become more fertile thanks to the asparagus root that enhances your hormonal production, while also aiding you during a pregnancy. That’s because asparagus contains a high amount of folate, which helps to raise the birth weight and lower chances of birth defects.
Summing it Up
When it comes to the downside of asparagus, they are ones that you probably already know, and most of them come in the bathroom. We all know about the rumor that asparagus makes your urine smell odd, and it is true for the most part. That happens when the methionine in asparagus is broken down, and can change the smell in the first 15 minutes after eating. However, not everybody will actually notice a change. It’s also so minor that it really doesn’t affect your health at all.
The other thing that people mention with asparagus is how gassy it might make you. If you aren’t eating a proper diet for the most part, asparagus can slightly increase how much excess gas you’re expelling, though it isn’t all too common. The good news is that the negatives of asparagus are not even detrimental to your health, and are actually signs that your body is improving. As long as you aren’t allergic and can get past those minor issues, then there isn’t really a limit to how much asparagus that you can eat. If you already like the taste, then you’re in for a treat, as it’s one of the healthiest foods you can find.