Are asparagus good for you?
In this brief blog we will answer the question,”Are asparagus good for you?” We will look at the nutritional value of asparagus. We will also discuss the health benefits of consuming asparagus.
Are asparagus good for you?
Yes, asparagus are healthy and good for you. Asparagus are nutrient dense green veggies that are known for their long, pointy spears which can be grilled, roasted or steamed.
What is the nutritional value of asparagus?
Asparagus are very rich in vitamins, essential minerals and also contain antioxidants. They are also low in calories and can be consumed by people who are looking to shed off some weight. A half cup (equivalent to 90 grams) of cooked asparagus can typically provide:
- Calories: 20
- Protein: 2.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Vitamin A: 18% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Vitamin K: 57% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Folate: 34% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Potassium: 6% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Phosphorous: 5% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Vitamin E: 7% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
It can assist in fighting cancer
Asparagus is a good source of glutathione which is a detoxifying compound that assists to break down carcinogens and other compounds such as frer radicals that usually result in cell damage. Consumption of asparagus can therefore assist in fighting certain types of cancer such as breast, colon, bone, larynx and lung cancers.
It is packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important because they help protect the cells from free radicals as well as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results in aging, chronic inflammation and other ailments such as cancer.
Asparagus is a good source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione and also flavonoids and polyphenols. Asparagus is high in flavonoids quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol.
These compounds are essential to the body and numerous studies have found them capable of lowering blood pressure as well as having anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer effects
It is good for the brain
Asparagus is also good for the brain as it helps fight cognitive decline. This is because it contains folate which works with Vitamin B12 found in poultry, fish, meat and dairy to prevent any cognitive impairment.
Multiple studies have shown older adults that have high levels of folate and B12 performing better on tests that gauge response speed and mental flexibility.
It is a natural diuretic
Asparagus is an excellent diuretic due to its high amounts of amino acid asparagine. Asparagine increases the amount of urine and triggers increased urination which assists the body to get rid of excess fluid and also rid it of excess salts.
This is good for people who have an accumulation of fluids in their body tissues, a condition known as edema or people with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
It can improve digestive health
Dietary fiber is important for overall digestive health and asparagus is a good source of it. A half cup of asparagus can provide about 1.8 grams of fiber which is 7 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
Asparagus is a good source of insoluble fiber which assists to add bulk to stool as well as supporting regular bowel movements. It additionally has some amounts of soluble fiber which dissolves in water and forms gel like substance in the gut.
Consumption of a diet that is rich in high fiber such as fruits and vegetables has been linked with the ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
Consumption of asparagus can therefore assist in meeting dietary fiber needs for good digestive health.
It can help support normal pregnancy
Asparagus is rich in folate and thus makes for an excellent source of folate, also referred to as vitamin B9. A ½ cup of cooked asparagus can provide adults with 34 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) and expectant women with 22 percent of their daily requirement.
Folate is essential in the early stages of pregnancy as it assists in the formation of red blood cells and production of DNA for growth and development. Folate intake is very important for pregnant women and that’s why it’s usually recommended for them to boost their intake or take supplements.
Other FAQs about Asparagus that you may be interested in.
In this brief blog we have answered the question,”Are asparagus good for you?” We have looked at the nutritional value of asparagus. We have also discussed the health benefits of consuming asparagus.