Health Benefits of Asparagus
People who are lovers of asparagus eagerly await its arrival each spring and summer in the stores and restaurants. Frozen asparagus just isn’t the same, being woody and tough. Asparagus can be cooked a variety of ways: boiled, grilled, fried, baked, and barbecued. Asparagus is from the lily family, and looks like a long piece of green bean, but is straighter, and has a fern-like tip. The entire stem can be eaten. The tips are usually more tender than the rest of the plant. Best of all, there are many health benefits to asparagus, so you can have a second guilt-free helping.
Not only is asparagus green, making it one of the healthier choices from the vegetable family, it is also packed with vitamins and minerals. And since it tastes so good, we can have a break from eating broccoli or salad all winter long.
Asparagus is a great source of the vitamins A, B2, C, E, and K. It also contains the minerals copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It even contains a good source of protein which is beneficial to vegetarians and vegans. It also contains a healthy source of dietary fiber, choline, and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Every delicious stem of asparagus is packed with so many beneficial substances it can be a surprise that it’s so healthy.
Here are some other great ways that eating asparagus will give your body the exact nutrients that it needs.
1. Great source of chromium. This is a trace mineral that helps your pancreas to produce insulin, which is needed to transport glucose from the bloodstream into your cells.
2. Helps fight cancer. Asparagus contains a good source of glutathione, which is a compound that works as a detoxifier in your blood. It breaks down carcinogens and other harmful substances from the free radicals family—ones that cause cancer. It’s particularly beneficial for preventing bone, lung, colon, and breast cancers.
3. Helps you to think. Asparagus is great as you age, as it contains anti-aging compounds. These help your brain to fight cognitive aging.
4. Natural diuretic. If you fight fluid retention, asparagus will help to rid your body of the excess fluid, easing the work of the kidneys. It will also help to eliminate excess salts. This is beneficial for women suffering PMS, or for people who suffer from edema, or high blood pressure.
5. Packed with antioxidants. These help to neutralize free radicals which are harmful substances that enter your body and can damage your cells. Asparagus’ antioxidants can actually help your body to fight the aging process so that you look younger for longer.
Asparagus is usually green but there are newer varieties that can be white or purple. Give each of these types a try so that you can experience the full healthy benefits of adding asparagus to your meals several times a week.
Nutrition Facts Asparagus (1)