Asparagus – Health Benefits

Initially, asparagus was cultivated for food consumption. Gradually, it was discovered that asparagus has therapeutic virtues. Because it contains protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, aluminum, zinc, vitamins B1, B2 and C.

Health benefits of asparagus:


Protects the heart

Folate is important for cardiovascular health. Folate (along with vitamins B6 and B12) are required to convert homocysteine into cysteine. When the cysteine level is low, homocysteine blood levels increases, a situation which leads to increased risk of heart disease. Homocysteine contributes to atherosclerosis by affecting blood vessels and intervening in the formation of collagen (the main protein of connective tissue).

Increased levels of homocysteine are found in approximately 20-40% of patients with heart disease and an estimated daily consumption of 400 mcg of folate can reduce the number of heart attacks. Just one serving of asparagus provides about 66% of daily recommended folate intake.

Natural diuretic

Asparagus is a good source of potassium and does not contain a large amount of sodium (only 19.8 mg a cup). Mineral content, combined with amino acid from asparagus offers great diuretic properties.

In the past, asparagus was used to treat inflammation which caused arthritis or rheumatism.

Recommended for healthy intestinal flora

Asparagus contains a special type of carbohydrate called inulin, that we do not digest it, but that “good” bacteria in the intestines (Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) digest it. When our diet contains large amounts of inulin, activity and development of these “good” bacteria grow. When the number of these “good” bacteria is high, it is difficult for “bad” bacteria to settle in the intestinal tract.


Fights against birth defects

If you consider a future pregnancy, or if you are pregnant, your diet should include asparagus. One serving of asparagus contains approximately 263 mcg of folate, vitamin B, essential for normal cell division. Without folate, the fetus’s nervous system cells will not divide normally.

Cooking and serving tips

Asparagus serving

– Before cooking, wash it with cold water and remove fibrous areas;
– Asparagus can be served both hot and cold;
– Served braised with aromatic vinegar, you can enjoy a delicious and cool salad;
– For a delicious appetizer, you can prepare grilled asparagus with other vegetables;
– Chopped asparagus can be used to give an extra flavor to omelette.

Contraindications

Asparagus contains substances called purines, usually found in plants, animals or humans. Some people are sensitive to these substances, excessive consumption can cause health problems.

Because purines turn into uric acid, an excess of purines in the body can lead to the accumulation of uric acid. Gout and kidney stones are two of the problems that may occur due to excessive consumption of foods containing purines. For this reason, people with kidney problems or gout should limit or avoid consumption of such foods.