Health Benefits of Asparagus
By Paul Rothbart
It's a vegetable that resembles a weapon. In fact, individual pieces are called spears. Asparagus is a popular vegetable often used in fine dining. It comes in green, white, and purple and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. It's a great addition to any meal. Asparagus also has many health benefits that make it worth eating regularly.
Lots of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful plant compounds found in some fruits and vegetables that help keep the body free from disease. Asparagus contains high levels of several antioxidants including Vitamins C and E. It also has high levels of the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and act as antivirals. This can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Plenty of Nutrition, Few Calories
For those looking to cut back on calories, asparagus is an excellent food to include in your diet. A half-cup only has 20 calories and yet is packed with nutrition. That same serving contains 57 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K and 34 percent of the RDA of folate. It also has significant amounts of potassium and phosphorus along with Vitamins C and E. With 2.2 grams of protein and 1.8 of fiber, that half-cup of asparagus has plenty to help you stay healthy.
Aids Weight Loss
With its low caloric content, asparagus is naturally helpful for weight loss; 94 percent of asparagus is water. Research has shown that low-calorie foods with high water content can boost losing weight. Fiber has also been linked to weight loss. Asparagus is filling and that can help keep you from overeating.
The fiber in asparagus can help the digestive system function properly. Some of that fiber is soluble and helps to feed the healthy bacteria in the gut that aid digestion. Better digestion helps the body get the nutrition it needs while getting rid of waste. Fiber also helps to lower your risk of diabetes.
It Can Help a Healthy Pregnancy
Women who are carrying a baby have to be especially careful when it comes to nutrition. The folate in asparagus is very helpful in the development of a fetus, helping in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It can also help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Asparagus is popular for its taste, texture, and versatility. It is also one of the healthiest vegetables there is. Add some to your diet and reap its many benefits.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hendersonville, Tenn.