Gut Health Food - 4 Health Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus is a popular vegetable in many parts of the world. Depending on the type of asparagus, people eat it raw or cooked, and in dishes such as soups, stews, salads, or on its own.

The nutrients in asparagus can support heart and bone health, while the folate and iron that it contains may be especially beneficial during pregnancy.

Here, learn more about the vegetable’s nutritional contents, possible health benefits, and how to incorporate it into the diet.

Also make sure to check out article "Top 26 High Fiber Foods You Should Eat Everyday" which you can find here.

#1 Rich in nutrients & minerals but only contains few calories

One of the reasons asparagus is such a healthy vegetable is that it contains several vitamins and other nutrients while delivering a minimal number of calories. Asparagus is one of the best foods available for meeting the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin K and folate, providing 57% and 34%, respectively. A half-cup of plain, cooked asparagus contains between 20 and 40 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, and 1.8 grams of fiber. It also provides 6% of the RDI of potassium, 5% of phosphorus, 18% of vitamin A, 12% of vitamin C, 7% of vitamin E.

If you are on a lower calorie diet or trying to add more nutrient dense vegetable to your diet that is easy to digest, high-volume and satiating, consider adding more Asparagus to your meals. 

#2 Great source of antioxidants, including Vitamins C and E, flavonoids & polyphenols

Asparagus, the purple kind in particular, is full of anthocyanins. These give fruits and veggies their red, blue, and purple hues and have antioxidant effects that help the body fight free radicals. 

Note: When preparing asparagus, avoid over or undercooking it. Although cooking the veggie helps activate its cancer-fighting potential, letting it boil or sauté for too long can negate some nutritional benefits.

Asparagus is also a source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. This vitamin helps strengthen your immune system and protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. To fill up on its benefits, roast asparagus with a little olive oil. When combined with a fat source, Vitamin E tends to be better absorbed. 

 

#3 The dietary fiber in Asparagus aids in digestion & maintains regularity

When it comes to fighting bloat, asparagus packs a punch. The veggie helps promote overall digestive health (another benefit of all that soluble and insoluble fiber!). And thanks to prebiotics—carbohydrates that can't be digested and help encourage a healthy balance of good bacteria, or probiotics, in your digestive track—it can also reduce gas. Plus, as a natural diuretic, asparagus helps flush excess liquid, combating belly bulge or excess water retention.

 

#4 The diuretic effect of Asparagus can help to lower elevated blood pressure and help to eliminate bloat/excess water retention. 

Asparagus can act as a natural diuretic, according to a 2010 study published in the West Indian Medical Journal. This can help rid the body of excess salt and fluid, making it especially good for people suffering from edema and high blood pressure. It also helps flush out toxins in kidneys and can therefore prevent kidney stones. 

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Chiara Ghanem