A very common food in the cuisine of the whole world - mainly French, Italian and German - is asparagus. This is a very nutritious vegetable, rich in vitamins and minerals, in addition to having a large amount of fiber and low in calories, fat and cholesterol, which also contributes to weight loss.
The benefits of asparagus
The new research on the benefits of healthy eating, found that asparagus are important for health in various ways, being beneficial for various medical conditions affecting people around the world. Perhaps most interesting of all, a new study found that asparagus can help prevent or treat cancer.
1. Asparagus was found to have anticancer properties
In some studies, it is mentioned that asparagus contains certain compounds that have important anticancer properties. The researchers tested the compounds, known as shatavarins, the studies were conducted in test tubes, for colon breast cancer and human kidney cancer, as well as in mice with breast cancer.
All results showed that shatavarins had a positive response against cancer cells. Asparagus extract administered orally in doses of 250 and 500 mg / kg for 10 days produced a significant reduction in tumor volume and tumor cell count.
2. Asparagus can help prevent diabetes
In addition to the anti-cancer properties of asparagus, it also has some anti-diabetic properties. Researchers from the University of Karachi in Pakistan found that high doses of asparagus extract have a positive effect on insulin production by the pancreas. The results are in addition to a 2006 study by the British Medical Journal that found that the vegetable caused an 81 percent increase in glucose uptake by body tissues. Therefore, asparagus can help diabetes by stimulating increased insulin production, as well as allowing the body to absorb more glucose.
3. Asparagus can prevent a hangover
To prevent a hangover, asparagus extract can be taken, however excess alcohol can cause harmful changes in the liver, as well as the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover. Scientists at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Jeju National University in Korea found that asparagus extract "significantly alleviates" alcohol toxicity in cells - a benefit that translates into decreased hangover and protection of liver cells.
4. Asparagus Offer Huge Cardiovascular Benefits
This vegetable contains a compound called rutin that can help prevent deadly blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
On the other hand, asparagus is a good source of folic acid, a nutrient that helps counteract the negative effects of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
5. Asparagus can help balance electrolytes
Adding to the list of healthy properties three more benefits. Asparagus is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that regulates fluid balance, so the diuretic effects of asparagus can reduce inflammation in the tummy area that sometimes occurs after eating a meal rich. This wonderful vegetable also has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.
More reasons to add asparagus to our diet
Asparagus can be found in a variety of colors, including green, white and purple, according to the climate and the way of cultivation, which, despite interfering with the flavor, does not alter its nutritional value. Here are more health benefits of asparagus, all proven by scientific studies.
6. It is high in nutrients and low in calories
Asparagus is low in calories and high in nutritional value. Below are the values for just 90g of cooked asparagus:
· Calories: 20
· Proteins: 2.2 g
· Fat: 0.2 g
· Fibers: 1.8 g
· Vitamin C: 12% RDI
· Vitamin A: 18% RDI
· Vitamin K: 57% RDI
· Folic acid: 34% RDI
· Potassium: 6% RDI
· Phosphorus: 5% RDI
· Vitamin E: 7% RDI
* RDI: recommended daily intake
Asparagus also contains small amounts of other nutrients, such as iron, zinc, riboflavin, and is an excellent source of vitamin K, important for bone health and for blood clotting.
And it is also rich in folic acid, essential during the pregnancy period for the correct development of the baby's spine, which occurs in the first weeks of gestation, avoiding neural tube defects, such as failure in the development of the brain and spinal cord.
7. It is a good source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect cells against free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which causes early aging, chronic inflammation, and the development of various diseases, including neoplasms.
Like other vegetables, asparagus is also rich in antioxidants, including vitamins E and C, glutathione, various flavonoids, and polyphenols.
It contains, in particular, flavonoids quercetin, isorannetin and kaempferol, substances with anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer properties, which also act to reduce blood pressure, as shown by various studies.
Purple asparagus also has a pigment called anthocyanin, responsible for its color, which also produces antioxidant effects. Several studies have observed that increased consumption of this substance reduces blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
The consumption of asparagus, along with other fruits and vegetables, can provide the body with several antioxidants, important to ensure greater overall health.
8. Asparagus can improve digestive health
Asparagus is also a great source of fiber. Half a cup of this vegetable, or the equivalent of less than 100 g, contains about 1.8 g of fiber, which represents 7% of the daily need.
Several studies have shown that a high fiber diet can help reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease and inhibit the development of diabetes.
It is especially rich in insoluble fiber, which increases waste volume and helps maintain regular bowel movements. It also has a small amount of soluble fiber, important for the digestive system and at the same time food for the beneficial bacteria present in the intestinal flora, helping to strengthen the immune system and for the production of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B12 and K2.
9. Guarantees a healthy pregnancy
The vegetable is rich in folic acid. Just half a cup of asparagus provides 34% of the recommended daily intake for adults and 22% for women during pregnancy.
An essential nutrient that contributes to the formation of red blood cells and the production of DNA, ensuring healthy development of the fetus. In addition, its consumption during this period prevents neural tube defects, such as failure in the development of the brain and spinal cord, problems that can cause various complications.
The importance of this substance is so great for fetal development that it is recommended even before pregnancy.
10. Helps lower blood pressure
Hypertension affects more than 1.3 billion people around the world and is one of the main risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
The studies suggest that increased potassium intake through the asparagus - guaranteeing up to 6% of the newspaper’s requirements, along with a reduction in salt intake helps to lower blood pressure.
To do this, potassium works in two ways: by dilating the walls of blood vessels and excreting excess salt in the urine.
This was also demonstrated by another study conducted on two groups of rats. Both groups had high blood pressure but only one was fed 5% more asparagus. After 10 weeks, the rats on the asparagus diet had 17% lower blood pressure than those on the standard diet.
Researchers believe that this effect is due to an active compound present in them, which allows the blood vessels to dilate. However, more evidence is needed to show the benefit to humans.
11. It can contribute to weight loss
Although this benefit is not proven by any study, several properties of this vegetable contribute to it naturally. For example, it has very few calories, only 20 per 100 grams, and it has 94% water in its composition. Various studies indicate that foods with this characteristic contribute to weight loss.
They are also rich in fiber, which has also been associated with the maintenance and loss of body weight.
12. Asparagus are easy to add to the diet
Besides being nutritious, asparagus is tasty and very easy to add to your daily diet. They can be prepared in various ways: cooked, roasted, or fried.
They are an excellent accompaniment to dishes such as salads or pasta, they can be added to tortillas and prepared as a cream, ideal for the coldest days.
When buying, make sure the temples are firm and the tips are tightly closed. This, in addition to guaranteeing the quality of the nutrients present in it, also guarantees more flavor.
Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas.