Asparagus is also known as garden asparagus. Its folk name is sparrow asparagus, and its scientific name is Asparagus Officinalis. It belongs to Asparagus genu. It is a perennial flowering plant, which means it can live for more than two years. Usually, people use its young shoots as a vegetable in the spring. People have been using this notorious vegetable for centuries due to its diuretic and aphrodisiac properties. In this article, we will take a look at the Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Asparagus. However, first, let’s have a look at its structure.
Structurally, Asparagus is a green herbaceous perennial plant that grows about 100-150cm tall. It has a stout stem and branched leaves called foliage. Its leaves are usually 6-32mm in length and look like a needle. An Asparagus with a young tip is more palatable and less bitter than the one having a mature tip. Now, let’s take a look at the Nutrition Facts of Asparagus.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts:
Asparagus is full of healthy nutrients and bears several health benefits. According to USDA, One Hundred Grams of Asparagus contains 20 kcal of energy, which consists of 2.2g protein, 0.12g of fat, and 3.88g of carbohydrates. Also, it contains 2.1g fiber, 0.04g saturated fats, 0g monounsaturated fatty acids, 0.05g polyunsaturated fatty acids, 0g trans fats, 0g cholesterol. It is also rich in various micronutrients and bears 2mg Calcium, 2.14mg Iron, 14mg Magnesium, 52mg phosphorus, 202mg potassium, 2mg Sodium, 0.54mg Zinc, 0.189mf Copper, 0.158 Manganese, and 2.3mcg Selenium. Lastly, in terms of Vitamins, it includes 5.6mg Ascorbic acid, 0.143mg Thiamine, 0.141mg Riboflavin, 0.978mg Niacin, 0.274mg Pantothenic acid, 0.091mg VB6, 52mcg Folate, 38mcg VA, and 1.13mg VE.
Asparagus Health Benefits:
With so many vital nutrients, Asparagus bears several health befits which include:
1- Highly Nutritious:
Asparagus is like a complete nutritional package. It is a rich source of fiber, folate, Vitamin A, C, E, K, as well as many other trace minerals. It also enhances the ability of insulin that transports glucose from the blood to cells, which helps in reducing blood sugar levels.
2- Fights Cancer:
It’s rich in Glutathione, which is a detoxifying compound. The role of Glutathione is to break down carcinogens and other compounds like free radicals. This is the reason why consuming this vegetable reduces the chance of certain cancers like bone, breast, colon, larynx, and lungs.
3- Source of Antioxidants:
Asparagus is famous for its anti-aging effects because of its ability to neutralize free radicals. This ability fights against cell damage and slows down the process of aging while reducing inflammation.
4- Brain Booster:
Asparagus contains a relatively large quantity of folate along with vitamin b12 (found in fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products), which helps to prevent cognitive impairment.
5- Natural Diuretic:
As we discussed earlier, Asparagus contains a decent amount of amino acids including Asparagine. These amino acids serve as a diuretic. The role of diuretic is that it helps your body to release fluid and extra salt. This can be beneficial for someone suffering from edema (A condition in which fluid accumulates in the body’s tissues).
6- Heart Health:
Studies have indicated that 1 cup of Asparagus contains approximately 1g of soluble fiber, and fiber is essential in lowering the risk of heart disease. As we discussed earlier, it includes an amino acid asparagine, which has diuretic properties. It can be beneficial for someone suffering from heart-related problems or blood pressure. Last but not least, it is full of antioxidants and has excellent anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it an excellent asset in reducing the risk of heart disease.
7- Pregnancy Health:
Asparagus contains a high amount of folate, and folate is necessary for women at childbearing age and also during pregnancy. Folate reduces the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus.
8- Digestive Health:
Asparagus contains a large amount of fiber and protein, which helps in stabilizing digestion and also provides relief from discomfort during digestion.
Along with so many beneficial nutrients and health benefits of Asparagus, there are a few cautions that you should keep in mind. Consuming it in too much quantity can cause some discomfort like gas and a strange odor to your urine. However, it does not mean that you are suffering from any disease. Also, as we know, we should consume anything in an adequate quantity. Lastly, if you are allergic to any of the members of the lily family like onions, garlic, and chive, it can cause you some trouble temporarily, which includes a runny nose, trouble breathing, hives, and swelling around lips and mouth.
Overall, Asparagus is full of nutrition and health benefits, and it has some vital nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. You should take 1-2 servings of this vegetable daily in your breakfast if you want to have healthy skin. And if you are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, or heart-related problems, you should include it in your diet, unless you are not allergic to Asparagus.