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Health Benefits of Asparagus
1. Good Source of Vitamin K
Asparagus is high in vitamin K, which is the blood clotting vitamin. Many studies have found that vitamin K can also improve our bone health. These studies have also demonstrated that vitamin K can not only increase bone mineral density in osteoporotic people, but it can actually reduce fracture rates.
Vitamin K is also a key player in supporting heart health. It helps to prevent hardening of the arteries, including keeping calcium out of your artery linings and other body tissues, where it can cause damage.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients help to reduce common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Asparagus is full of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, both of which make it a great food for preventing disease.
3. Serves as a Natural Diuretic
Something else to know about asparagus nutrition is that the unique chemical properties of asparagus make it act as a natural diuretic, which means asparagus promotes the production of urine. This increases the excretion of water from the body, in particular ridding the body of excess salt and fluid.
Asparagus is used along with lots of fluids as “irrigation therapy” to increase urine output. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema, which is the accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues. It’s also helpful for people who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
4. Nourishes the Digestive Tract
Asparagus contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin, which does not break down in our digestive tract. Instead, it passes undigested to our large intestines, where it becomes a food source for good and healthy bacteria. Good bacteria are responsible for better nutrient absorption, a lower risk of allergies, and a lower risk of colon cancer (4).
5. Helps with a Healthy Pregnancy
Researchers now know that asparagus nutrition can help maintain a healthy pregnancy. There is a significant amount of folate in asparagus, making asparagus an important vegetable choice for women of childbearing age.
Folate can decrease the risk of neural-tube defects in fetuses, so it’s essential for women who are looking to become pregnant to get enough of it.
6. Good Source of Fiber
The fiber in asparagus helps to improve digestion because it moves food through the gut. One serving of asparagus contains more than a gram of soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower our risk of heart disease.
7. High in Vitamin B1 Thiamine
Like most of the B-vitamins, thiamine plays a role in how our bodies use energy from food and is vital for cellular function. Thiamine specifically helps the body convert carbohydrates to energy, which is important for metabolism, focus and strength.
B vitamins play a key role in the metabolism of sugars and starches, so they are critical for blood sugar management.
8. Helps Fight Cancer
A surprising aspect about asparagus nutrition is that it’s rich in glutathione, a detoxifying compound that can help destroy carcinogens. Researchers believe glutathione is so pivotal to our health that the levels in our cells are becoming a predictor of how long we will live.
Glutathione plays a crucial role in immune function. This means that asparagus may help fight or protect against certain cancers, including bone, breast, lung and colon cancers.
Persistent inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are risk factors for many cancer types, and both of these issues can be deferred by a dietary intake of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients.