7 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus

7 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus

7 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus

Asparagus, officially known as Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the lily family.

This popular vegetable comes in a variety of colors, including green, white and purple. It’s used in dishes around the world, including frittatas, pastas and stir-fries.

Asparagus is also low in calories and packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

This article uncovers 7 health benefits of asparagus, all supported by science.

1. Many Nutrients But Few Calories

Asparagus is low in calories but boasts an impressive nutrient profile.

In fact, just half a cup (90 grams) of cooked asparagus contains (1):

  • Calories: 20
  • Protein: 2.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Fiber: 1.8 grams
  • Vitamin C: 12% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 57% of the RDI
  • Folate: 34% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Phosphorous: 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 7% of the RDI

Asparagus also possesses small amounts of other micronutrients, including iron, zinc and riboflavin.

It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health (2Trusted Source).

In addition, asparagus is high in folate, a nutrient that is vital for a healthy pregnancy and many important processes in the body, including cell growth and DNA formation

2. Good Source of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress contributes to aging, chronic inflammation and many diseases, including cancer (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

Asparagus, like other green vegetables, is high in antioxidants. These include vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols (67Trusted Source).

Asparagus is particularly high in the flavonoids quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

These substances have been found to have blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer effects in a number of human, test-tube and animal studies (10Trusted Source1112Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

What’s more, purple asparagus contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which give the vegetable its vibrant color and have antioxidant effects in the body (14Trusted Source).

In fact, increasing anthocyanin intake has been shown to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and heart disease (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source).

Eating asparagus along with other fruits and vegetables can provide your body with a range of antioxidants to promote good health.

3. Can Improve Digestive Health

Dietary fiber is essential for good digestive health.

Just half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7% of your daily needs.

Studies suggest that a diet high in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

Asparagus is particularly high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and supports regular bowel movements.

It also contains a small amount of soluble fiber, which dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract.

Soluble fiber feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus (21Trusted Source).

Increasing the number of these beneficial bacteria plays a role in strengthening the immune system and producing essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and K2 (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source).

Eating asparagus as part of a fiber-rich diet is an excellent way to help meet your fiber needs and keep your digestive system healthy.

4. Helps Support a Healthy Pregnancy

Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, also known as vitamin B9.

Just half a cup of asparagus provides adults with 34% of their daily folate needs and pregnant women with 22% of their daily needs (1).

Folate is an essential nutrient that helps form red blood cells and produce DNA for healthy growth and development. It’s especially important during the early stages of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby.

Getting enough folate from sources like asparagus, green leafy vegetables and fruit can protect against neural tube defects, including spina bifida (25Trusted Source26Trusted Source).

Neural tube defects can lead to a range of complications, ranging from learning difficulties to lack of bowel and bladder control to physical disabilities (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

In fact, adequate folate is so vital during pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy that folate supplements are recommended to ensure women meet their requirements.

5. Helps Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure affects more than 1.3 billion people worldwide and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke (29Trusted Source).

Research suggests that increasing potassium intake while reducing salt intake is an effective way to lower high blood pressure (30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

Potassium lowers blood pressure in two ways: by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and excreting excess salt through urine (32Trusted Source).

Asparagus is a good source of potassium, providing 6% of your daily requirement in a half-cup serving.

What’s more, research in rats with high blood pressure suggests that asparagus may have other blood pressure-lowering properties. In one study, rats were fed either a diet with 5% asparagus or a standard diet without asparagus.

After 10 weeks, the rats on the asparagus diet had 17% lower blood pressure than the rats on the standard diet (33Trusted Source).

Researchers believed this effect was due to an active compound in asparagus that causes blood vessels to dilate.

However, human studies are needed to determine whether this active compound has the same effect in humans.

In any case, eating more potassium-rich vegetables, such as asparagus, is a great way to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

6. Can Help You Lose Weight

Currently, no studies have tested the effects of asparagus on weight loss.

However, it has a number of properties that could potentially help you lose weight.

First, it’s very low in calories, with only 20 calories in half a cup. This means you can eat a lot of asparagus without taking in a lot of calories.

Furthermore, it’s about 94% water. Research suggests that consuming low-calorie, water-rich foods is associated with weight loss (34Trusted Source35Trusted Source).

Asparagus is also rich in fiber, which has been linked to lower body weight and weight loss

7. Easy to Add to Your Diet

In addition to being nutritious, asparagus is delicious and easy to incorporate into your diet.

It can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, grilling, steaming, roasting and sautéing. You can also purchase canned asparagus, which is precooked and ready to eat.

Asparagus can be used in a number of dishes like salads, stir-fries, frittatas, omelets and pastas, and it makes an excellent side dish.

Furthermore, it’s extremely affordable and widely available at most grocery stores.

When shopping for fresh asparagus, look for firm stems and tight, closed tips.

CREDIT: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/asparagus-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7

Garlic Butter Salmon with Lemon Asparagus Skillet

Garlic Butter Salmon with Lemon Asparagus Skillet

Garlic Butter Salmon with Lemon Asparagus Skillet – Healthy, tasty, simple and quick to cook, this salmon and asparagus recipe will have you enjoy a delicious and nutritious dinner. Salmon fillets are pan-seared to flaky perfection and tossed in a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce with asparagus. Packed with a lot of flavors, this low carbketo-friendly one-pan dinner is ready in under 30 minutes. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS LIST FOR THE LEMON GARLIC BUTTER SALMON ASPARAGUS SKILLET

  • 1 medium salmon fillet, cut in 3 or 4 chunks
  • 2 bunches of asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) low-sodium vegetable broth (or white wine)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, optional (we used Sriracha)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley (or cilantro)
  • Crushed red chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Slices of lemon, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. To make the salmon and asparagus: Season salmon with salt and pepper. Let sit while you prepare the asparagus.

2. Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, then blanch them in boiling water for 2- 3 minutes then soak in ice water to stop cooking. This way they will cook faster and evenly in the skillet. You can skip this step if you have very thin asparagus. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Gently cook salmon on both sides until golden brown. Remove the salmon fillets from the skillet and set them aside to a plate.

4. In the same skillet over medium heat, add minced garlic then deglaze with vegetable broth (or wine). Bring to a simmer. Add butter, lemon juice, hot sauce, parsley. Give a quick stir to combine.

5. Add the drained blanched asparagus and toss for 2 minutes to cook it up. Add salmon back to the pan and reheat for another minute. Garnish with more parsley, crushed chili pepper, and lemon slices and serve the garlic butter salmon and lemonasparagus immediately. Enjoy!

Credit : https://www.eatwell101.com/garlic-butter-salmon-lemon-asparagus-skillet-recipe

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Didn’t Know

Asparagus can help fight cancer, is good for your brain and can help you slim down. Read more about asparagus nutrition and the benefits of eating asparagus.

Cheryl Forberg, R.D.

Asparagus is a spring vegetable that’s packed with nutrition. When you buy asparagus, either fresh from the farmers’ market or grocery store, it’s best to eat it right away. Asparagus pairs nicely with lots of other spring vegetables and flavors-think peas, garlic or new potatoes.

1 cup of cooked asparagus has 40 calories, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 404 milligrams of potassium. Potassium is good for blood pressure and asparagus also contains a compound called asparaptine, which helps improve blood flow and in turn helps lower blood pressure.

If you need more reasons to enjoy this yummy vegetable read on to see some surprising reasons asparagus good for you.

1. It’s Loaded with Nutrients and Nutrition Benefits

Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable. It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. That’s good news if you’re watching your blood sugar.

In addition to all those vitamins, 1 cup of cooked asparagus has 40 calories, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 404 milligrams of potassium.

2. It Can Help Fight Cancer

This herbaceous plant-along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts-is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

3. Asparagus Is Packed with Antioxidants

It’s one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This may help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation. Get more anti-aging foods here.

4. Asparagus Is a Brain Booster

Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12-found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy-to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.) Learn more about anti-aging foods with our best foods to help keep your brain young.

5. It’s a Natural Diuretic

It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.

And finally, to answer a question I often get regarding why eating asparagus causes a strong urinary odor: asparagus contains a unique compound that, when metabolized, gives off a distinctive smell in the urine. Young asparagus contains higher concentrations of the compound so the odor is stronger after eating these vernal shoots. There are, however, no harmful effects, either from the sulfuric compounds or the odor! While it is believed that most people produce these odorous compounds after eating asparagus, few people have the ability to detect the smell.

The most common type of asparagus is green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. No matter the type you choose, asparagus is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in myriad ways or enjoyed raw in salads.

CREDIT : https://www.eatingwell.com/article/17129/5-powerful-health-benefits-of-asparagus-you-probably-didnt-know/

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/asparagus/