Asparagus for lunch, asparagus for dinner… Asparagus is becoming a really popular dish! You may notice that asparagus is a more and more common option for those who are looking for a healthy lifestyle. Some love (while others not so much) the flavor of these little beauties that can bring many benefits to our health.
The staff of “Eating well is jiu-jitsu” always opt for bringing not only what is a “trend” but also what is actually good for our health. We would like to offer you more than some recipes, showing the real value of food for our health. And why did we choose the asparagus? Asparagus is a food that deserves attention; it is low in calories and highly nutritious, offering vitamins and fiber. It is rich in folic acid, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber and vitamin C, B, and K. It also has diuretic action and helps fight free radicals.
Check out nine reasons below for you to add the asparagus to your regular diet.
Anti-inflammatory: It is a wonderful source of nutrients for a healthy body and mind. Asparagus contains many anti-inflammatory nutrients such as saponins and flavonoids quercetin, rutin, isorhamnetin laempferol, which all help fight arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases.
Antioxidants: It has glutathione, which brings three amino acids (glumatic acid, glycine and cysteine) that combine themselves into a molecule, serving as a powerful oxidizing-reduction agent to our body. Along with the antioxidants from vitamin C, vitamin A (beta carotene), zinc, manganese and selenium, the glutathione present in the asparagus also combat free radicals which cause aging and cell oxidation.
Cancer Prevention: It is well known that chronic inflammation and cell oxidation can lead to various types of cancer. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, asparagus is a strong fighter against cancer in the bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovaries, among others.
Heart: Folate, a vitamin B complex, is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and is found in abundance in asparagus. Firstly, it is involved in a biochemical event called methylation cycle, which allows for proper transcription of DNA, transformation of norepinephrine to adrenaline and serotonin to melatonin. Secondly, the folate regulates the homocysteine amino acid, which at high levels can be a strong risk factor in heart diseases. And finally, the B-complex vitamins, such as choline, biotin and pantothenic acid manages our blood sugar levels effectively, metabolizing sugars and starches.
Congenital Disorders: Folate is also essential for proper cell division. Healthy portions of asparagus can prevent folate deficiency, which has been linked to birth defects such as spina bifida (a congenital defect in which the spinal cord is exposed through an opening in the vertebral column).
Diuretic: The amino acid asparagine, found in asparagus, is an effective diuretic and has been historically used to treat swelling, arthritis, rheumatism and water retention caused by PMS.
Diet and Digestion: The inulin, a carbohydrate present in asparagus, encourages the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, two bacteria that increase absorption of nutrients and reduces the risk of allergy and colon cancer, besides helping to prevent unfriendly bacteria to take hold in our intestinal tract. Moreover, an eight ounce serving of asparagus contains more than 11% of the RDA of fiber and almost 10% of the RDA of protein. The healthy fiber and protein content in asparagus stabilize our digestion, inhibits excesses, keeps a low amount of sugar in the blood and prevents constipation. And finally, a cup of asparagus also contains only 43 calories.
High in Vitamin K: Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K (providing 114% of the RDA in a single cup), which is required for the osteocalcin synthesis, a protein that strengthens bone composition. Furthermore, vitamin K prevents accumulation of calcium in our tissue, which could lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
High in Vitamin C: As mentioned above, Asparagus contains a large dose of vitamin C (more than 30% of the RDA). Other health benefits associated with vitamin C intake include lower blood pressure, healthy immune system and resistance to age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
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This article has only an informative purpose and is not intended to replace a professional guidance. The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results, but before using any product, we strongly recommend that you visit a Nutritionist, Doctor, or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.
Source (in Portuguese): Images: Google
Source (in Portuguese): Saúde e Dica