Health benefits of Asparagus - Asparagus Juice - Asparagus Root
Asparagus is a plant belonging to the Lily family known for its succulent taste and tender texture. It is available throughout the spring.
Garlic Shrimp Salad, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, Steamed Salmon and Asparagus with Mustard Dill Sauce, Stir-Fried Seafood with Asparagus, 15-Minute Healthy Sauteed Chicken & Asparagus, 15-Minute Healthy Sauteed Asparagus and Tofu, Miso Stir-Fry, Primavera Verde, 5-Minute Healthy Sauteed Asparagus and Warm Asparagus Salad are continental asparagus recipes.
Asparagus has an amazing nutrient profile. Every 134 gm of asparagus has been endowed with 2.95 gm of protein and 2.74 gm of dietary fiber. The Vitamins include Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6; biotin, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and pantothenic acid. Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc are the minerals in substantial quantities. Asparagus has trace amounts of copper but no saturated fats. The protein profile of asparagus is enriched by a long list of amino acids like alanine, arginine, aspartate, cystine, glutamate, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan and tyrosine.
Asparagus has been endowed with medicinal properties and can be attributed to special class of phyto-nutrients called saponins. Saponins in asparagus include asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, and protodioscin. Asparagus also contains small quantities of diosgenin. Saponins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They also reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and control fat accumulation in the blood vessels.
Asparagus –the Anti-Inflammatory:
The phyto-nutrients asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, protodioscin, and diosgenin in asparagus have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Sarsasapogenin has received special attention in prevention and reduction of to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Certain flavonoid phyto-nutrients in asparagus like quercetin, rutin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin have also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Asparagus in Oxidative Stress Reduction:
Substantial quantities of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, zinc, manganese and seleniumin in asparagus provide excellent protection against oxidative stress. Asparagus is a rich source of glutathione (GSH), one of nature’s best available antioxidants. Glutathione is composed of three amino acids, namely, glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. Asparagus has been estimated to possess 28 mg of glutathione per 3.5 oz.
Asparagus Benefits in the Digestive Tract:
Asparagus contains inulin, the polyfructan a prebiotic carbohydrate. In contrast to other carbohydrates, inulin does not get broken down in the stomach or small intestine of the digestive tract. Undigested inulin is utilized by certain beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in the large intestine.
A healthy population of the micro flora in the colon reduces the risk of colon cancer and allergic manifestations of the digestive tract. Asparagus is a rich source of dietary fiber with about 3 gm of fiber per cup that helps fight colon cancer. The protein profile of asparagus with about 4.5 gm of protein per cup regulates the rates of the digestive process.
Asparagus in Cardiovascular Health:
The presence of substantial quantities of Vitamin B, especially folate, substantiates the role of asparagus in cardiovascular health. These Vitamins play a role in regulation of homocysteine levels in blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid and an excessive level of homocysteine in blood is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The rich dietary fiber that flushes out fat deposits from blood vessels and colon further enhances the cardiovascular benefit of asparagus.