Asparagus: 5 Reasons Why You Should Eat This Superfood

A great source of nutrients, asparagus has been lauded for its many health benefits. Discover how this superfood can improve your health.

A person plucks asparagus spears from the ground and places them in a wooden basket

A vegetable that is grown worldwide, plenty of homes and all kinds of restaurants worldwide use asparagus as part of their menu. Low in calories, this popular veggie contains abundant vitamins and minerals. Eating asparagus has plenty of benefits, including improved digestion. 

However, don’t mistake the vegetable with Asparagi radix (tian men dong). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practises use Asparagi radix, a different variation of asparagus used for its medicinal properties. This herb helps to nourish lungs yin and stomach yin. You can also use it to help manage vertigo and soreness due to kidney yin deficiency, as Asparagi radix nourishes kidney yin.

There are two primary types of asparagus. The green-coloured type is more common and readily available compared to the white-coloured variety. The key difference between both variants is that green-coloured asparagus spears are harvested above ground. On the other hand, white-coloured spears are harvested underground before reaching the surface. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should eat this superfood to improve your health and well-being.

Green-coloured and white-coloured asparagus spears wrapped in napkins and displayed on a wooden table
The unique characteristic separating green-coloured from white-coloured asparagus spears is harvested above ground and underground, respectively.

1. Manages Diabetes 

Asparagus is a rich source of dietary fibre that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Dietary fibre plays an important role in reducing gastric emptying, modifying digestion and fermentation-related hormones. It also helps in inhibiting the breakdown of starch into sugars.

You could also consume a herbal formulation consisting of fruits and vegetables rich in phytonutrients and enzymes. For example, fruits like pineapple, papaya, and lemon; and vegetables like asparagus, kidney beans, and seaweed. Take one sachet of this formulation after every meal to improve your digestive health.

2. Lowers the Risk of Certain Cancers 

A 2020 study by the Tianjin University of Science and Technology finds that the consumption of asparagus could help inhibit the activity of cancerous tumour cells. Specifically, the crude saponins in this vegetable have exhibited anti-tumour effects against breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer cells. Similarly, the polysaccharides demonstrated different bioactivities against four endometrial cancer cells.

3. Prevents Cardiovascular Disorders 

The consumption of properly cooked asparagus improves its ability to bind with bile acids in the intestines. This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, several clinical trials found that asparagus consumption has a positive effect in treating hypertension, suggesting that it could potentially be used as an anti-hypertensive agent. 

To ensure adequate absorption of essential nutrients that could help to reduce your risk of disease, try consuming a fruit and vegetable supplement that contains asparagus extracts.

A bowl of quinoa salad mixed with other vegetables like asparagus that is placed on a blue napkin next to a fork
Combining asparagus with other superfoods could significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease through various medicinal activities.

4. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections 

Like other diuretic botanicals, asparagus may also be effective at preventing urinary tract infections (UTI). The consumption of this vegetable works effectively against UTI. It works by increasing urine volume and flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract.

Alternatively, you could consume wild mountain cranberry juice one to three times daily to do away with UTI. This juice can also boost your health and give you youthful skin, as it has antioxidant, anti-ageing, and anti-wrinkle activities, in addition to reducing dark spots and having a skin-whitening effect.

 5. Improves Brain Function 

Asparagus is an abundant source of vitamin E. It’s one of the many nutrients you. require to prevent cognitive decline in older adults. Similarly, asparagus is also a healthy source of folate and vitamin B12, critical for proper brain function. 

This is evident from the findings of a study, which found that the elderlies who had healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on tests that studied response speeds and mental flexibility. 

To put it simply, asparagus is one of the most nutritionally dense and well-balanced vegetables. What’s more, you can eat it raw or served as a cooked meal with minimal preparation. For these reasons, this veggie is a superfood that you should regularly consume, as it helps maintain your health and well-being.

References

  1. ScienceDirect. 2019. The bioactive compounds and biological functions of Asparagus officinalis L. – A review. [Accessed 5 October 2021] 
  2. SpringerLink. 2020. Natural therapeutics for urinary tract infections—a review. [Accessed 5 October 2021] 
  3. US National Library of Medicine. 2008. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function [Accessed 5 October 2021] 
  4. US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Green and White Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): A Source of Developmental, Chemical and Urinary Intrigue. [Accessed 5 October 2021] 
  5. ScienceDirect. 2010. Chinese Herbal Medicines. [Accessed 5 October 2021] 
  6. Tufts University. 2020. Putting B Vitamins for Brain Protection to the Test. [Accessed 5 October 2021] 

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