Asparagus Health Benefits
Many nutrients with minimal calories
Asparagus Officinalis is low in calories but has an impressive nutrient profile. [ [ref. 1] ] In fact, only half a cup (90 grams) of cooked asparagus contains only 20 calories and the following nutrients:
- Protein: 2.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% (% RDA)
- Vitamin A: 18% (% RDA)
- Vitamin K: 57% (% RDA)
- Folate: 34% (% RDA)
- Potassium: 6% (% RDA)
- Phosphorus: 5% (% RDA)
- Vitamin E: 7% (% RDA)
Asparagus also contains small amounts of other trace elements, including iron, zinc and riboflavin. These elements are important for normal cell function and energy production. Asparagus is also an excellent source of vitamin K, a major nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health. [ [ref. 2] ]
A 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. Asparagus, like other green vegetables, is high in antioxidants. These include vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. Asparagus is also particularly rich in flavonoids ivercetin, isoramnetin and kempferol. [ [ref. 5]
May improve digestive health
Dietary fiber is essential for good digestion. Only half a cup of asparagus provides 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7% of daily needs.
Helps maintain a healthy pregnancy
Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, which is necessary even before conception itself, as well as during pregnancy. Only half a cup of asparagus provides adults with 34% of their daily folic acid needs, and pregnant women 22% of their daily needs. Getting enough folic acid from sources such as asparagus, green leafy vegetables and fruits can protect against neural tube defects, including spina bifida. [ [ref. 8] ]
Helps with lowering high blood pressure
The potassium that asparagus contains can help control blood pressure. Research has shown that increasing potassium intake when reducing salt intake is an effective way to lower high blood pressure. [ [ref. 9] ]
Potassium lowers blood pressure in two ways: by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and secreting excess salt through the urine. Asparagus is a good source of potassium, providing 6% of your daily needs of just half a cup.
Asparagus for weight loss
Currently, there are no studies to look at the effects of asparagus on weight loss. However, they have a number of properties that could potentially help you lose weight.
First, asparagus is very low in calories, with just 20 calories in half a cup. Moreover, their content is about 94% water. Research has shown that consumption of low-calorie, water-rich foods is associated with increased weight loss. [ [ref. 10] ]
Easy to add to any diet
As well as being nutritious, asparagus is delicious and easy to incorporate into any diet. Asparagus is suitable for preparation with various culinary techniques - boiling, grilling, steaming, sautéing. You can also buy canned asparagus, which are pre-prepared and ready to eat. Asparagus can be used in a number of dishes such as salads, french fries, frittata, omelettes and pasta and are an excellent side dish for meat.