Asparagus is a flowering perennial plant from the Asparagus genus that is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop all over the world. It’s not exactly the most popular vegetable there is, but if we all knew its benefits, we’d surely include it in our diet.
Health benefits of asparagus
The plant can grow up to 1.5 m. in height and belongs in the same family as onions, leeks and chives. It has a nice green color and is native to the Mediterranean, although it can be found all around the world. Asparagus was used as food for the gods in ancient Egypt and Greece, but it was popularized in Roman times when it’s medicinal properties were discovered. With the great decline of the Roman empire, asparagus quickly became forgotten until the 12thcentury. In the 17th century, asparagus was considered a high-quality bourgeoise food.
Two centuries later, the white asparagus was “invented”. The main difference between the white and green plant is their way of cultivation and how much sunlight they receive. Italy, France and Germany are the leading asparagus producers nowadays. The veggie is best consumed in spring, although it can be enjoyed in the winter if properly preserved.
Thanks to the variety of nutrients, asparagus has been recommended for its health benefits since ancient times. Here are its main health benefits:
A powerful diuretic
As it mostly consists of water, asparagus is a powerful natural diuretic. It can prevent fluid retention, high blood pressure by boosting the production of urine and improving elimination. Asparagus doesn’t contain sodium at all, so it won’t contribute to swelling in your body parts.
A natural laxative
The veggie is a powerful laxative and has been used to improve intestinal transit for a long time. It contains a high amount of fiber, and can treat and prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, IBS and other digestive problems. The fiber will also absorb all the excess cholesterol in your blood and improve the breakdown of sugar.
A powerful antioxidant
Adding asparagus in your meals is better for your skin than any product or treatment. The vegetable is rich in antioxidants which will improve the quality and appearance of your skin. These antioxidants will prevent premature aging, while the beta-carotene protects the skin from damage.
A natural antidepressant
Asparagus contains a lot of folic acid, a nutrient which is important for pregnant women and developing fetuses as well. Folic acid also serves as an antidepressant which can relax your mind and help you sleep better. If you’re suffering from insomnia or any other kind of mental disorder, you should definitely add asparagus on your daily menu.
A highly nutritious veggie
Besides folic acid, antioxidants and fiber, asparagus contains a lot of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as oligo-elements and chromium. Consuming it more often will boost your body’s vitamin and mineral levels and improve your overall health.
Great for your bones
Asparagus is highly recommended for people over 60 and children under 5 as it has the ability to strengthen your bones and help them develop. It can soothe pain caused by osteoarthritis or osteoporosis thanks to the presence of a protein known as osteocalcin.
Promotes weight loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, you definitely need to add asparagus in your diet. A cup of the vegetable contains fiber which can satiate you and prevent you from overeating, effectively promoting weight loss.
Has antiviral properties
The vegetable contains various vitamins and minerals that will reinforce your immune system and prevent colds, the flu or viruses.
Source photo:By Pixabay (Pezibear)