Health Benefits of Asparagus

Health Benefits of Asparagus by Deana Steele

Asparagus

Asparagus is a delicious spring veggie with a unique texture. I love to eat it when it has been lightly steamed, so it still has a crunch. I drizzle the bright green spears with organic lemon juice and grass fed butter.  I eat as much asparagus as I can get my hands on in the spring because contains a valuable amount of the antioxidant glutathione, which is a well-studied antioxidant that has been credited to having multiple functions for every body system. AAsparagus provides a wide variety of other antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium and a significant amount of the B vitamin folic acid. In fact, about 150 grams (just a few spears) can give you 60% of the recommended intake for folic acid. That’s so significant that I would dub asparagus as a “superfood”.

Digestive Support

What are the health benefits of asparagus

Asparagus offers you a valuable amount of a fiber called inulin. Inulin is very supportive to the beneficial bacteria or probiotics found in our gut. Because our own digestive system is not able to break this fiber down it is left to be consumed by our good bacteria. This means asparagus makes a great food source for the probiotics in our intestinal tracts, which results in a healthier immune system.  

Our digestion transit time (how long it takes from ingestion of our food to elimination) can be improved greatly because asparagus is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. By ensuring our food moves through at a desirable rate we allow our bodies ample time to process and assimilate the nutrients from our food and remove quickly any toxins or waste.

Other Benefits

Asparagus is good for people with kidney disorders because of its diuretic properties by encouraging the body to excrete water. It neutralizes excess ammonia in the body and encourages the liver to eliminate toxins.  Some varieties of asparagus have been used to bring balance to woman’s hormone levels and it has been shown to aid in the health of the prostate gland in men. This is likely from the high folic acid and accompanying vitamins B6 and B12.

One of the most common things known about asparagus is that it can make your urine smell odd but don’t fret! Not one single research study has been able to uncover a link between asparagus consumption, urine odor and any health risks. If you dislike this odor you can exclude asparagus from our diet but you would be missing out on all of the health benefits asparagus has to offer.

Grow Your Own

Compared to most other vegetables, asparagus has a very high rate of breakdown. Which is why this food is best to eat from a local source. The most ideal source of asparagus would be from your own garden.  Picking these spears the day of consumption will promise you the highest impact of nutrients.  

Click here to see some of my favorite ways to use the Incredible Edibles® asparagus spears.

 


Deana Steele, RHN  Digestion Specialist

Deana Steele is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Digestion Specialist trained by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She believes that optimum health begins with a properly functioning digestive system. Her philosophy is to empower her clients with the knowledge to improve their overall health through optimum digestive function, lifestyle and superior nutrition. Find more great digestive support at www.deanasteele.com


This information is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with your trusted healthcare practitioner prior to making any changes.
References:
Jones DP, Coates RJ, Flagg EW et al. Glutathione in foods listed in the National Cancer Institute's Health Habits and History Food Frequency Questionnaire. Nutr Cancer. 1992;17(1):57-75. 1992.
Roberfroid M, Gibson GR, Hoyles L et al. Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits. Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104 Suppl 2:S1-63. Review. 2010.
Singh RS and Singh RP. Fructooligosaccharides from Inulin as Prebiotics. Food Technol. Biotechnol. 48 (4) 435—450 (2010). 2010.