What is Asparagus?
Asparagus is a plant. The newly formed shoots (spears), root, and “underground stems” (rhizomes). Asparagus stalks are commonly eaten as a vegetable. Roots, seeds, and extracts have been used as a treatment for various illnesses and as a diuretic, despite the lack of clinical evidence.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Regulating blood sugar: The Mayo Clinic notes that vitamin B6 may affect blood sugar levels and advises caution for people who have diabetes or low blood sugar. However, those with healthy levels can benefit from asparagus’s ability to regulate it.
Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes: As with heart disease, risk of type 2 diabetes increases with excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, asparagus’ impressive anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants make it a good preventive food. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition also suggested that asparagus’ ability to improve insulin secretion and improve beta-cell function also helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Beta cells are unique cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release insulin.
Anti-aging benefits: The antioxidant glutathione is thought to slow the aging process, according to a 1998 article in The Lancet journal. And the folate that asparagus provides works with B12 to prevent cognitive decline. A Tufts University study found that older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better during a test of response speed and mental flexibility than those with lower levels of folate and B12.
Skin: Yet another amazing thing about the antioxidant glutathione: it helps protect the skin from sun damage and pollution.
Keeping you cleansed and preventing kidney stones: Asparagus can act as a natural diuretic This can help rid the body of excess salt and fluid, making it especially good for people suffering from edema and high blood pressure. It also helps flush out toxins in kidneys and prevent kidney stones. On the other hand, the National Institutes of Health recommends that people who are suffering from uric acid kidney stones should avoid asparagus.
Pregnancy health: Nutritionist Laura Flores noted asparagus’s significant amount of folate, which she said “is important for women of childbearing age to consume daily.” Folate can decrease the risk of neural-tube defects in fetuses, so it is essential that mothers-to-be get enough of it.
Digestive health: “Asparagus is known to help stabilize digestion due to the high amount of fiber and protein that it contains,” said Flores. “Both help move food through the gut and provide relief from discomfort during digestion.”
Cancer risk: Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which are found in great quantities in asparagus, are typically associated with decreased risk of cancers.
Uses of Asparagus
- Asparagus is used as a treatment for various illnesses and as a diuretic, despite the lack of clinical evidence. Other species, such as Asparagus racemosus , are used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine systems
- Asparagus is used along with lots of fluids as “irrigation therapy” to increase urine output. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections and other conditions of the urinary tract that cause pain and swelling.
- Asparagus is also used for preventing stones in the kidney and bladder and anemia due to folic acid deficiency.
- Other uses include treatment of joint pain (rheumatism), hormone imbalances in women, dryness in the lungs and throat, constipation, nerve pain (neuritis), AIDS, cancer, and diseases caused by parasites.
- In foods, asparagus spears are eaten as a vegetable. This can produce a pungent odor in the urine.
- Some people apply asparagus directly to the skin for cleaning the face, drying sores, and treating acne.