As the season of spring approaches, one can find asparagus lovers walking along the side of a dirt road in Iowa, looking for wild asparagus growing in the ditches.
Originating 4,000 years ago the eastern Mediterranean regions of the Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Spanish, Persians, and Babylonians this elegant spring vegetable was prized so much so that Queen Nefertiti of Egypt considered asparagus the “food of gods.” Meanwhile, King Louis XIV of France named it the “food of kings.” Early Greeks and Romans actually believed that asparagus had healing qualities and could be used to treat bee stings and toothaches. In 1100 AD, Byzantine physicians had declared it a medicinal plant. Romans considered it an aphrodisiac.
A natural diuretic, asparagus can help increase urine production in the body. By expelling water from the body, it reduces the concentration of unnecessary salts and fluids.
This is helpful for people suffering from edema, which is retention of water in the body tissues or high blood pressure.
Good for Digestive Tract
Asparagus has a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is crucial for digestive health. Dietary fiber
removes mucoid plaque and other toxins from the gut while being expelled.
With regular bowel movements, you find relief from constipation, and gain some protection from colon cancer. The fiber inulin (a prebiotic ‘a good bacteria food source’ complex of sugar used medically to test kidney function) in asparagus promotes healthy bacteria growth in the gut.
Being rich in vitamin K, asparagus helps lower the risk of coronary calcification and coronary heart disease.
Vitamin K helps you absorb more calcium, and you can thereby prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Significantly lowers miscarriages or neural tube defects because of folic acid, while chances of low weight, premature delivery, and retardation decrease.
Carcinogens are a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.
Rheumatism is a disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints or muscles.
Asparagus is particularly efficient in immunizing against varieties of bone, breast, lung, pancreatic, cervical, and colon cancers.
Vitamin B3 Niacin (9%) can reduce swelling and lower joint pain.Asparagus has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Since inflammation and chronic oxidative stress often cause cancer, the anti-inflammatory benefits of asparagus can be a great way to ward it off.
Depression is becoming more common every day partly because of increased stress and partly because of high homocysteine (amino acid) levels, which impede the pathway to the brain for nutrients and blood cells. This affects production and secretion of some important hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These hormones make you feel good and keep your spirits high. Besides regulating your mood, these hormones also regulate sleep and appetite, so including asparagus in your diet can help ensure emotional stability.
High homocysteine levels also increases chances of heart diseases.
The soluble fibers and antioxidants in asparagus can help prevent type 2 diabetes. They slow down the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract, while the antioxidants remove inflammation associated with diabetes.
The B vitamins also help metabolize starches and sugars and help manage blood sugar.
Calcium has direct effect on the pancreatic cells that regulate insulin secretion.
Asparagus is excellent for getting rid of acne (even the severe type).
Its antioxidant glutathione fights free radicals and reverses the aging effect of sun damage on skin.
It also helps heal skin wounds faster.
Copper also helps build collagen and produces elastin (a protein forming the main constituent of elastic connective tissue), which improves the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Kidney Stone Prevention
Asparagus also contains vitamin B6, which decreases urinary oxalate production, a factor behind calcium oxalate kidney stone production.
It can flush out superfluous salt and fluids from your body as well as toxins in the kidneys, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
Anti-urolithiatic (Urolithiasis describedcalculi or stones that form the urinary tract) effect, which can help prevent or cure urinary tract infection by eliminating formation of stony concretions in the tract.
If you aren’t suffering from uric acid kidney stones, however, and want to prevent kidney stones in general, asparagus is a great choice.
PMS, mood fluctuation, cramps, and uncomfortably heavy flows often accompany periods.
Asparagus contains vitamin K and calcium, which can help combat these symptoms if you happen to have them.
Vitamin K regulates our hormones so that you don’t experience cramps and other pains of menstruation.
It reduces lipid per-oxidation in sperm cells, keeping them
healthy and motile, and also thickens the lining of the uterus.
Vitamin C plus Folate promote and nourish sperm cells and increase sperm count, keeping it voluminous and healthy.
Mainly, Folate helps create sperm cells with the correct chromosomal structure that is required for fertilization.
Hangovers are often accompanied by: anxiety, nausea, fatigue, dehydration, and stomach disorders.
The impact neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, can be very harmful.
By adding more asparagus to your diet, however, you can lessen your chances of developing such diseases.
- White asparagus is grown underground or under plastic domes, and the lack of chlorophyll gives it its shade.
- Purple asparagus is naturally grown and has a fruity flavor that is often enjoyed raw.
- When it’s really hot outside, asparagus can grow up to seven inches in a single day.
- Asparagus, coming from the salty Mediterranean basins, can tolerate high levels of soil salinity, which is why farmers once used sea salt as a herbicide.
Recipe tip: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Brush the mix over the asparagus and grill for about 4 minutes on each side.