This cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, beta- carotene, and vitamin B6, among other important nutrients, and is also high in fibre, making it great for any weight-loss-friendly diet. While this veggie has been described as “cleansing and healing” for centuries, we know today that it has many health benefits. What can asparagus do for you as a regular part of your diet?
1. Asparagus Prevents Diabetes
Researchers have found that including asparagus in your diet can help control and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It works by improving insulin secretion and cell function(1).
2. Asparagus Is High In Antioxidants
Asparagus contains an extremely high concentration of the nutrient glutathione, a powerful antioxidant produced by the human body(2). It is important to reinforce your glutathione levels with dietary intake as you age. Glutathione can significantly reduce your risk of cancer by safeguarding against free radical damage and boosting your immune system.
3. Asparagus Is An Anti-Inflammatory
If you struggle with a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, chances are you probably also struggle with chronic inflammation as well. Asparagus is rich in compounds known as saponins, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects(3).
4. Asparagus Fights Cancer
Recent research has found that asparagus leaf extract has significant anti-proliferation properties against renal cell carcininoma cells(4). Additionally, saponins from asparagus stems have been found to inhibit the growth of tumors in breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer cells(5). While much of this research is in preliminary stages, there is much promise in the development of new studies on the subject(6).
What Are The Other Benefits Of Asparagus?
So it has anti-carcinogenic properties, reduces your risk of kidney stones and diabetes, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. What else can this superfood do?
For starters, it’s just good for you. Asparagus is a great source of vitamins, as well as folic acid, which is essential for the metabolism of starches and sugars.
And even if you can’t afford to buy organic asparagus, non-organic asparagus has remarkably low pesticide levels, according to the Environmental ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Working Group (EWG), so you can eat it without worrying about consuming harmful byproducts.
Pick up a bundle of asparagus the next time your shopping – it’s easy to cook, tasty, and fantastic for your body. For asparagus-related recipes, check out Serious Eats‘s guide to popular asparagus recipes that include soups, salads, and even gluten-free tarts.