Asparagus, besides being a delicious vegetable, has interesting therapeutic properties. Their benefits have been tested and demonstrated in official medicine, in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicine
Asparagus are perennial herbaceous plants belonging to the Liliaceae family. Their botanical name is Asparagus officinalis. They originate from Asia and are now widespread throughout Europe, have roots that produce squamous shoots whose scientific name is turioni.
Asparagus are ready to be seized as soon as the shoots sprout from the earth. This is when they are the most tender. If the harvest is delayed, they lose their taste and tenderness. The harvest period begins in January.
They belong to the same family as garlic with the difference that the former are rich in chlorophyll which gives them the typical green color and interesting properties for our organism.
- Chemical Composition
- Blood Sugar
- Heart Health
- Blood Pressure
- Weight Loss
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Wild asparagus
The asparagus have a good content of antioxidants. These compounds have health effects. In particular they counteract the harmful effects of free radicals and therefore oxidative stress. This last condition, according to studies, can be the cause of chronic inflammation and of several serious pathologies such as tumors.
Among the antioxidant compounds present in this vegetable are vitamins C and E, flavonoids, polyphenols, quercetin and glutanion.
|Chemical composition for 100 grams of asparagus|
|Vitamin A, RAE||mcg||50|
Amino acids: aspartic acid and glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, serine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine and threonine.
Asparagus: Properties and Benefits
Like almost all existing plants in nature, asparagus has therapeutic properties. In fact they are recommended for the treatment of rheumatic diseases and urinary problems.
The anti-inflammatory nutrients present in the root help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes 2. This property is attributed to the presence of chromium, an essential mineral for regulating blood sugar levels.
Some studies show the effective effectiveness of this mineral in regulating sugar levels and improving insulin secretion. ( 1 )
They are rich in fiber, their intake facilitates the digestive process. This vegetable is a good source of insoluble fibers that increase the volume of the stools and promote the correct bowel movements. They also contain a small amount of soluble fiber. The latter feeds the good bacteria of the intestine, to the benefit of the intestinal flora. ( 2 )
Vitamins B are useful for regulating blood sugar levels. Studies show that a diet high in fiber is associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes 2. ( 5 )
Given their high potassium content, they are a very useful food for the heart and muscles in general. They are also low calorie and bring a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals to the body. These compounds are almost indispensable for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the heart.
Hypertension compisce more than a billion people worldwide and increases significantly the risk of heart disease. According to studies, increasing potassium intake and reducing salt intake is an effective way to reduce blood pressure. ( 8, 9 )
Potassium relaxes the walls of blood vessels by increasing blood flow. It also promotes the expulsion of salt through urine. These properties favor the lowering of the blood pressure. ( 10 )
A study in mice found that after 10 weeks of asparagus intake the pressure had dropped by 17%. ( 11 )
Asparagus is a vegetable rich in water and low in calories. According to the research, the consumption of foods with these characteristics is associated with weight loss. ( 12 ) In addition, asparagus is also rich in fiber, the consumption of which is linked to weight loss. ( 13, 14 )
Their diuretic properties are worthy of consideration due to the very high potassium / nitrogen ratio and asparagine. The latter is responsible for the strong smell that is felt in the urine after eating asparagus. The best method for taking them, in order to enhance their diuretic properties, is represented by the decoction.
An Indian study confirms the diuretic properties of these plants and excludes their toxicity. ( 15 )
They Protect the Skin
The asparagus contain antioxidants such as glutathione which is known for its ability to protect the skin from the elements, pollution and sunlight.
The asparagus contains inulin, a substance that is not easily digested by humans and therefore arrives intact in the large intestine. Inulin helps the body absorb nutrients better and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
The set of antioxidant substances present in this vegetable slows down the aging process. Antioxidants counteract the activity of free radicals, thus playing a preventive role against certain types of cancer.
An American study has found that the raw saponins obtained from asparagus have anticancer properties. ( 16 )
Another study conducted in China suggests that asparagus saponins induce apoptotic death of human hepatoma cells. ( 17 ) Another Chinese study found that asparagus polysaccharides have a potential growth- inhibiting effect on hepatocellular carcinoma cells. ( 18 )
An asparagus extract can be used effectively to reduce premenstrual swelling. The essential nutrients present in the plant help fight fatigue and reduce menstrual cramps. In addition to these benefits, asparagus also helps control blood loss and maintain hormone balance during the menstrual cycle.
Its root is used in Ayurvedic medicine and is known as Shatavari. This literally translated term means the one who has 100 husbands. In fact, this vegetable is attributed aphrodisiac properties and is used to treat both male and female sexual disorders.
They have a good folate content. This compound is very useful for pregnant women. Its action in fact prevents the neural tube defects of the unborn child and reduces the risk of a low birth weight.
Also in Ayurvedic medicine this root is considered galactogenic, meaning that it stimulates milk production in new mothers. Some animal studies have shown its effects benefits on women who have consumed adequate amounts. In fact the results of the study have confirmed that the asparagus has positive effects on the genital apparatus and on the female mammary glands. ( 21 )
Thanks to their saponin content and the presence of quercetin, rutin and kaempferol, asparagus has anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances are one of the best risk reducers for the most common chronic diseases. For example, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints. The consumption of foods rich in folate such as asparagus can alleviate pain and malfunction of the body in relation to arthritis. These plants also have anti-inflammatory properties useful for treating this condition. ( 22 )
The wild asparagus, belong to the Liliace family and grow mainly in uncultivated pastures and oak woods. They are of a thin and green color, the young shoots that grow in spring are gathered from these asparagus.
The wild asparagus are highly sought after for their particularly delicate taste delicious boiled and seasoned with olive oil, lemon and salt. They are also used as ingredients in omelettes, risottos, and soups.
There are many varieties of asparagus and they differ according to the color of their buds. White, green and purple. Once they are picked, they can be kept out of the fridge a day. From 4 to 7 days in the fridge.
For the refrigerator the ideal would be to wrap them in a damp cloth to extend the preservation for a few days.
If you want to be sure of buying asparagus that is fresh, always look at their buds. If they are perfectly closed and compact the asparagus is fresh.
The asparagus are rich in fiber than other vegetables and can therefore be a food that can help us in case of slimming diets. Their assumption increases the sense of satiety in a short time.
The ideal intake of asparagus is to grate the tips of raw sprouts and consume them with various salads. The properties of its juice extracted by electric centrifuge are also excellent.
For some years the asparagus has obtained the Igp mark.
L ‘ asparagus became especially popular in France during the reign of Louis XIV in the 18th century.
Currently, China and Peru are the two largest asparagus producers and exporters in the world.
Precautions and Contraindications
The same positive diuretic properties can have excessively energetic effects. They can be irritating for those who have problems deriving from cystitis, kidney stones, articular rheumatism. The richness of purines makes asparagus unadvisable to those with gout problems.
It is not recommended to take it in the evening lunch for those who find it difficult to sleep.
It is recommended to introduce it to a child after 3 years of age.
They can create allergic reactions in people who are already allergic to onions, leeks and other vegetables belonging to the Liliaceae family.
The asparagus contain a carbohydrate known as raffinose. For its digestion the body must first ferment it. During this process it is possible that intestinal gases may form with episodes of flatulence.
In Germany, near Monaco of Bavaria, there is a town named Schrobenhausen, where there is an European Museum of the asparagus. Here you can find everything about them. From tools and cultivation tools to kitchen and tableware, books, paintings and much more.
The asparagus grown in this area is of white and sweet quality. Every spring we celebrate the asparagus festival, during which it is possible to buy the virtuous vegetable cultivated by the local farmers.
The asparagus preferably require sandy soils and well drained with an optimal intake of water that should never miss. Fertilization must contain nitrogen and potassium.
Asparagus: Properties and Benefits
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