Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus.
Asparagus is loaded with many Health Benefits And Nutritional Values, it has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF ASPARAGUS.
Asparagus is an excellent source of minerals, especially copper and iron. Also, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and red blood cell formation.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.12 g||0.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.1 g||5.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.274 mg||5%|
|Vitamin C||5.6 mg||9%|
|Vitamin A||756 IU||25%|
|Vitamin E||1.13 mg||7.5%|
|Vitamin K||41.6 µg||35%|
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASPARAGUS.
Maintains Homocysteine Level.
Asparagus is rich in B vitamins that help in maintaining healthy levels of homocysteine, which is produced in the blood when an amino acid (methionine) breaks down in the body. Vitamin B, especially folate, B6, and B12 play a key role in converting homocysteine into cysteine, which then gets converted back to methionine as per the normal methylation cycle.
A deficiency of vitamin B in the body can elevate the levels of homocysteine and increase the risk of damage to blood vessels, venous thrombosis in which clotting of blood happens in the veins, atherosclerosis, and other cardiac disorders. In addition to this, vitamin B helps in maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar by ensuring proper metabolism of starches and sugars in the body.
The root of asparagus racemosus is widely appreciated in Ayurvedic therapy and is famously known as Shatavari, which means ‘one who has 100 husbands’. Shatavari has aphrodisiac properties and is used to regulate the hormones and cure male and female sexual disorders. It has anti-anxiety properties and helps in curing physical and mental debility in males. It also helps in enhancing the libido and boosts sperm count and its motility. In females, asparagus has been proven to be effective in menopausal syndrome and anemia. Shatavari has been trusted as a galactagogue and is also valued for its effectiveness in improving the quality and quantity of the breast milk while boosting the appetite of nursing women. Research studies conducted on animals have demonstrated positive effects on the genitals and the mammary glands of the female subjects who consumed adequate amounts of asparagus.
Asparagus racemosus, or wild asparagus, contains a certain variety of phytonutrients known as saponins. Studies have demonstrated that the saponins obtained from it possess anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Along with the chemo-preventive efficiency, it also helps in elevating the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant and detoxifying compound. It also helps in the prevention of many diseases like HIV, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, cancer, diabetes, and various cardiac disorders.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints. Studies have shown that the consumption of folate-rich food like asparagus, which also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, may help to relieve the pain and ease the overall poor functioning in the body associated with arthritis.
Asparagus racemosus is also known for its effectiveness in curing bronchitis and tuberculosis. It improves the functioning of lung tissues and helps in treating throat infections as well.
Treats Neurodegenerative Diseases
Studies have provided evidence that asparagus racemosus is effective in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. These beneficial effects are attributed to the presence of phytoestrogens in it that have certain neuroprotective effects. Neurodegenerative diseases are genetic or periodic conditions affecting the neurons of the human brain and the body does not normally have the ability to replace the damaged neurons.
Scientific research has shown the efficacy of asparagus racemosus as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drug. It helps in enhancing the memory, increases the production, and secretion of estrogen, and has a revitalizing and calming effect on the nervous system.
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that affects the brain and leads to recurrent convulsions or seizures. The brain transmits abnormal signals as a result of irreversible changes in the brain tissues. The roots of asparagus racemosus can be used as an anti-epileptic for curing the symptoms of epilepsy.
Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Research studies show that asparagus racemosus possess anti-urolithiatic effect, which helps to cure urinary tract infections. Due to the vegetable’s diuretic properties, consumption of asparagus increases the frequency and volume of urination. This helps to detoxify and flush the toxic waste out of the body. According to research, the anti urolithiatic effect can be attributed to the presence of antioxidants and essential vitamins C and E.
It is also known to give a peculiar, pungent smell to the urine, which is completely normal. This is because asparagus breaks down its constituents of ammonia and sulfur into volatile chemical compounds that actually help the body to detoxify.