Health benefits of asparagus

For a health benefits of asparagus it was known since antiquity.The second century physician Galen described asparagus as "cleansing and healing."

Nutrition studies have shown that asparagus is a low-calorie source of folate and potassium. Its stalks are high in antioxidants.

"Asparagus provides essential nutrients: six spears contain some 135 micrograms (µg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI (recommended daily intake), 20 milligrams of potassium," notes an article in Reader's Digest. Research suggests folate is key in taming homocysteine, a substance implicated in heart disease. Folate is also critical for pregnant mothers, since it protects against neural tube defects in babies. The folate helps the body's cardiovascular system by managing the levels of the homocysteine which has been known to affect the heart adversely. Too much homocysteine can also bring on atheroslclerosis. This can occur because of the walls of the blood vessel changing their integrity. People with heart disease often have high levels of homocysteine. Getting enough folate in their diets can help overcome this problem.

Several studies indicate that getting plenty of potassium may reduce the loss of calcium from the body. This is because it has so much potassium in it. Down through history people have been used this for water retention problems that occur in such things as PMS.

It also relieves the swelling of rheumatism and arthritis. This swelling can be quite painful when it occurs too. So by relieving the swell the pain also lightens up.

Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C.Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body's connective tissues.

"Asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties," wrote D. Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods. "Asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content makes it a laxative too." It should be noted, however, that ammonia only "makes us tired" if we are in end stage liver failure.

One of the important asparagus health benefits is that it is a natural diuretic.

Asparagus provides the body with inulin. This is a carbohydrate that is digested by the good bacteria in the large intestine. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are two types of the bacteria. If we have enough of inulin in our system the good bacteria can grow easier and keep the bad bacteria from forming. This makes our intestinal tract healthier.

For more health benefits of asparagus, look to the various minerals in it. These work to manage the sugar level in the blood.This can help with hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Asparagus is more alkaline therefore is lowers the acidity in the body. This helps to flush waste from the muscles and tissues.

To gain the health benefits of asparagus serve it as a vegetable juice, cook it as a side dish, grill it or bake it. It even goes well in salads.

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