The introduction of Asparagus in the human diet dates back to nearly 2000 years. The importance of the food plant is widely accepted and admired due to its potential medicinal value. The juicy and green delicacy is available from the onset of spring and continues for 2-3 months. The garden plant is available in nearly 300 varieties and only some of them are edible.
It is also considered a luxury vegetable due to the succulent taste and soft texture and is found both in green and white color, which are available in fresh and in canned form.
The fresh variety should be immediately consumed as Asparagus is more perishable than other vegetables and loses water and harden earlier due to the high rate of respiration. Hence, it should be carefully stored by wrapping the plant in a damp paper or cloth in a refrigerator and should be consumed within 2 days.
Asparagus contains antioxidants in a good amount and thereby helps neutralize free radicals that are responsible for cell damage and ultimately slows down the aging process. The presence of Folate in the wonder- plant helps produce and repair DNA tissues to maintain health red blood cells and is a strong factor in the prevention of anemia. Vitamin K in Asparagus reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Asparagus Nutritional Benefits
Asparagus contains a wide range of antioxidant properties such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene including minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc. It is also believed to contain three significant amino acids such as glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine in a single molecule.
The presence of antioxidant in Asparagus is more valuable than that of other vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower. It is, therefore, considered a perfect vegetable with high quantity of antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are able to reduce the risk of certain chronic health hazards such as type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Asparagus nutrition supports digestion of food due to the presence of the nutrient inulin, which is a kind of carbohydrate called “polyfructan” and is referred as “prebiotic”. The unbroken carbohydrate reaches the large intestine and becomes helpful for nutrient absorption resulting in lower risk of allergy and colon cancer.
In short, the food plant provides valuable amount of the significant carbohydrate to support the digestive system of the body in a creditable manner. Since the food plant is rich in fiber and sufficient amount of protein, it helps stabilize the digestion by maintaining the movement of the food through the system in a desired way.
|Dietary fiber||2.1 g|
|Vitamin C||5.6 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||41.6 μg|
Asparagus Nutrition and Cancer
The strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Asparagus exhibit a substantial decline in the risk of certain cancers. Studies have corroborated the fact that asparagus and its extracts help change the metabolic function of cancer cells in a protective nature, which provides better control of inflammation and oxidative stress.
It is more particularly seen in cancer cells of the liver. There is also the information for positive effect of the wonder food plant in leukemia, which is due to an amino acid present in the plant. Asparagus provides a certain amount of enzyme called “Asparaginase” to benefit patients in leukemia.
Asparagus is a potential source of glutathione, which is a detoxifying agent helping breaking down carcinogenic compounds such as free radicals. Taking asparagus as food helps protect and fight against certain types of cancer like of bone, colon, breast, larynx and lung.