Whether you choose the white or purple or green variety, asparagus is high in fiber, almost no fat and low in calories which is ideal as integral part of an active fitness diet. Asparagus is also an anti-inflammatory and a natural source for the antioxidant glutathione containing three essential amino acids which defend against cell damage while detoxifying pollutants throughout the body. Additionally, the vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, manganese, potassium, chromium and selenium in asparagus all help to fight against bladder, stomach, breast, colon, lung, prostrate, pancreatic, cervical and ovarian and other types of cancers that can invade the body. Other antioxidants include lutein, zeaxanthin, carotene and crypto-xanthine which assist in removing harmful oxidant free radicals. Sapiens, found in asparagus, are naturally forming chemical compounds that have the potential to not only slow the growth of cancer cells but to actually assist in destruction of these cells.
The many nutrients in asparagus all help to fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases and is excellent in promoting good heart health with a B complex vitamin called folate which is essential to the production of red blood cells while promoting a healthy cardiovascular system and rapid growth during infancy. Folate-deficiency in the body has also been linked to birth defects such as spina bifida.
The amino acid asparagine found in asparagus is a diuretic and is used mainly to treat swelling from water retention in muscle tissues which is hard on the kidneys, arthritis and rheumatism. Inulin, a carbohydrate, encourages the growth of two bacteria’s that can boost nutrient absorption, again helping to lower the risk of some cancers and prevent unfriendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Asparagus contains dietary fiber and protein which stabilizes digestion, curbs the appetite and overeating and helps to prevent constipation and to maintain a lower blood sugar for a healthy digestive tract.
Asparagus also contains vitamin K that helps to strengthen bone composition, prevent calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. It has also been found to help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
The vitamin C in asparagus, as mentioned above, can also help to lower blood pressure and boost resistance to age-related ocular diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Another anti-aging property is that the vitamin A content may help the brain fight cognitive decline while allowing the brain to adapt and grow during learning.
Finally, asparagus is known as an aphrodisiac because of the nutrients folic acid and potassium, as we mentioned above. The folic acid aids in the production of chemicals that enhance libido. Due to the vitamin E, production of testosterone is also stimulated. Asparagus can increase the sex drive of both men and women, so it is good for both.
Now for the down side of asparagus. Even though the benefits are numerous and undeniable, do not overdose on asparagus! Too much can lead to kidney dysfunction and cause body enzymes to fluctuate abnormally. Asparagus is great for bodybuilders when taken in smaller quantities so maybe try combining it with other ingredients or make it into a soup.