Asparagus Facts and Health Benefits

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asparagus-facts-and-health-benefits

Asparagus Quick Facts
Name: Asparagus
Scientific Name: Asparagus officinalis
Origin Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia and it is widely cultivated in South and North America, Europe and China.
Colors Green- yellowish green, red
Shapes Globoid, glabrous, small, Diameter: 6–10 mm, Length: 6–10 mm
Flesh colors White
Taste Succulent
Calories 20 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin K (37.92%)
Vitamin B9 (33.50%)
Copper(16.56%)
Vitamin B1 (12.17%)
Iron (10.25%)
Health benefits Assist digestion, Reduce diabetes, Cures hangovers, Vision health, Reduce arthritis
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) also known as Asparagus root, Wild asparagus, Asperge and Shatavari, is a vegetable and most widely cultivated species of the genus Asparagus L. This plant is native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia and is widely cultivated in South and North America, Europe and China.  The vernacular names for Asparagus are:- French: Asperge, Asperge officinale; Hindi: Shatwaar; Spanish: Brote de espárrago, Esparrago; Spanish: Brote de espárrago, Esparrago etc. Three varieties of Asparagus are: Green Asparagus, White Asparagus and Purple Asparagus.

Plant

Asparagus is an herbaceous and perennial plant. Asparagus do best in areas with dry climate. It thrives in well-drained soil. Depending upon the species plants can be between 100 cm (39 inch) to 150 cm (59 inch) high. It produces green, white to yellow flowers in bell-shaped with length: 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 inch). The plant yields flowers during early to mid-summer (August).The Asparagus stems are grayish green, glabrous and glaucous. The needle like leaves are lanceolate, alternately arranged often light yellow – purple in color.  The branchlets are slender terete, fascicled with the length of 0.5-1.5 cm. The plant lives for about 20 years.

Fruit

The fruit is small in globoid shape having the length 6-10 mm and diameter 6-10 mm. The fruit can range in color from green to yellowish green or red. It possesses white flesh with succulent taste. Each Asparagus contains 2-4 black seeds with brittle seed coats. The fruit is found from May to July.

Health Benefits

Asparagus provides relieve from pre-menstrual syndrome, diabetes, cancer, cataract, hangover, rheumatism, depression, tuberculosis, convulsions, neurodegenerative diseases and fertility. It lowers the blood cholesterol and urinary tract infections. It enhances the digestive health, reduces homocysteine levels and maintains healthy heart.

  1. Assist digestion

Asparagus possess inulin which is also called prebiotic. It enhances the nutrient absorption and lowers the chances of stomach allergies and cancer. The adequate amount of dietary fiber and laxative properties assist in the bowel functions and eliminates constipation, bloating.  Fiber also reduces the cholesterol levels in the body. It is used in Ayurvedic therapy to cure dyspepsia, diarrhea, burning sensations and navel pain. The studies show that the use of Asparagus effectively treats dyspepsia. (1)

  1. Antitumor properties

Asparagus possess phytonutrients called saponins. The study has shown that Asparagus possess the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Asparagus increase the glutathione levels, antioxidant compounds which is essential for preventing cystic fibrosis, anemia, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiac disorders AIDS and HIV. (2) (3) (4)

  1. Reduce diabetes

Asparagus possess anti-inflammatory properties which lowers the chances of chronic health ailments such as type 2 diabetes. It attributes the mineral chromium which is essential for the regulation of blood sugar level. The studies shows that Asparagus helps to maintain the blood sugar level, enhance insulin secretion and provides anti-diabetic effect. (5) (6) (7)

  1. Cures hangovers

The extracts of Asparagus possess essential amino acids which effectively cure hangovers caused due to the substantial consumption of alcoholic drinks. Fatigue, anxiety, vomiting and dehydration are the symptoms of hangovers. The study on the research shows that the shoots and leaves of Asparagus possess inorganic mineral content which assists to protect the liver cells from toxic effects of alcohol. (8)

  1. Vision health

Vitamin A is essential for the healthy vision. The antioxidants found in Asparagus prevent the retina from damage which is caused by oxygen-free radicals. The presence of glutathione reduces the chances of eye ailments such as night blindness and cataracts.

  1. Reduce arthritis

Arthritis is the chronic health condition leads to the joint inflammation. The studies show that the intake of foods rich in folate possess an anti-inflammatory properties which assist to soothe pain and relieve the poor functioning related with arthritis. (9)

  1. Treats hemorrhoid

Asparagus possess high amount of rutin which is a flavonoid containing anti-inflammatory properties, treats hemorrhoids and prevents blood clotting. It promotes permeability of capillaries, enhances blood vessels and prevents from being weak. Rutin eradicates the hardening of arteries by lessening the blood viscosity and relaxing hypertension, lowering cholesterol and supporting cardiovascular health. (10)

  1. Treats neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are conditions which affect neurons of the human brain. The body is not able to replace the damaged neurons. The studies have shown that Asparagus effectively treats neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. The presence of phytoestrogens in Asparagus possesses certain neuroprotective effects. (11)

  1. Cure urinary tract infections

The study conducted on the research shows that Asparagus contains anti-urolithiatic effect which helps to treat urinary tract infections. The diuretic properties found in Asparagus enhance the volume and frequency of urination. This eliminates the toxic waste from the body. The research shows that the anti urolithiatic effect attributes the antioxidants and essential Vitamin E and C. Asparagus breaks down the constituents of sulphur and ammonia into volatile compounds that assists to detoxify the body. (12) (13)

  1. Reduce blood cholesterol

The studies have shown that the antioxidants found in Asparagus have the ability to treat oxidative stress and other disorders such as hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. These diseases are the cause of high presence of cholesterol and fat in the body. It also leads to the fatal conditions such as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. (14)

Traditional uses

Green resin is used to treat calculous affections, rheumatism, flatulence, cardiac dropsy and chronic gout. Combination of 1 to 2 grains with potassium bromide is useful for cardiac dropsy and chronic gout. The boiled water of Asparagus cures rheumatism. Roots are considered as a powerful diuretic in Brazil. Roots are also used as a treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis and bronchial catarrh. In Tehran, burned and smoked roots are used to relieve toothaches. It is also considered as palliative, diuretic, laxative and cardiac sedative. So it is used to treat cystitis, arthrosis and tuberculosis. Asparagus was believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to relieve toothaches and prevent bee stings. It is used to enhance the immune system, maintain liver health and reduce inflammation. The infusion made from Asparagus is effective to treat congestive torpor of liver and jaundice.

Other Facts

Asparagus imparts the characteristic strong urine smell and enhance the kidneys. It is also considered as diuretic, mild aperient, laxative, sedative. Green resin helps to soothe the heart. The studies shows that Asparagus possess antispasmodic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, sedative, immunomodulating, diaphoretic and laxative. Fruit is harmful for consumption.

Nutritional value

Asparagus possess vitamins and minerals with low calories and sodium. They contains good amount of Vitamin B, A, C, folic acid, fiber, thiamin, folic acid, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, niacin, potassium, rutin, zinc and calcium. 90 g of Asparagus provides 20 calories. The same amount provides Vitamin A in 45 µg.

Nutritional value of Asparagus
Serving Size: 0.5 Cup, 90 g

Calories 20 Kcal. Calories from Fat 1.8 Kcal.

Proximity Amount % DV
Water 83.37 g N/D
Energy 20 Kcal N/D
Energy 85 kJ N/D
Protein 2.16 g 4.32%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.2 g 0.57%
Ash 0.57 g N/D
Carbohydrate 3.7 g 2.85%
Total dietary Fiber 1.8 g 4.74%
Total Sugars 1.17 g N/D
Sucrose 0.07 g N/D
Glucose (dextrose) 0.38 g N/D
Fructose 0.71 g N/D

Minerals Amount % DV
Copper, Cu 0.149 mg 16.56%
Iron, Fe 0.82 mg 10.25%
Selenium, Se 5.5 µg 10.00%
Phosphorus, P 49 mg 7.00%
Manganese, Mn 0.139 mg 6.04%
Zinc, Zn 0.54 mg 4.91%
Potassium, K 202 mg 4.30%
Magnesium, Mg 13 mg 3.10%
Calcium, Ca 21 mg 2.10%
Sodium, Na 13 mg 0.87%
Fluoride 19.7 µg 0.49%


Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 45.5 µg 37.92%
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 134 µg 33.50%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.146 mg 12.17%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.125 mg 9.62%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.35 mg 9.00%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 6.9 mg 7.67%
Vitamin A 45 µg 6.43%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.976 mg 6.10%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.071 mg 5.46%
Choline 23.5 mg 4.27%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.202 mg 4.04%
Lycopene 27 µg 0.54%
Beta Carotene 544 µg N/D
Betaine 0.8 mg N/D
Lutein + zeaxanthin 694 µg N/D
Tocopherol, beta 0.02 mg N/D
Tocopherol, gamma 0.19 mg N/D

Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.043 g 0.07%
Palmitic acid 16:00 (Hexadecanoic acid) 0.043 g N/D
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.094 g 0.55%
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.068 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.026 g N/D


Amino Acids Amount % DV
Tryptophan 0.026 g 5.91%
Threonine 0.083 g 4.72%
Isoleucine 0.074 g 4.43%
Histidine 0.048 g 3.90%
Leucine 0.126 g 3.41%
Lysine 0.102 g 3.05%
Methionine 0.031 g 1.85%
Cystine 0.031 g N/D
Phenylalanine 0.074 g N/D
Tyrosine 0.051 g N/D
Valine 0.112 g N/D
Arginine 0.089 g N/D
Alanine 0.112 g N/D
Aspartic acid 0.5 g N/D
Glutamic acid 0.229 g N/D
Glycine 0.091 g N/D
Proline 0.069 g N/D
Serine 0.104 g N/D


Flavonols Amount % DV
Quercetin 13.6 mg N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not healthbenefitstimes.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.

Source:

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2825

Asparagus Facts

Asparagus is a perennial plant which belongs to the family Liliaceae. Only 20 varieties are edible among 300 varieties of Asparagus. Sprouts are the edible part of the Asparagus. The stem has 1/4 – 3/4 inch diameter at the base.  The stem becomes woody when the sprouts begin to branch out and grows into a plant.

Name Asparagus
Scientific Name Asparagus officinalis
Native Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia and it is widely cultivated in South and North America, Europe and China.
Common/English Name Asparagi rhizoma, Asparagus root, Wild asparagus, Asparagus officinalis L., Sparrowgrass, Garden Asparagus, Asperge, Shatavari, Tien Men Tong, Tian Men Dong
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Aspersie
Arabic: Kishk almaz,  Halgun
Bosnian: Kukovina, Šparoga
Bulgarian: Asperzhi
Croatian: Beluš, Pitomi sparog
Czech: Chřest lékařský,  Chřest obecný
Dutch: Wortelstok van asperge, Asperge
Estonian: Harilik aspar, Aspar
Finnish: Ruokaparsa, Parsa
French: Asperge, Asperge officinale
German: Garten-Spargel, Spargel
Greek: Sparagi, Sparaggi
Hebrew: Asparag refui, Spragus
Hindi: Shatwaar
Hungarian: Közönséges spárga, Spàrga
Italian: Asparagio, Asparago comune
Japanese: Asuparagasu, Oranda kiji kakushi
Korean: Yakpijjaru, A seu pa ra geo seu
Nepalese: Kurilo
Norwegian: Asparges
Persian: Maarcube
Polish: Szparag lekarski
Portuguese: Aspargo, Rebentos de espargos
Romanian: Sparanghel
Russian: Asparagus lekarstvennyi, Sparža aptečnaja
Serbian: Betrica, Vilina metla
Slovakian: Asparágus lekársky, Špargľa
Slovenian: Beluš, Vrtni špargelj
Spanish: Brote de espárrago, Esparrago
Swedish: Sparris, Vanlig sparris
Thai: Normai farang
Turkish: Kuşkonmaz
Urdu: Asparagys
Vietnamese: Măng tây
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous, perennial plant
Growing Climate Dry climate
Soil Well-drained soil
Plant Size 100–150 cm (39–59 inch)
Lifespan 20 years
Branchlets Fascicled, slender terete, length: 0.5-1.5 cm
Stem Grayish green, glabrous and glaucous
Leaf Alternate, lanceolate, light yellow – purple, needle-like leaves
Flowering Season Early to mid-summer (August)
Flower Green, white to yellow, bell-shaped, length: 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in)
Fruit shape & size Globoid, glabrous, small, Diameter: 6–10 mm, Across: 6-8 mm., Length: 6–10 mm
Fruit color Green- yellowish green, red
Flesh color White
Fruit Taste Succulent
Seed 2-4 black seeds, brittle seed coat
Varieties/Types
  • Green Asparagus
  • White Asparagus
  • Purple Asparagus
Fruit Season May – July
Major Nutritions Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 45.5 µg (37.92%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 134 µg (33.50%)
Copper, Cu 0.149 mg (16.56%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.146 mg (12.17%)
Iron, Fe 0.82 mg (10.25%)
Selenium, Se 5.5 µg (10.00%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.125 mg (9.62%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.35 mg (9.00%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 6.9 mg (7.67%)
Phosphorus, P 49 mg (7.00%)
Health Benefits
  • Assist digestion
  • Antitumor properties
  • Reduce diabetes
  • Cures hangovers
  • Vision health
  • Reduce arthritis
  • Treats hemorrhoid
  • Treats neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cure urinary tract infections
  • Reduce blood cholesterol
Calories in 0.5cup (90 gm) 20 Kcal
Precautions
  • The people who are sensitive to onions, leeks, garlic, and chives might experience an allergic reaction to Asparagus.
  • Asparagus interacts with Lithium.
  • An intake of Asparaus might increase lithium in the body which results in serious side effects.
How to Eat
  • It could be steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted, sautéed or blanched and served with butter.
  • The young stalks could be added to the diet.
  • The shoots are used as vegetable side dish or an appetizer.
  • It is added as an ingredient in stews and soups.
  • Asparagus can also be stored and pickled.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)Scientific Classification

Scientific name Asparagus officinalis
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae
Genus Asparagus L.
Species Asparagus officinalis L.
Super division Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Liliopsida
Sub Class Liliidae

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