I think it is time to talk more about good stuff, so not everything feels so depressing. There are tons of different types of food that you can consume, but getting my DNA results leaded me to talk about… asparagus 🌱
First of all, asparagus is suuuuper low on calories. Per 100 grams you get only 20 calories, isn’t it cool?! It is also rich on Potassium, Vitamin A, Iron and more. Now, let me feed you with health-miraculous benefits of it, because this vegetable IS amazing and was called by Nefertiti “food of the Gods” for a reason (articles are here and here ):
- Besides low calories, its spears contain moderate levels of dietary fiber. 100 g of fresh spears provide 2.1 g of roughage. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and regulate blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that high-fiber diet help cut down colon-rectal cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.
- Its shoots have long been used in many traditional medicines to treat conditions like dropsy and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Fresh asparagus spears are a good source of anti-oxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenes, and cryptoxanthins. Together, these flavonoid compounds help remove harmful oxidant free radicals from the body protect it from possible cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and viral infections. Their total antioxidant strength, measured regarding oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 2150 µmol TE/100 g.
- Fresh asparagus is rich sources of folates. 100 g of spears provide about 54 µg or 14% of RDA of folic acid. Folates are one of the essential co-factors for the DNA synthesis inside the cell. Scientific studies have shown that adequate consumption of folates in the diet during pre-conception period and early pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.
- If you’re planning on conceiving, asparagus is your vegetable. Asparagus is a source of high-quality vitamin C, which keeps sperm healthy, as well as increasing its volume and mobility.
- Its shoots are also rich in the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid. These group of vitamins is essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.
- Fresh asparagus also contains fair amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin-E. Regular consumption of foods rich in these vitamins helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
- Its shoots are also an excellent source of vitamin-K. 100 grams carry about 35% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role bone health by promoting bone formation activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established a role in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- 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.
- And finally, another health benefit – asparagus is also supposedly great for your sex-life. For centuries it has been regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac. Aside from its phallic shape, asparagus stirs up desire in both men and women 💕. This is due to the large amounts of vitamin E present which stimulates the production of sex hormones.
Now when we know how healthy asparagus is, I want to add some interesting facts to it (and you can read more about it here https://www.thelocal.de/20140509/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-asparagus :
- First of all, the reason why I mentioned my DNA test is that it told me that I have a gene that makes me smell “asparagus pee” (and I can indeed). So fact #1 is everyone makes “asparagus pee,” but not everyone can smell it. Scientific study has confirmed why some individuals don’t notice the uniquely pungent urine experienced by others after eating asparagus: The sulfurous compounds in asparagus pee are highly correlated with a condition called “specific anosmia,” the genetic inability to smell certain odors.
- Apparently eating asparagus, before and after drinking alcohol can have beneficial effects 🍷. If you’re planning a night out on the tiles, eating the vegetable before you start drinking could help protect your liver. The minerals and amino acids it contains not only protect the liver from toxins, the enzymes in asparagus can help break down the alcohol and alleviate hangovers. (OH MY GOD, isn’t it a miracle?!😵)
- White asparagus is in fact the same as green asparagus, but grown underground. German farmers plant their asparagus under mounds of soil called hillings. Deprived of sunlight which prevents the development of chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants), the spears stay white. No magic or genetic modifications! Just hard work of farmers.
- Asparagus was considered as food of the kings for a long time and not everyone was able to eat it. Appreciate it.
And lastly, I want to share how I cook asparagus. I like to put it on a baking sheet, add olive oil, sea salt, and sometimes sprinkle some small bacon pieces over it. Bake it at 375 degrees, for 15-20 minutes. Yummy! 😋
Conclusion: Huuuuge +! Asparagus is so great for your health, while low on calories, that everyone should eat it, seriously! Time to run to the store!