8 Health Benefits of Asparagus
Asparagus has so many health benefits, it should be added to the healthy diet. Asparagus is great as a detox vegetable, an anti-aging vegetable, and no surprise - an aphrodisiac, and much more.
The asparagus is a member of the lily family. It grows easily in the home garden right in the flower bed - it is a perennial and can yield a harvest for decades. Asparagus can be planted as seeds or roots any time of the year.
Here is a list of some of the health benefits of asparagus followed by a list further explaining those health benefits.
1 - can detoxify our system
2 - has anti-aging functions
3 - is considered an aphrodisiac
4 - can protect against cancer
5 - reduces pain and inflammation
6 - can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
7 - reduces the risk of heart disease
8 - can help prevent birth defects
While there is every kind of supplement on the market to address these health issues, too often Americans turn to pills as a main source of nutrition. Pills should only be used as a supplement and not in the place of whole foods. For example: folic acid is highly recommended in today's diet especially for women who may become pregnant. However, folic acid is the supplemental form of folate. Folate is naturally found in asparagus. In the interest of good health, whole foods are always recommended before supplements.
The Reasons Asparagus Keeps Us Healthy:
1 - As a detox - asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per cup. Potassium is known for reducing belly fat (see belly fat link below). It also contains 3 grams of fiber which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so no bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and one cup has only 40 calories. According to a clinical dietician at UCLA Medical Center, asparagus in the ultimate in detox vegetables.
2 - For anti-aging purposes - asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. It is also very high in glutathione - an amino acid compound with protent antioxidant properties; a must as an anti-aging deterrent. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.
3 - As an aphrodisiac - the asparagus is considered a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac because of its shape. It is said to trigger the mind to have a physiological response. The French word for asparagus is asperge; asperge is a slang word for penis.
4 - Against cancer - asparagus in high in folate which is now known to be an important protection against cancer. Note: Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits. While folic acid is said to be the same as folate, folic acid is the supplemental form. It is always recommeded that you get health benefits from eating healthy whole foods.
5 - Reducing pain and inflammation - it is the folate that helps reduce inflammation.
6 - Preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis - asparagus has vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K.
7 - Reducing the risk of heart disease - it is the folate that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
8 - Preventing birth defects - getting enough folate (doctors often recommend the folic acid supplement) is especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a folate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births.
Additionally, studies have shown that the nutritional benefits of asparagus can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Overall, asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, glutathione, and vitamin K. It is high in fiber, has no sodium, is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat.
You may notice some asparagus spears are thick and some are thin. The thick ones are best for roasting or steaming. I find steaming the best and also very quick. The thin spears are ideal for the grill or if you are planning to sautee.
For optimum health benefits it is suggested that asparagus be eaten raw.
Before eating, the woody stem should be removed from both the thick spears and the thin. Peel only the thick spears before cooking.
- See more healthy eating suggestions below:
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Al Wordlaw from Chicago on February 10, 2014:
Um, my diet is getting much better after reading articles like this. Keep up the good work buddy!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on July 28, 2013:
Adding fennel sounds exceptionally good - thanks for sharing that tip. Enjoy!
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on July 22, 2013:
I love asparagus and this is such an informative hub. I have some thin stem asparagus in the frig right now and was going to sauté it with some fennel, garlic, and olive oil.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on June 01, 2013:
Thanks SDMission! I have to say when I wrote this I had no idea how many other asparagus lovers were out there. So far nearly a quarter million!
Diego R. from San Diego, CA on May 23, 2013:
Basically, asparagus is awesome. Nice hub.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on April 12, 2013:
Thank you WebWatcher Reviews - I will check out your website.
Hi Kate! I have tried frozen and tinned and...argh! I'm here in NYC and we can have very long winters so no asparagus. We have to wait until it is in season. And then it really tastes great and maybe that's because we have to wait for it! I suspect it is most nutritious then too. Thanks for writing.
kate on April 12, 2013:
I love asparagus and my late husband grew it but here in Uk it is such a short season
How can we get it all the year round? Tinned.Frozen?
WebWatcher Reviews on February 25, 2013:
I just read your blog and am very impressed at how in touch you are and your attention to detail. I was also impressed that you clued in some individuality to your blog instead of the same old robotic writing I see from everyone else. We would love to have you write us a WebWatcher article sometime.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on January 29, 2013:
Thanks Sofia! Thanks Felix!
youbar - thanks for commenting!
You're welcome lmlynde! Glad you enjoyed the hub!
lmlynde from Nevada on November 24, 2012:
Thanks for this wonderfully informative article about one of naturals wonders.....Asparagus! I will have to put it into the wonderfully vege category with spinach and invent some new recipes!
Joel Lipman from Los Angeles, California on November 07, 2012:
I love asparagus. I almost always have some in the fridge.
Felix on October 25, 2012:
sofia on October 15, 2012:
Awesome information about healthy vegetables Asparagus, and it's very healthy for our health. thanks for sharing...........
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on September 25, 2012:
Hi Salvatore Hidalgiano - I've never tried to cook asparagus in a slow cooker - but it may be a good idea because the slow cookers retain so many nutrients.
I did an internet search and it showed only a couple recipes which weren't too appealing, most made asparagus part of a casserole recipe. If you try it and have a moment please do share if you are satisfied. Thanks for commenting!
Salvatore Hidalgiano on September 21, 2012:
Love your article and the comments!!
I have a question, can you cook asparagus in a slow cooker (crock- pot ) ? Where can I find a recipe ?
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on July 23, 2012:
Love the great comments - I learn so much. Thank you all for taking the time to write. Yay!
breach on July 18, 2012:
I have been eating aspargus almost everyday,thanks from all those health benefits i can get from eating it.Very interesting.
Sitense from Houston on July 11, 2012:
You can also buy it in glass jars for people with no time to cook. Just pop open a jar and heat it in the microwave.
With hollandaise sauce. Probably not as nutritious but this saves lots of time and energy for the working class with no time to cook much.
Wendy on May 22, 2012:
I love this vegetable roasted never tried it in liquid form. I just found out it is good as a detoxify, but I eat the whole thing stem and all. Is that bad? I can eat almost a whole bushel.
Rika Susan from South Africa on May 05, 2012:
Great hub, BkCreative! I love to add asparagus to my fresh vegetable juicing recipes. This is an easy way to gain maximum access to all the good stuff in them!
germanie on April 23, 2012:
I did don't know that's about good food,I love it!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on April 17, 2012:
It truly is powerful WarwickWyatt!
Ah, yes Kassidi - you've explained it well. So many have said their urine smells but they may have been in the greatest need of a good detox. This makes sense to me. Thanks!
Kassidi on April 16, 2012:
Oh my goodness really?! Then asparagus is my number 1 favorite green veggie! It not only tastes appealing but, has mega health benefits than I've seen! Since it detoxifies, no wonder why urine smells funky after...
WarwickWyatt from Hertfordshire, England, UK on April 11, 2012:
Great info, Asparagus is POWERFUL!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on April 04, 2012:
Thanks so much for writing OFF THE WALL GANG! Enjoy!
OFF THE WALL GANG on April 03, 2012:
THAT'S WHY I LOVE ASPARAGUS! !
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 24, 2012:
Thanks so much Lisa and by the way I am now a big fan of yours. Oh yay!
Liz Rayen from California on March 24, 2012:
Thank you for this great informative article. It's perfect for my book of eating healthy. I love collecting articles that help me every way possible to eat better. Love it! Voted up! Lisa
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 16, 2012:
Keep in mind that steaming is not only the fastest method - it also retains most of the nutrients so after you steam quickly you can spritz with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Me, I just like them steamed and enjoy the full flavor without changing it a bit! Thanks for writing!
Dena on March 14, 2012:
Hi moon daisy!! im so glad to find out about new foods and how there benefits to help us in our health. Have a silly question Im a single mom just trying new things and i would like to buy some aspragus but not sure how to prepare them and cook them. If anybody is reading this could maybe give a gal some advice thanks! Moon daisy thanks again for such great site!!!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 12, 2012:
Really glad you shared that Mark!
Mark on March 12, 2012:
Seems to help with acid reflux.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 12, 2012:
You're welcome Ron Johnson. It seems a very, very quick steaming is the best way to eat them - and they do cook so fast that they can be mushy. It seems 3-4 spears are just enough.
All things in moderation, though, and certainly a variety works best. In fact I added a couple links (at the top of the comments above - the first 2) that will show you a range of foods that help reduce belly fat. And one surprise is a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each day - well, I get almost immediate results. If I don't do the EVOO I get a bit puffy.
Thanks for taking the time to comment - twice!
Ron Johnson on February 11, 2012:
Would like to know more about its belly busting properties, how much should I eat, steamed vs raw, etc. I am male and fighting hard to get rid of stomach fat. This info has motivated me
Ron Johnson on February 11, 2012:
Thanx so much I love it after reading this, love it even more!!!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 08, 2012:
Wow Valerie - well how great that you did start and are reaping all the benefits. I am so glad you wrote - there is nothing better than a personal recommendation. Thanks a million!
Valerie on February 08, 2012:
I just recently developed a taste for asparagus. Oh, I wish I had YEARS ago!! Since eating it...I am no longer on diuretics, have lost ALOT of weight (especially around the belly), and truly believe it is helping me fight my cancer. I just feel BETTER overall when I have eaten a healthy portion for supper...or even alone as a snack. And since eating it...I crave OTHER greens...simply amazing. Just wish I would have started YEARS ago.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 05, 2011:
Thanks for commenting cure gout naturally. I'll leave your link here so others can check it out as well.
cure gout naturally on December 05, 2011:
Brilliant article. I went through the post.
This insightful information has really
helped me.Thanks for sharing.
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BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 01, 2011:
Thank you drmingle. Good food and good health is still within our reach.
drmingle from United States on December 01, 2011:
"Pills should only be used as a supplement and not in the place of whole foods."
I couldn't have wrote it any better myself.
Good job and keep up the good writing.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 07, 2011:
Thanks Ron. Sharp looking man there on your website!
Ron on October 04, 2011:
Ron from http://www.intervalstraining.net
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on September 17, 2011:
Thank you Lyra Carillet. Your comment is very much appreciated. How kind.
Thank you too, sally t.
sally t. on September 16, 2011:
very informative. Very good article.
Lyra Carillet on September 03, 2011:
I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on August 19, 2011:
You're welcome happypuppy. Great to meet you and I'm enjoying your hubs!
happypuppy on August 18, 2011:
I love asparagus, especially grilled. Hmm, I should eat more of them now because I need to get rid of my belly fat. Thanks for sharing!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on August 14, 2011:
Thank you for writing rainever!
rainever on August 13, 2011:
Thanks for sharing. Good lens.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on August 02, 2011:
Thanks you fashion!
fashion on July 27, 2011:
Informative hub.well done
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on June 30, 2011:
kims3003 on June 29, 2011:
Well done hub! Nice work
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on June 28, 2011:
Thanks RichardCMckeown. I must say I am still a bit surprised at how many lovers of asparagus are out there. I appreciate the comment!
RichardCMckeown on June 27, 2011:
Amazing! That is how asparagus contributes to health. Nice hub.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on June 11, 2011:
Hmm. I have no problem but my cousin does. Just had some that I stir-fried lightly in red palm oil.
I've also steamed it with no problems (but prefer the stir fry). So honestly I don't know why some people have a problem and others don't. I never eat it raw - which my cousin does and maybe that's his problem.
tiffany on June 10, 2011:
I need help when I eat asparagus it makes my urine smell bad can anyone help me out on this I love to eat the stuff but cant stand the smell afterwards thanks big d
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on May 18, 2011:
I think I will try the white asparagus this year - thanks for the idea. And nice to meet you - I'm a follower now!
Balinese from Ireland on May 18, 2011:
love asparagus -
special white asparagus.
thanks for sharing.
become your fan now
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 26, 2011:
You're welcome eventsyoudesign. Thanks for writing!
eventsyoudesign from Nashville, Tennessee on March 26, 2011:
Great article. I love asparagus. This is a favorite and you have given me even more reason to love it. Thanks for another useful article. Teresa
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 17, 2011:
You're very welcome gajanis786. Thanks for writing! Pretty soon I am going to start craving asparagus!
gajanis from Pakistan on March 17, 2011:
Excellent healthy information.......yes I agree that involving Asparagus in your daily meal helps you avoid many diseases.....Thanks.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on March 05, 2011:
You're welcome seemasaiyom - thanks for writing!
seemasaiyom on March 05, 2011:
great info....i will follow the instructions and thanks for the good news...
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 27, 2011:
I'm so glad to hear this appreciation of good food gypsumgirl. Ah asparagus. I wish I could grow it. Maybe soon! Thanks for writing.
gypsumgirl from Vail Valley, Colorado on February 27, 2011:
Thank you for this hub! I just discovered it and enjoyed learning about asparagus' health benefits. I love asparagus...in stir-fry, roasted w/olive oil, or chopped up in a salad!
Thanks for a great read!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 24, 2011:
Thank you Julian Stephens - such kind compliments - I do appreciate it! Yay! Would you believe this has been my most read article, nearly 35,000 people as of today!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 24, 2011:
So true Donald1960 - you just have to love nature!
Donald from United States on February 24, 2011:
I love asparagus. And they are very good for health. What a combination!
Julian Stephens on February 23, 2011:
With a long shot, one on the best article l have run into on this noteworthy topic. I quite go in addition to with your assumptions and will thirstily will enjoy your approaching updates. Saying thanks won't just be adequate, for that tremendous clarity in a person's writing. I will instantly grab your feed to stay abreast connected with any updates. Admirable work and much success inside your business efforts!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 18, 2011:
I guess it's worth the wee smell Video Rob! I had no idea there were so many asparagus lovers. Last I checked more than 30,000 people read this hub!
Video Rob on February 18, 2011:
I love asparagus, it tastes so good. But it does make my wee smell
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 10, 2011:
Seems asparagus is such a super food - I am learning more about it each day.
Thanks so much for writing!
Ann, acne no more specialist on February 10, 2011:
I've always believed that asparagus has health benefits since it's a vegetable and vegetables are considered healthy. I didn't know its exact health benefits until I read your hub. Very informative post indeed. I love it when I boil the asparagus and dip it into a mayonnaise. yummy!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on February 04, 2011:
Isn't it lovely lindaamas37? There is so much nutrition in fresh vegetables.
Thanks for commenting!
lindaadams37 on February 04, 2011:
Now these are the things that keep me brooding over the fact that when being vegetarian is so healthy way of living life what's the harm in sparing animals.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on January 30, 2011:
You're welcome quicksand -thanks for commenting!
quicksand on January 30, 2011:
I shall remember asparagus on my next visit to the supermaket. Thanks! :)
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on January 30, 2011:
You're welcome - great to meet you!
sunnymarie on January 30, 2011:
Great Hub! I love asparagus,thanks for sharing
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on January 08, 2011:
You're welcome surgimesh. Thanks for reading and commenting!
surgimesh from Santa Monica on January 08, 2011:
That was a nice page full of information.. Thanks for sharing this. Thumbs up!
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 29, 2010:
Thanks for the comment fionageler!
fionageler from london on December 29, 2010:
love your posts i am diet expert over the years
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 26, 2010:
Thanks for taking the time to write Joshua. I hope you try it and like it.
Joshua on December 25, 2010:
I had no idea that Asparagus holds so many health benefits. One reason could be that it's not part of cuisine where I come from. But next time I go to supermarket, I am going to get some.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 16, 2010:
You're welcome. I continue to be surprised. Thanks for writing! Enjoy!
Placid on December 16, 2010:
Wow, I never knew Asparagus was such an amazing vegetable. Thanks.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 09, 2010:
Thank you bcatgray. I have to say, I had no idea that more than 20,000 people would read this about asparagus. I've been hesitant to buy any of late. Stalks seems to be everywhere but I don't think they are season.
Nice to meet you by the way. Thanks so much for commenting!
bcatgray from United States of America on December 09, 2010:
Excellent article. I love asparagus, but had no idea that there were so many benefits to eating it. Now, I just wish that I could find good stalks here in my area. Seems like they are all so skimpy looking. LOL
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 23, 2010:
What a thrill sportandhealth - to have real asparagus growing right there in your garden. You are reaping all the benefits - yay!
Thanks for commenting!
sportandhealth on November 23, 2010:
I actually grow asparagus in my garden and I love it. It's so tasty and even better with all these health benefits.
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 10, 2010:
You're welcome Health Store. Glad you found this informative. Thanks for commenting!
Health Store on November 10, 2010:
Nice Hub BkCreative very informative and well organized, I did not know that Asparagus have so many benefits thanks for the very informative hub
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 07, 2010:
My cousin said the same thing, Craan. I'm thinking it may be the cooking. According to the research I did, this vegetable is best eaten raw for optimal health benefits. Yet most often we are told to cook it.
Thanks for commenting.
Sheila Craan from Florida on November 07, 2010:
Thanks for letting me know all about asparagus. I like it however, I noticed that it produces an intoxicating odor in my urine. This is why I don't eat much of it. A holistic doctor confirmed my observation however, he did not tell me why asparagus produces a smelly urine in people. I wonder why this happens?
BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 03, 2010:
You're welcome Izabella Jonsson! Thanks so much for commenting! I am so surprised at all these benefits. Ah, food!
Izabella Jonsson on November 03, 2010:
Amazing, it's like a miracle veggie!
thanks for the info.