ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

8 Super Health Benefits of Asparagus

Updated on January 27, 2013

asparagus spears

Source

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.

Asparagus:

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:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jon 2 years ago

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Um, my diet is getting much better after reading articles like this. Keep up the good work buddy!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Adding fennel sounds exceptionally good - thanks for sharing that tip. Enjoy!

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • SDMission profile image

      Diego R. 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Basically, asparagus is awesome. Nice hub.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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.

    • profile image

      kate 4 years ago

      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?

    • profile image

      WebWatcher Reviews 4 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Sofia! Thanks Felix!

      youbar - thanks for commenting!

      You're welcome lmlynde! Glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • lmlynde profile image

      lmlynde 4 years ago from Nevada

      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!

    • youbar profile image

      Joel Lipman 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I love asparagus. I almost always have some in the fridge.

    • profile image

      Felix 4 years ago

      Excellent info.

    • profile image

      sofia 5 years ago

      Awesome information about healthy vegetables Asparagus, and it's very healthy for our health. thanks for sharing...........

      http://www.comparemeds.net/

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • profile image

      Salvatore Hidalgiano 5 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Love the great comments - I learn so much. Thank you all for taking the time to write. Yay!

    • profile image

      breach 5 years ago

      I have been eating aspargus almost everyday,thanks from all those health benefits i can get from eating it.Very interesting.

    • profile image

      Sitense 5 years ago from Houston

      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.

      Matt http://freecarads.com/

    • profile image

      Wendy 5 years ago

      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.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 5 years ago from South Africa

      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!

    • profile image

      germanie 5 years ago

      I did don't know that's about good food,I love it!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • profile image

      Kassidi 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      WarwickWyatt 5 years ago from Hertfordshire, England, UK

      Great info, Asparagus is POWERFUL!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much for writing OFF THE WALL GANG! Enjoy!

    • profile image

      OFF THE WALL GANG 5 years ago

      THAT'S WHY I LOVE ASPARAGUS! !

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much Lisa and by the way I am now a big fan of yours. Oh yay!

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello Dena,

      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!

    • profile image

      Dena 5 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Really glad you shared that Mark!

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      Seems to help with acid reflux.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • profile image

      Ron Johnson 5 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      Ron Johnson 5 years ago

      Thanx so much I love it after reading this, love it even more!!!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • profile image

      Valerie 5 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for commenting cure gout naturally. I'll leave your link here so others can check it out as well.

    • profile image

      cure gout naturally 5 years ago

      Brilliant article. I went through the post.

      This insightful information has really

      helped me.Thanks for sharing.

      My website is about cure gout naturally

      http://www.goodforyou.biz/cure-gout.html

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you drmingle. Good food and good health is still within our reach.

    • drmingle profile image

      drmingle 5 years ago from United States

      "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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Ron. Sharp looking man there on your website!

    • profile image

      Ron 6 years ago

      Sounds amazing.

      Ron from http://www.intervalstraining.net

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you Lyra Carillet. Your comment is very much appreciated. How kind.

      Thank you too, sally t.

      Yay!

    • profile image

      sally t. 6 years ago

      very informative. Very good article.

    • profile image

      Lyra Carillet 6 years ago

      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!

      http://www.all-generic-drugs.com

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome happypuppy. Great to meet you and I'm enjoying your hubs!

    • happypuppy profile image

      happypuppy 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you for writing rainever!

    • profile image

      rainever 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Good lens.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks you fashion!

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Informative hub.well done

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks kim3003!

    • profile image

      kims3003 6 years ago

      Well done hub! Nice work

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image

      RichardCMckeown 6 years ago

      Amazing! That is how asparagus contributes to health. Nice hub.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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.

    • profile image

      tiffany 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image

      Balinese 6 years ago from Ireland

      love asparagus -

      special white asparagus.

      thanks for sharing.

      become your fan now

      Cheers

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome eventsyoudesign. Thanks for writing!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're very welcome gajanis786. Thanks for writing! Pretty soon I am going to start craving asparagus!

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 6 years ago

      Excellent healthy information.......yes I agree that involving Asparagus in your daily meal helps you avoid many diseases.....Thanks.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome seemasaiyom - thanks for writing!

    • seemasaiyom profile image

      seemasaiyom 6 years ago

      Hi,

      great info....i will follow the instructions and thanks for the good news...

      www.ultimateantiagingspa.com/

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image

      gypsumgirl 6 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So true Donald1960 - you just have to love nature!

    • Donald1960 profile image

      Donald 6 years ago from United States

      I love asparagus. And they are very good for health. What a combination!

    • profile image

      Julian Stephens 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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!

    • profile image

      Video Rob 6 years ago

      I love asparagus, it tastes so good. But it does make my wee smell

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Seems asparagus is such a super food - I am learning more about it each day.

      Thanks so much for writing!

    • profile image

      Ann, acne no more specialist 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Isn't it lovely lindaamas37? There is so much nutrition in fresh vegetables.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • lindaadams37 profile image

      lindaadams37 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome quicksand -thanks for commenting!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 6 years ago

      I shall remember asparagus on my next visit to the supermaket. Thanks! :)

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome - great to meet you!

    • sunnymarie profile image

      sunnymarie 6 years ago

      Great Hub! I love asparagus,thanks for sharing

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome surgimesh. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • surgimesh profile image

      surgimesh 6 years ago from Santa Monica

      That was a nice page full of information.. Thanks for sharing this. Thumbs up!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for the comment fionageler!

    • profile image

      fionageler 6 years ago from london

      love your posts i am diet expert over the years

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for taking the time to write Joshua. I hope you try it and like it.

    • profile image

      Joshua 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome. I continue to be surprised. Thanks for writing! Enjoy!

    • Placid profile image

      Placid 6 years ago

      Wow, I never knew Asparagus was such an amazing vegetable. Thanks.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image

      bcatgray 6 years ago from United States of America

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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 profile image

      sportandhealth 6 years ago

      I actually grow asparagus in my garden and I love it. It's so tasty and even better with all these health benefits.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Health Store. Glad you found this informative. Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      Health Store 6 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      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.

    • Craan profile image

      Sheila Craan 6 years ago from Florida

      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 profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Izabella Jonsson! Thanks so much for commenting! I am so surprised at all these benefits. Ah, food!