Health Benefits of Asparagus
The second century physician Galen described asparagus as "cleansing and healing."
Nutrition studies have shown that asparagus is a low-calorie
source of folate and potassium. Its stalks are high in antioxidants. "Asparagus provides essential nutrients: six spears contain
some 135 micrograms (μg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI (recommended daily intake), 20 milligrams of potassium,"
notes an article in Reader's Digest. Research suggests folate is key in taming homocysteine, a substance implicated in heart disease. Folate
is also critical for pregnant mothers, since it protects against neural tube defects in babies. Several studies indicate that getting plenty of potassium
may reduce the loss of calcium from the body.
green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural
protein component of the body's connective tissues. "Asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties," wrote
D. Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods.
"Asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood
vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content makes it a laxative
too." It should be noted, however, that ammonia only "makes us tired" if we are in end stage liver failure.