Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that is full of nutrients. Learn the benefits of asparagus and why you should eat this superfood.
We are repeatedly told to eat vegetables to stay healthy. While spinach, beans, and broccoli make it to our dining table most of the time, asparagus makes an entrance once in a while. It is a superfood that you should eat more often as it is packed with vitamins and minerals that offer many health benefits. Read on to find out the benefits of asparagus.
The green, sweet vegetable is known for its long, slender spears. It is a member of the lily family and is prized for its tender shoots, which are typically harvested and consumed, says Nutritionist and Dietician Bhavisha Khuman. Asparagus is often cooked by boiling, steaming, grilling, or roasting, and it has a mild, slightly nutty flavour.
Benefits of asparagus
It’s a versatile vegetable and can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and stir-fries to side dishes and omelettes. Here are some of its benefits:
1. Maintains overall health
Asparagus is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium. These nutrients play a vital role in maintaining overall health, including strengthening your immunity.
2. Aids weight loss
Asparagus contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber also makes you feel fuller, which can be great for weight management. Asparagus is relatively low in calories but provides essential nutrients, making it a great option for those looking to maintain or lose weight.
3. Asparagus promotes skin health
Asparagus is a source of antioxidants, which help to combat free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting skin health.
4. Asparagus supports digestive health
The fiber found in asparagus can aid in regular bowel movements and in turn, promote a healthy gut, the expert tells Health Shots.
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5. Has a diuretic effect
Asparagus has a mild diuretic effect, which can help to flush excess salt and water from the body. This can ultimately lead to lower blood pressure.
6. An aphrodisiac
Asparagus is also often associated with aphrodisiac properties, but its effect on sexual health is not scientifically proven. The idea that asparagus could enhance sexual performance or libido likely stems from its high nutrient content, which can contribute to overall well-being and vitality, says Khuman.
Tips to include asparagus in diet
There are several delicious ways to include asparagus in your diet. Here are some ideas:
1. Steamed or boiled
Steam or boil asparagus until it’s tender but still crisp. Season with a little salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil for a simple and healthy side dish.
2. Roasted asparagus
Toss asparagus spears with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast them in the oven until they become slightly caramelised and crispy.
Grilling asparagus adds a smoky flavour to it. Brush the spears with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill them until they have grill marks and are tender.
Another excellent option is to stir-fry the asparagus along with other vegetables and your choice of protein, suggests the expert. The crisp texture of asparagus works well in stir-fry dishes.
5. Asparagus soup
Blend steamed asparagus with chicken or vegetable broth, onions, and a touch of cream to make a creamy asparagus soup.
Add asparagus to salads to add a crunchy element to it. You can pair it with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and a light vinaigrette dressing.
7. Asparagus wraps
Wrap asparagus spears with bacon and bake them until the meat is crispy and the asparagus is tender.
Remember to trim the tough ends of asparagus before cooking. Also, make sure you check with your healthcare provider before make any changes to your diet.