Asparagus is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and thiamine. It also contains rutin, which is a flavonoid that is thought to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It strengthens blood vessels and can protect against oxidative tissue damage. Asparagus is also high in glutathione, which is an antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals.
Glutathione has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of types of cancer, and in fact in many cancer patients, the glutathione levels are significantly depleted. Replacing the missing glutathione may help increase survival rates.
Another plant chemical found in Asparagus, protodioscin, has been linked to the reduction of bone loss, an increase in sexual desire and studies have indicated that it can have an impact on several different forms of cancer cells.
It is an excellent source of folic acid, which has been shown to help control your levels of homocysteine. When folate levels are low, blood levels of homocysteine may rise, which can significantly increase your risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Where diabetes is concerned, a 2006 study reported in the British Journal of Medicine, showed that an extract of Asparagus was able to improve the action of insulin, creating an 81% increase in the glucose uptake of fat cells. This is important because it would help to lower blood sugar levels, and an excess of blood sugar promotes premature ageing and damage to almost all of our issues.
In terms of digestive health, Asparagus contains inulin, which is a carbohydrate that isn’t easily digested, but does provide a food source for the friendly bacteria in our gut, helping to promote the bacteria that improve our digestion and strengthen our immune system.
Overall, asparagus is an excellent addition to your diet, even if it is less frequent than some of the other fruit and vegetables recommended within our nutritional advice section.