Asparagus Medical Remedies
From Pregnancy to Hangovers, Asparagus Does it All!
Asparagus, or its scientific name of 'Asparagus officinalis', is a spring vegetable that is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. It is widely cultivated across the globe and possesses a number of medicinal and health benefits, such as anticancer, antifungal and anti-inflammatory remedies.
Asparagus is low in calories, but high in folic acid and potassium, as well as the stalks being high in antioxidants. Roughly six asparagus shoots contain half of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults for folic acid. Folic acid helps reduce homocystenine, which is implicated with heart disease, and for pregnant women, folic acid is crucial, as it protects the foetus against neural tube defects. Furthermore, studies that have been conducted show that victims of Alzheimer’s Disease have extremely low to no levels of folic acid in their system when they die. In regards to the benefit of potassium, studies show that among other benefits, it lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety and stress levels.
Green asparagus is also a good source of Vitamin C, which helps the body produce and maintain collagen. Collagen is the major component in the protein make up of the body’s skin and tissue, as well as being used to regenerate and heal skin and tissue cells. Also, people with a high level of Vitamin C in their blood stream seem to be at a significantly reduced risk of having a stroke or heart disease.
Asparagus is also a good source of Vitamin K, which has been shown to play a role in bone growth and the overall maintenance of the density and health of bones. Other substances found in asparagus also help to neutralize ammonia which makes us tired, and protects our blood vessels from rupturing, as well as the fibre content making it a natural laxative.
South Korean researchers published a study in the Journal of Food Science in 2009, where they discovered through tests conducted on the liver cells of rats that the amino acids and minerals found in asparagus could alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.
The researchers ran tests on young asparagus shoots and leaves and discovered that they had a high content of amino acid and minerals. This high level of enzymes can help alleviate alcohol induced hangovers and protect the liver cells. Lead researcher B. Y. Kim said, “Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots,"
Now having read about all the medicinal benefits of asparagus, maybe you will think to add it to your next meal. It is a vegetable that is easy to cook, and it can be eaten as an appetizer or used as a side to any meal, as it can be peeled, pickled, grilled, stir-fried, diced, sliced, or added to a stew or soup. Asparagus can also be mixed though a salad and eaten raw. The sky is the limit with this healthy, highly versatile vegetable.