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Health Benefits Of Asparagus

Asparagus is a highly prize perennial vegetable which is considered as a delicacy, it is a member of the lily family and originally comes from the eastern Mediterranean region but is now grown commercially in countries such as the United States, Mexico, Peru, France and Spain. It is the succulent and tender green spears of asparagus which are eaten. The main varieties of asparagus which are eaten are the green, white and the less common purple variety.

Asparagus has many health benefits, the high folate content makes it an brilliant food to eat if you are plotting pregnancy or are pregnant, this will help to guard against birth defects. The high folate content in asparagus will also protect against heart disease. The high potassium and low sodium content together with the active amino acids in asparagus gives it its diuretic properties. The active amino acid in asparagus is called asparagine, asparagine is one of the components which helps to produces the strong smell in urine which is associated with eating asparagus. Eating asparagus will promote a healthy gut; this is because it contains a special carbohydrate called inulin which promotes the friendly bacteria within the large intestine.

People who are suffering from gout or kidney stones should be aware that asparagus is high in purines which can lead to the accumulation of uric acid and should limit their intake of asparagus.

Nutrients

• Beta-carotene
• Folic acid
• Phosphorus
• Potassium
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin K

Benefits

• Mild laxative
• Stimulates the kidneys due to its asparagine content
• Antibacterial
• Rich source of folate
• Diuretic

Drawbacks

• Contains purine, do not consume if you are suffering from gout or kidney stones
• Can make urine smell

Stewart Hare C.H.Ed Dip NutTh

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