Advertising
Advertising

The Amazing Health Benefits of Asparagus + 5 Great Recipes

The Amazing Health Benefits of Asparagus + 5 Great Recipes

Asparagus is one of the most delicious vegetables of the spring and it is easy to overlook the fact that it is such a nutritional powerhouse. But the benefits of asparagus are just as amazing as its taste, and include everything from more better skin to stronger bones.

Asparagus Promotes Beautiful Skin

A clear, glowing complexion is a necessary part of being truly beautiful….and asparagus can help. Why? It is rich in vitamin E, which is one of the nutrients your skin cells need to help reproduce and keep your skin looking fresh, firm and young-looking. Part of this is the antioxidant power of this vitamin which reduces oxidative stress and slows the aging process.

Asparagus Gives Your Strong and Healthy Bones

You probably know all about the fact that you need plenty of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet to build strong bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of fractures later on in life. But did you also know that generous amounts of vitamin K  are needed for bone health as well? And you can get it with foods like asparagus, which contains vitamin K in spades.

Advertising

Asparagus Improves Your Digestion

If sluggish digestion, heartburn or feeling overly full is a problem, consider adding more asparagus to your diet. Asparagus is an incredibly fiber-rich food and fiber is one of the best things for your g.i. tract, acting as a sort of scrubber to clean it out and keep it free of extra waste and improving the whole digestive process. It can also help reduce your chances of problems like constipation.

Asparagus Helps You Get Rid of Water Weight and Bloating

Excess water weight and feeling bloated or swollen is just no fun – but there are natural ways to help deal with this. Asparagus is one of them. It is a great source of an amino acid called asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic to remove extra fluids and salts from the body. This makes it a great choice for people who suffer from chronic edema problems or certain heart conditions.

Asparagus Strengthens Your Immune System

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have to spare a week or two by nursing yourself out of a cold or the flu. A diet which includes vitamin C can prevent this from happening because it strengthens your immune system and makes it easier to fight off bacteria and viruses – and asparagus is powerhouse for this important nutrient.

Advertising

Asparagus Boosts Your Brain

Most people worry at least a little bit about cognitive decline as they age – the slow loss of memory, reasoning and other skills that can eventually lead to a loss of independence if they get bad enough. However, a diet which includes asparagus can help keep the brain active and agile: it is a good source of folate which, along with B-12, keeps the neurons of the brain healthy. Studies have shown that older adults with healthy levels of these nutrients performed better on tests that called for mental agility and flexibility.

Asparagus Helps Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control

Anyone with diabetes knows how hard it can be to keep the blood sugars balanced and under control. Diet makes a big difference – and asparagus is a great dietary choice to make. This vegetable gives you plenty of chromium, a trace mineral that is needed in small amounts in order for insulin to more efficiently transport sugar from your blood and into your cells where it is needed for energy. Several studies have linked chromium to better blood sugar control.

Asparagus is Easy to Add to Your Diet

Want some great new ways to try asparagus? Here are five simple, diverse recipes that show it at its best.

Advertising

1. Asparagus Soup

soup-1283219_1280

    2. Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

    appetite-1238636_1280

      3. Asparagus and Shrimp

      Advertising

      asparagus-868584_1280

        4. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

        asparagus-803490_1280

          5. Asparagus Stir-Fry

          asparagus-1349594_1280

            These recipes are all widely different, but each one showcases the amazing flavor of this vegetable and each is simple and easy to put together so that you can start benefiting from its unique blend of vitamins, minerals and fiber that can start improve your health today.

            More by this author

            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

            Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It Amazing Benefits Of Cucumber Water (+5 Refreshing Recipes) How To Improve Your Health With Matcha Green Tea How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It 8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds You Shouldn’t Miss

            Trending in Health

            1 How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life 2 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power 3 13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People 4 How to Reduce Mental Stress Quickly (And Naturally) 5 Overcome Fear and Anxiety with These 4 Mindset Shifts

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

            So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

            1. Exercise

            It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

            2. Drink in Moderation

            I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

            3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

            Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

            4. Watch Less Television

            A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

            Advertising

            Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

            5. Eat Less Red Meat

            Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

            If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

            6. Don’t Smoke

            This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

            7. Socialize

            Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

            8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

            Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

            Advertising

            9. Be Optimistic

            Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

            10. Own a Pet

            Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

            11. Drink Coffee

            Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

            12. Eat Less

            Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

            13. Meditate

            Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

            Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

            Advertising

            How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

            14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

            Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

            15. Laugh Often

            Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

            16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

            Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

            17. Cook Your Own Food

            When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

            Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

            Advertising

            18. Eat Mushrooms

            Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

            19. Floss

            Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

            20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

            Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

            Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

            21. Have Sex

            Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

            More Health Tips

            Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

            Reference

            [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
            [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
            [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
            [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
            [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
            [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
            [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
            [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
            [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
            [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
            [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
            [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
            [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
            [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

            Read Next