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10 Amazing Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Never Heard Of

10 Amazing Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Never Heard Of

Asparagus can sometime get a bad rap due to the unpleasant smell that it gives to certain bodily fluids. Gross, but true! Also, on an annoying note, it can take up to two years to grow, and I’m just not that patient a gardener. The plus side is that asparagus is delicious, regardless of what some haters say. In addition, there are some incredible health benefits of asparagus, some of which you’re about to discover…

1. It keeps your bones healthy

A serving of asparagus contains an impressive 69.6% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K. This is fantastic news for your bones, because vitamin K is essential for keeping them strong and healthy. It helps with bone repair and formation, and has been known to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K is also important for the synthesis of osteocalcin—a protein within your bone tissue that calcium crystallizes upon.

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2. It assists digestion

Asparagus contains fiber, which is essential for a nice healthy digestive system. This is particularly important if you enjoy going number two on a regular basis and don’t particularly want to be constipated.

3. It has anti-aging properties

Asparagus is rich in vitamin E, which is also a lipid-soluble antioxidant and therefore highly beneficial for your skin. It helps to protect tissue cells from mediated oxidant injury, which basically means that it keeps your skin looking young and healthy.

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4. It’s good for healthy hair

Since we’re on the vain train already, we might as well talk hair. The calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C within asparagus all promote healthy hair. They stimulate your hair follicles, which subsequently produce sebum. Although that word is generally associated with nasty, oily pimples, it can be a good thing when it comes to the top of your head. Sebum is a natural conditioner and moisturizer for your hair, which means it makes it stronger and prevents it from becoming dry and brittle.

5. It can prevent cancer

Being a leafy green vegetables, asparagus in high in folate, which is known to protect against cancer. It should be noted that eating foods that contain folate is much better than taking folic acid. The latter is a mere supplement and therefore the benefits derived from natural folate are greater.

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6. It prevents birth defects

Speaking of our good mate folate, it’s also imperative for pregnant women. In fact, many doctors recommend a folic acid supplement for those who are even considering pregnancy. This is because folate regulates the fetal and embryonic nerve cell formations. Furthermore, it can also help to prevent premature births.

7. It assists with weight loss

A serving of asparagus contains roughly 10.9% of your daily fiber requirements. This is important for weight loss because, as previously mentioned, it helps to kick start your digestive system. In addition, fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to gorge yourself on food you don’t really need.

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Asparagus is also great for weight loss because it contains potassium, which has been known to help reduce belly fat. It also doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, and its lack of sodium means that it won’t make women bloat before and during a period. As a lady, I’m delighted by this prospect. Lastly, one cup of asparagus contains a mere 40 calories, so it’s a guilt-free snack on top of everything else!

8. It keeps your eyes healthy

The vitamin A found in asparagus can help you maintain healthy vision because it helps your retinas to absorb light. It also contains cancer prevention properties and can help to stop macular degeneration developing later in life.

9. It’s high in iron

A single serving of asparagus contains 15.9% of your recommended dose of iron. This is particularly good news for vegetarians and vegans who need a non-meat source of iron. Iron should be an imperative aspect of your diet because it is one of the key components of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to different parts of your body. Being iron deficient can seriously affect your health, as well as deteriorate your mental capabilities and resistance to infection and disease.

10. It’s an aphrodisiac

Now we’re up to the really good stuff. There are several factors that contribute to asparagus being beneficial for your sex life. The first is that it’s rich in folate and vitamin B6, which can benefit both your arousal and orgasm. Secondly, it contains vitamin E which helps to stimulate (see what I did there?) the sex hormones in men and women. Also, it’s a bit phallic looking, right? I’m just saying that the French don’t call it ‘asperge’ (which is also a slang word for penis) for no reason.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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