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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 May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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