Asparagus, which is characterized by its unique flavor, offers several health benefits. It is a good source of folate, a substance that manufactures and maintains new cells in the body. For past 2000 years, Asparagus has been used across the world for various health reasons, but it is primarily used to promote cardiac and digestive health.
As asparagus is a rich source of folate, it helps in manufacturing new cells. This activity is very important during pregnancy and childhood. Folate is required to manufacture DNA and RNA- the building blocks of the cells. Folate helps in preventing the changes to DNA, which can create cancerous cells in your body. Adults as well as children need folate to avert anaemia and create red blood cells in the body. In addition, folate enhances metabolism and maintains normal levels of amino acid homocysteine.
If folate level in your body is low, homocysteine levels increase, which in turn raise the risk of developing heart disease. Increased levels of homocysteine are likely to cause atherosclerosis, which is a chronic and progressive disease that causes cholesterol and other lipids deposit in the walls of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of ill health and mortality in the United States. A survey done in the year 2005 indicates that more than 16 million people in the United States alone suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease whereas around 6 million were reported to have a stroke.
Asparagus contains a prebiotic fibre, which is called as inulin. This fiber promotes the growth of the friendly 'probiotic' bacteria in your stomach. Therefore, asparagus helps you maintain your digestive health.
Tips on buying and storing asparagus
Always buy firm asparagus with bright green stalks and tight tips and wrap them tightly while storing them in a refrigerator.