Asparagus, the ‘wonder’ plant

Thin, tail-like and green, asparagus tops the list of world’s most nutritious vegetables. They are easy to be grown and are not costly too. The vegetable forms part of some of the most popular dishes in both the Asian and Western cuisine. Asparagus is an important constituent of healthy diets prescribed by diet experts.

The vegetable also leads the list of folic acid-providers among vegetables. A mere 5.3 ounce of asparagus satisfies around sixty per cent of the recommended daily folacin need of the body. Folacin is extremely important for the formation and maintenance of blood cells. It also helps in preventing liver diseases and neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. It is calculated that more than two thousand babies die due to spina bifida every year.

Asparagus is rich in soluble fibre. Each 5.3 oz. serving of the vegetables supplies three grams of fibre to our body. Today’s health conscious man chooses asparagus as a main part of his daily diet since they are low in calorie production. The sodium content present in them is also lower. The cholesterol and fat level too is very minimal. Asparagus supplies almost all the essential vitamins and mineral salts such as potassium, thiamine, Vitamin B 6 etc. The vegetable is one of the richest suppliers of rutin, a compound that helps in the strengthening of capillary walls. Asparagus also contains glutathione (GSH), which is beneficial to health and acts as a natural cancer-fighter. Wild asparagus is specially known for its cancer treatment properties. Apart from being a highly-sought after medicine, its tender shoots are extremely edible. Its fresh shoots are used to make delicious soups. The young asparagus shoots are also added to fresh vegetable salads. They also make wonderful garnishes. No wonder, asparagus is considered as ‘nature’s cure for cancer’. Scientific studies that explore the medicinal qualities of this wonder plant go on.



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