Asparagus isn't just a singular flavor or a pretty vegetable to add to the Sunday dinner table; it's a nutritional powerhouse. The health benefits of asparagus are good for your body in more ways than you may have realized beyond being a great sources of vitamins. A one-cup serving of asparagus packs a punch in many surprising ways.
1. Helps Heal Cuts and Scrapes
One cup of asparagus has 55.7 micrograms of Vitamin K — nearly half your U.S. RDA of 120 micrograms. Vitamin K supports necessary clotting of the blood, so you can heal from injuries quickly without excess blood loss.
2. Prevents or Relieves Iron Deficiency Anemia
With 2.87 milligrams of iron in a one-cup serving, asparagus gives you a bit more than one-third of your daily allowance. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, inflammation, and shortness of breath. An iron-poor diet can cause anemia or worsen anemia caused by factors other than diet.
3. Helps prevent birth defects
Asparagus is rich in vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, which is an important nutrient for pregnant women. Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Because these defects can occur before a woman knows she's pregnant, women of childbearing age are advised to get 400 micrograms of folate per day. According to the Mayo Clinic, folate also helps prevent anemia and protect against heart disease. A one-cup serving of asparagus contains 70 micrograms of folate — and is much tastier than vitamin supplements.
4. Improves your digestion
With 2.8 grams of fiber per serving, about one-tenth of your daily recommended allowance, asparagus helps to maintain healthy bowel function and keep your blood sugar and cholesterol at appropriate levels. High-fiber foods also help you feel satisfied longer between meals, so you'll be less likely to run to the kitchen for between-meal snacks.
5. Boosts your immune system
Asparagus has 7.5 mg of vitamin C. That's a small share of the 90 mg recommended for daily consumption, but it's yet another benefit of the tasty green spear. Vitamin C supports most of your body's healthy functioning, including the cardiovascular system and proper digestion.
Asparagus is so good for you, you might want to eat it several times a week.
Here are some ways you can try it:
- Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms
- Fresh Asparagus Soup
- Shrimp and Asparagus
- Asparagus, Feta and Couscous Salad
- Lemon Asparagus Risotto