The world has panicked and gone scared upon hearing how a healthy vegetable as asparagus has been associated with the word cancer. It is normal for vegetables to be mentioned together with cancer, the case is different with asparagus since it has shed a negative light on the vegetable because of how it was said to affect cancer. It was a few articles and studies that shook the world, they said that asparagus is capable of worsening the spreading and development of cancer cells. This news has been circulating a lot lately, but is it worth it to get scared because of the sudden “discovery’?
What is Asparagus?
Asparagus is a green-colored vegetable that many people enjoy when added to their meals. It has varieties of colors like white and purple, however, it is seen more to have a green color. This vegetable is said to have a lot of nutrients and it can also provide different health benefits.
Actually, asparagus has long been boasted for its low-calorie content and high amounts of antioxidants. It is also an excellent source of many other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, and fiber.
There was never a single issue regarding asparagus (except its current supposed connection to cancer growth) that it started to build its own reputation when it comes to health and wellness. Let’s get to see how beneficial asparagus is for the body even before it was accused of containing carcinogenic substances.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Asparagus is known to have great amounts of antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for helping the body to prevent possible damages that can be caused by harmful substances like oxidative stress and free radicals. As we all know, what oxidative stress and free radicals do to our bodies is that their damages to the body can result in chronic diseases and inflammation; which mostly leads to the development of cancer.
The most abundant antioxidants in asparagus are glutathione and vitamins C and E. Glutathione, as it is referred to as the top antioxidant or the mother of antioxidants, is important for a lot of body functions. The same goes for vitamin C which is a powerful vitamin that boosts and powers up the function of the immune system.
Also, as a vegetable, it contains a lot of plant compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols which further enhances the health benefits of asparagus. Because of these compounds, the asparagus can contribute as an anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-high blood pressure.
Asparagus is also consumed to improve digestive health. Thanks to it containing amounts of dietary fiber, it can easily solve a lot of digestive issues. Some people eat a cup of asparagus as much as they can since it can provide the body with its fiber content which is around 7 percent of required daily intake.
The vegetable actually contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, which can both help in digestion and cardiovascular health. However, it contains more of the fiber that aids in digestion which is why it is commonly given to those who are experiencing digestive problems.
The vitamin B9 content of asparagus is also helpful for pregnant women. Vitamin B9, or better known as folate, is an essential vitamin that is a huge contributor to the production of healthy red blood cells and DNA synthesis. These can make a great impact on the growth and development of the child to be born and they can somehow provide initial nutrients for the baby.
Potassium can also be found in asparagus. In fact, it is considered to be an amazing source of potassium which also important for the body. Eating foods that are rich in potassium content is required for everyone in order to avoid deficiency which can lead to more dangerous cases.
For some people, asparagus is an excellent addition to their diet especially when they are planning to lose a few pounds. There is actually no proven study that states how asparagus can help in any kind of weight loss, but this benefit was based on the vegetable’s low-calorie content. It is also easy to add a few stalks of asparagus in meals. The crisp and not too strong taste of asparagus makes it an ideal vegetable that is often added in stews, roasted and baked meals, or it may be stir-fried and used as an edible garnish.
Asparagus Causes Cancer?
The topic regarding asparagus as a potential cause for cancer suddenly spread like wildfire when a few articles were published. Studies suspect asparagine, a specific amino acid in asparagus as the main reason why cancer cells can easily spread throughout the body. Since the study was released, that was when tons of articles regarding the result suddenly scared a good amount of the population; making them fear the consumption of asparagus. However, is it really true and should we start removing asparagus out of our diets?
The study was actually tested in mice subjects who are said to have breast cancer. This somehow does not provide facts if it has the same effect on humans with breast cancer. Also, the body naturally produces the amino acid asparagine, so it is totally hard to get rid of it in our bodies. Then, they cannot simply put all the suspicions on asparagus since it is not the only food that contains asparagine. The study was also conducted by giving the test subjects overwhelmingly high doses of asparagine, which is impossible to happen to those who just eat a balanced diet. These few findings and observations just show how the said study is not 100 percent reliable and should not be trusted completely.
Asparagus May Actually Help in Cancer Treatment
Enough with the fear of asparagus, because in reality, it is a very healthy vegetable that is even said to be able to contribute to the treatment of cancer. The antioxidant content of asparagus was praised for having anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.