Asparagus Health Benefits – Aphrodisiac, Probiotic and More

Asparagus is an Aphrodisiac with Remarkable Health Benefits

Asparagus Health Benefits

Well-known as an aphrodisiac in ancient times, this odd-looking veggie contains an incredible blend of nutrients that boost energy, cardiovascular health, help brain function, and even cleanse the urinary tract.

Asparagus is probiotic

Asparagus contains the nutrient inulin, which isn’t broken down in the digestive tract. It passes, undigested, to the large intestine, where it’s a food source for probiotic bacteria (1). These bacteria are responsible for optimal nutrient absorption, reduced allergy risk, and reducing the risk of colon cancer (2).

It’s an Immune System Booster

Asparagus is rich in glutathione, a detoxifying compound that may help destroy carcinogens (3).

Researchers consider glutathione so important to our health that glutathione levels in our cells may be a predictor of how long we’ll live (4).

Because glutathione plays such a crucial role in immune function, asparagus may help fight or protect against some diseases, like bone, breast, lung and colon cancers.

Chronic inflammation and long-term oxidative stress are risk factors for many cancers, and both of these issues can be addressed by consuming the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients in asparagus (5).

Antioxidant: Slows the Aging Process and Fights Free Radicals

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients help reduce many chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Asparagus has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants, both of which make it great for preventing disease.

Glutathione is also a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage and is believed to even slow the aging process. It can help to protect skin from UV damage and pollution (5, 6).

A Source of Essential Vitamin K

Asparagus is high in vitamin K; the blood clotting vitamin (7), but that’s not all this nutrient does.

Studies have found that vitamin K also improves our bone health. Vitamin K not only helps increase bone mineral density in people with osteoporosis, but it can also significantly reduce fracture rates (8).

Vitamin K can support heart health by preventing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It can keep calcium out of the artery linings and other body tissues, where it causes damage and blocks blood flow (9).

Reduced Risk of Depression

Asparagus is rich in folate, also called vitamin B-9 (10). Folate helps break down homocysteine; high levels of homocysteine have been associated with both depression and Alzheimer’s disease (11).

Excess homocysteine inhibits the production of the mood-lifting hormones serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine (11).

When homocysteine is broken down it generates SAMe, a major component of brain cells and considered a possible treatment for depression. Low SAMe levels might explain the connection between folate and depression (12).

Reduces Diabetes Risk

Like heart disease, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals. So, asparagus’ powerful anti-inflammatory properties and high antioxidant levels make it a great preventive.

One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that asparagus can improve insulin secretion (13) and pancreas function to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Encourages Kidney Health

Asparagus acts as a natural diuretic according to a 2010 study published in the West Indian Medical Journal (14). This helps rid the body of excess salt and fluid, and makes it helpful for people suffering from water retention and high blood pressure. It also helps the body flush out toxins from the kidneys and may prevent kidney stones (14).

Extract Protects Liver against Damage from Alcohol
Asparagus extract has essential amino acids that could be effective in relieving hangovers. Research studies have demonstrated that the leaves and shoots of asparagus have a high mineral content which aids in protecting liver cells from the toxic effects of alcohol (15).

Packed with Rutin for Blood Flow

Asparagus is a rich source of rutin (16), a plant flavonoid possessing strong anti-inflammatory properties which is used to prevent clotting and treat painful hemorrhoids (17). Rutin also enhances the permeability of capillaries and fortifies blood vessels, to prevent them becoming weak and leaking.

Rutin can reduce blood viscosity to prevent hardening of the arteries, lower cholesterol, and ease high blood pressure to maintain good cardiovascular health (18, 19).

It Really is an Aphrodisiac

According to a review of plants used to stimulate sexual performance (20), asparagus was examined for its ability to increase both semen production and quality (21). Researchers also found that asparagus’ effect on norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and histamine had a significant effect on improving sexual function (20).

The Next Level Difference

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Alpha Wolf Nutrition is proud to provide 500 mg of asparagus extract 10:1 (equivalent to 5,000 mg) in our Next Level Superfoods formulation.

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REFERENCES

  1. Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-35. Published 2013 Apr 22. doi:10.3390/nu5041417 – Link
  2. Uccello, Mario et al. “Potential role of probiotics on colorectal cancer prevention” BMC surgery vol. 12 Suppl 1,Suppl 1 (2012): S35 – Link
  3. Ortega AL, Mena S, Estrela JM. Glutathione in cancer cell death. Cancers (Basel). 2011;3(1):1285-310. Published 2011 Mar 11. doi:10.3390/cancers3011285 – Link
  4. Pizzorno, Joseph. “Glutathione!” Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) vol. 13,1 (2014): 8-12 – Link
  5. Bousserouel S, Le Grandois J, Gossé F, et al. Methanolic extract of white asparagus shoots activates TRAIL apoptotic death pathway in human cancer cells and inhibits colon carcinogenesis in a preclinical model. Int J Oncol. 2013;43(2):394-404 – Link
  6. Weschawalit S, Thongthip S, Phutrakool P, Asawanonda P. Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2017;10:147-153. Published 2017 Apr 27. doi:10.2147/CCID.S128339 – Link
  7. Violi F, Lip GY, Pignatelli P, Pastori D. Interaction Between Dietary Vitamin K Intake and Anticoagulation by Vitamin K Antagonists: Is It Really True?: A Systematic Review. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(10):e2895 – Link
  8. Weber P. Vitamin K and bone health. Nutrition. 2001 Oct;17(10):880-7 – Link
  9. van Ballegooijen AJ, Beulens JW. The Role of Vitamin K Status in Cardiovascular Health: Evidence from Observational and Clinical Studies. Curr Nutr Rep. 2017;6(3):197-205 – Link
  10. Mahmood L. The metabolic processes of folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiency. J Health Res Rev 2014;1:5-9 – Link
  11. Miller AL. The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Sep;13(3):216-26 – Link
  12. Young SN. Folate and depression–a neglected problem. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007;32(2):80-2 – Link
  13. Hafizur, R., Kabir, N., & Chishti, S. (2012). Asparagus officinalis extract controls blood glucose by improving insulin secretion and β-cell function in streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats. British Journal of Nutrition, 108(9), 1586-1595 – Link
  14. Kumar MC1, Udupa AL, Sammodavardhana K, Rathnakar UP, Shvetha U, Kodancha GP. Acute toxicity and diuretic studies of the roots of Asparagus racemosus Willd in rats. West Indian Med J. 2010 Jan;59(1):3-6 – Link
  15. Kim BY, Cui ZG, Lee SR, Kim SJ, Kang HK, Lee YK, Park DB. Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):H204-8 – Link
  16. Power KA1,2, Lu JT, Monk JM, Lepp D, Wu W, Zhang C, Liu R, Tsao R, Robinson LE, Wood GA, Wolyn DJ. Purified rutin and rutin-rich asparagus attenuates disease severity and tissue damage following dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Nov;60(11):2396-2412 – Link
  17. Rutin.www.drrathresearch.org/images/attachments/education/Phytobiology/Rutin_2015.pdf – Link
  18. Visavadiya NP, Narasimhacharya AV. Asparagus root regulates cholesterol metabolism and improves antioxidant status in hypercholesteremic rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007;6(2):219-26.
  19. Ganeshpurkar A, Saluja AK. The Pharmacological Potential of Rutin. Saudi Pharm J. 2016;25(2):149-164 – Link
  20. Chauhan NS, Sharma V, Dixit VK, Thakur M. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:868062 – Link
  21. Tuhin Kanti Biswas, Srikanta Pandit and Utpalendu Jana. In Search of Spermatogenetic and Virility Potential Drugs of Ayurvedic Leads: A Review. Biswas et al., Andrology (Los Angel) 2015, 4:2 – Link

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