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Dec 13, 2019 Diet & Nutrition Samantha Mainland 71 views

Asparagus is in season and it’s ready to be eaten.

This green powerhouse is perfect for gut health and your microbiome.

As a magnificent domino effect, this makes asparagus great for everything.

First and foremost, asparagus contains both insoluble and soluble fibre. This means that it is great at creating bulk and volume, playing a large role in bowel regularity. But it also means that the vegetable can create a gel like substance within the digestive tract, feeding friendly gut bugs.

This prebiotic effect can impact your microbiome in such a way that your immune system, skin health, detoxification capacity and energy levels all have the potential to significantly benefit. Piggy backing on these gut health benefits, and taking the bulking effect of fibre into account, it is easy to see why many health professionals are encouraging asparagus for weight loss. Its glycaemic index is low, its calorie content is low, its health benefits are high.

Asparagus is packed full of vitamin K, it’s rich in folate and it’s an excellent source of vitamins C, A, E and the Bs. These vitamins play a role in making asparagus great for the heart, great for the skin, great for stress and great for energy. This is why we, health professionals, want you to eat so many vegetables so often and so much; this is the fuel that we want you to get from your food.

Asparagus also contains a unique and vast range of phytonutrients. For example, inulin, another prebiotic, is found in asparagus, anti-inflammatory saponins like asparanin A, sarsasapogein, pronodioscin and diosgenin are found in asparagus, favanoids, including quercetin is found in asparagus and the lignans also make an appearance.

I called asparagus a ‘powerhouse’ earlier – I meant it.

I especially like asparagus for its weight loss and gut health benefits (let me highlight those areas again – asparagus is great for weight loss, and gut health).

Yes, it can make your urine smell funny. So what? The nutrient that causes this is actually an antioxidant – meaning another reason to enjoy asparagus (antioxidants are great for ageing, inflammation, energy, skin – almost everything!). Being too enthusiastic and eating ‘too much’ asparagus (if there is such a thing) may cause uncomfortable gas. If this is you, reduce your intake a little.

Asparagus is best eaten raw, or as least cooked as possible. 90% of Australian asparagus is grown to the south east of Melbourne – eat up!

Samantha Mainland

About The Author - Samantha Mainland

Samantha is a highly educated Naturopath having graduated from both Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Naturopathy, and University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Medicine Management with Professional Honours in Complementary Medicine.

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