Asparagus is a valuable source of phenolic compounds, among which the main representatives are flavonoids and phenolic acids. These substances have antioxidant properties and reduce the damage caused by free radicals and. These are highly reactive molecules that cause cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases associated with aging . In addition, asparagus is rich in carotenoids , especially beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and capsanthin. During the ripening of asparagus, the concentrations of lutein and beta-carotene generally increase, but the content of zeaxanthin and capsanthin increases. Carotenoids have powerful antioxidant properties and protect against the development of various diseases.
Asparagus is a valuable source of folic acid . Eating 5 asparagus was found to supply approximately 25% of the required daily requirement of folic acid. In addition, they also contain glutathione and acetylcysteine - powerful antioxidants that contribute to the elimination of oxidized cholesterol that accumulates and damages the arteries . Consumption of foods rich in glutathione reduces the risk of cancer of the upper parts of the digestive system.
Other valuable ingredients in asparagus are isoflavones and lignans, which are two types of phytoestrogens – compounds with a structure similar to estrogen , which have protective properties against the development of cancer . Fructooligosaccharides are a type of carbohydrates that have a prebiotic effect and favor the absorption of minerals . Also, they reduce the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids in the blood.
Asparagus helps improve digestion as it is a rich source of fiber. They improve the absorption of substances taken with food and protect the digestive tract from the development of various diseases. A beneficial effect of asparagus is also the stimulation of the water-salt balance and favoring the natural elimination of fluids, which prevents fluid retention and weight gain.
However, there are some contraindications for eating asparagus. They are rich in vitamin K , which is a key enzyme in blood clotting processes and is produced naturally in the body. Intestinal bacteria are responsible for its production, which is why deficiencies rarely occur, but in some conditions an increased intake is necessary. For patients who regularly take anticoagulants , it is important to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin K.