Do you have heart or other chronic health diseases? Quercetin is one of the best-researched flavonoids in nutrition, and its intake has been linked to reduced risks of the aforementioned. You can even find a rich source of this in asparagus!
In a recent study of more than 500 residents near Hokkaido, Japan, asparagus turned out to be the most important dietary source of quercetin. Out of 20 different quercetin-containing foods that were included in the study, asparagus ranked first, onions ranked second and green tea ranked third. Wow!
Also, have you noticed the bitter tase to this vegetable? That particular characteristic has been an interest of study for many food scientists, who found that it was due to a unique group of phytonutrients called steroidal saponins. Biochemically, saponins contain a steroid (fat-soluble) component and a sugar (water-soluble) component. These saponins impact the function of cell membranes and numerous aspects of the immune response. So if you get sick often and/or want to prevent being in bed from a cold, flu, fever, eat more asparagus!
To help you further understand how awesome asparagus is, it must be known that another important immune boosting phytonutrient like asparanin A is also in this vegetable. Asparanin A has the ability to alter immune-system signaling processes as well as the development of certain cancer-related processes.
Furthermore, food studies show the ability of asparagus extracts to inhibit the production of certain inflammation system signaling molecules (cytokines) including IL-6 (interleukin-6) and TNF (tumor necrosis factor.) This information helps to explain how asparagus extracts might be able to help reduce excessive inflammatory processes. Similarly, the ability of asparagus extracts to stimulate the activity of IL-12 (another cytokine molecule that helps certain white blood cells—called CD4+ T cells—differentiate into Th1 or T helper cells) may help explain some of the immunosupportive properties of this vegetable.
Hmm.. So what key points have you learned from reading this health article today? Let us know and hopefully, that one of the key points being that asparagus is just that super awesome.
Share this inspiration and motivation to others, and have more asparagus friends. Meanwhile, time for me to start cooking this up with my all time favorite Irish butter- my Kerry Gold! Yum!