Asparagus is known for its countless health benefits and for its abundance in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Yet, in some cases, eating this veggie may prove unhealthy, and this is the reason why it is essential to be aware of asparagus side effects and warnings.
Poor in calories and rich in valuable nutrients, asparagus is a precious food not only if you want to lose weight, but also because it has numerous health benefits:
- is a good source of plant-based protein;
- is loaded with large amounts of vitamin A, B6, C, K and folic acid; iron, selenium, potassium and manganese as well;
- contains valuable antioxidants: kaempferol, quercetin e rutin;
- as a food supplement, it is helpful in weight loss diets;
- helps battle high blood pressure;
- antinflammatory properties, helpful in joint and nerve pain;
- helpful in case of disorders and infections of the urinary tract;
- costiveness prevention, as it contains fructooligosaccarides – a prebiotic fiber;
- diuretic and depurative properties;
- anti-cancer properties;
- boosts heart, lung and kidney health (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine);
- is used as an aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic medicine.
Yet, even though asparagus boasts lots of benefits, it should be eaten moderately in some cases.
9 side effects and important warnings of eating asparagus
1 – It may make mouth dry
Asparagus has valuable diuretic properties, and this is the reason why it may cause frequent urination, leading to dehydration and, as a consequence, it makes mouth dry.
2 – It may cause costiveness
Now you may wonder: “Isn’t asparagus packed with fiber and prebiotic helpful in preventing costiveness?” Just because asparagus is extremely loaded with fiber it may cause costiveness.
100 gr of asparagus contain 2.1% fiber which is 8% of the recommended daily dose. If you eat excessive fiber it absorbs too much water and makes faeces harder and difficult to expel. It may result in constipation, cramps and abdominal ache. It is advisable to drink more water if you eat fiber-rich foods like asparagus.
3 – Not recommended in case of edema
In case of edema caused by heart or kidney diseases, it is strongly unadvisable to eat asparagus. Even though it has highly diuretic properties and is then helpful in draining excessive fluids, research suggests this veggie may prove harmful for people suffering from heart or kidney failure. It is then advisable to seek medical advice before adding asparagus to your daily diet.
4 – May cause allergies
This risk gets higher in people who are already allergic to other veggies, such as onions, garlic and chive. Eating asparagus may cause several allergic reactions:
- allergic conjunctivitis (itching, redness, eye swelling);
- allergic rhinitis;
- hacking cough;
- urticaria and dermatitis – skin rash, itching and redness;
- disorientation and dizziness;
5 – Flatulence
Foods rich in carbs and fiber, like asparagus, may cause excessive gas in the digestive tract. Asparagus is rich in raffinose – a trisaccharide composed of galactose, glucose, and fructose. Human body doesn’t have the enzymes necessary to digest these saccharides, which ferment and make gas, causing such annoying symptoms as eructation and flatulence.
6 – They interact with antihypertensive drugs
Asparagus is known as it equilibrates blood pressure levels. Yet, if you already are on antihypertensive drugs, eating asparagus may boost their effect and that may lead to excessive blood pressure drop.
7 – They interact with diuretic drugs
As with antihypertensive drugs, and being highly diuretic themselves, asparagus may boost the effect of diuretic drugs.
8 – Inadvisable during pregnancy and breast-feeding
The excessive consumption of asparagus, rich in phytoestrogens, is inadvisable during pregnancy and breast-feeding, because it may alter the hormonal balance. It is not by chance asparagus extract is used as a contraceptive. If you are pregnant, it is important to seek medical advice before adding this veggie to your daily diet.
9 – They interact with blood-thinning drugs
Asparagus is rich in vitamin K, which is significantly important in blood clotting processes. For this reason, asparagus should be avoided by people taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin).
As with any other food, common sense and moderation are essential to fully benefit from asparagus properties and limit the risks of its side effects.
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