Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis) is a spring vegetable which belongs to Asparagaceae family. It is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia, and is a widely cultivated crop. They are available in many varieties but the common one is white asparagus, green asparagus, and purple asparagus. They are considered as a superfood because of the number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc present in them. Eating asparagus on a regular basis has been found to be very beneficial for us and provides a number of health benefits, and as well as beauty benefits for our skin and hair. However, it should be remembered that too much of everything is bad, and the same is true for asparagus. In this article, we will know about the major side effects of eating too many asparaguses, but first, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of asparagus.
Nutrition Chart of Asparagus
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Asparagus
(1) May Cause Dry Mouth And Dehydration
Asparagus is diuretic in nature which means it increases the frequency of urination in our body and allows our body to get rid of toxins and other impurities in a better way. However, it should be noted that along with the toxins, our body loses a lot of water during this process. Losing too much water can increases the risk of dehydration, which can give rise to various symptoms, and one of them is the Dry mouth.
Some other symptoms of dehydration are rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, very dry skin, feeling sleepy, etc. Water plays an important role in keeping us healthy. Our body is made up of about 70 percent water, and as well as our vital organs like lungs, kidneys, and brain are also made up of 83, 79 and 71 percent water respectively. Lack of water in our body can give rise to dehydration, which may affect the optimal functioning of these vital organs.
For this reason, it is advisable to eat asparagus and other diuretic food in moderation.
(2) Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach
Consuming asparagus on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for our stomach and keeps our digestive system healthy. This benefit of asparagus is mainly due to the presence of dietary fibers in them.
The dietary fibers present in the asparagus acts as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of stool from our system. This helps in providing relief from constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, etc.
Although dietary fiber is good for our stomach, it is better to eat asparagus in moderation. This is because having too much dietary fiber in our system can do more harm than the good. It has been found that excess of dietary fibers can give rise to problems like abdominal pain, malabsorption, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, etc.
Dietary fibers absorb a lot of water from our system, and if you are taking too many dietary fibers and not drinking enough water, then it may also affect the digestion and may hinder the absorption of nutrients. Lack of water can also harden the stools, giving rise to problems like constipation, abdominal pain, cramps, etc.
(3) Foul Smelling Stools
Asparagus is a rich source of many antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds that provide a number of benefits. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells.
By protecting our cells from the oxidative damage, antioxidants provides a number of benefits such as reduces the risk of several types of cancers, eliminates toxins from our system, keeps signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles etc. at bay, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens the immune system, improves skin health etc.
Along with this, asparagus is also a good source of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring antioxidant that provides a number of benefits. As the name suggests, this antioxidant is a rich in mineral sulfur, a compound that is known for its characteristic pungent smell. It has been found that eating food rich in sulfur like asparagus can give a foul smell to your stool
(4) Smelly Urine
Another smelly side effect of asparagus reflects at the time of urination. It has been found that some people notice a pungent smell in their urine within 15 to 20 minutes of eating asparagus. This foul smell is due to the presence of a specific sulfur-rich amino acid derivative of methionine, which our body produces during the breakdown of asparagus.
An interesting point to note that is not everyone can notice the pungent smell caused by the asparagus in their urine. Although researchers are yet to find out the exact reason for this, as per current findings genetic factors play an important role in determining whether or not you can smell asparagus odor in your urine.
(5) Not Suitable For Individuals With Edema Conditions
Asparagus is a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, dietary fibers, etc. that provides a number of health and beauty benefits.
The antioxidants present in the asparagus not only protects our cells from the oxidative damage but also provides a number of other benefits like eliminates toxins, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens immunity, manages cholesterol level and so on.
Vitamin C present in it is anti-inflammatory in nature which means it is very effective for providing relief from inflammatory problems like gouts, arthritis, rheumatism, etc. However, the anti-inflammatory nature of asparagus is not suitable for edema condition ( swelling of the body part caused by the injury or inflammation. It mainly happens when blood vessels leak fluid into the nearby tissues).
Various studies have suggested that taking asparagus while suffering from edema condition can worsen the situation, and hence, for this reason, it is advisable to avoid eating asparagus if you are suffering from edema condition, or consume it only after having a word with your doctor.
They are also rich in purines which increases the formation of uric acid in our body. High level of uric acid in the blood can lead to the formation of gouts, a form of arthritis.
(6) May Develop Allergic Reactions In Some Individuals
Although asparagus is a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, etc. and provides a number of health and beauty benefits, they are not suitable for all of us. It has been found that some individuals might develop allergies while consuming asparagus.
Some of the common allergies caused by the asparagus are swollen eyes, itching in eyes, runny nose, itching throat, skin rashes, nausea, dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, etc.
(7) May Cause Flatulence
Consuming asparagus on a regular and moderate basis is good for our stomach and keeps our digestive system healthy. However, excessive consumption of asparagus can increases the risk of flatulence. This side effect of asparagus is mainly due to the presence of carbohydrates like sugar in them. The dietary fibers present in the asparagus also contributes to the increased risk of flatulence.
Too much dietary fibers in our system can give rise to digestive problems like abdominal pain, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, bloating, flatulence, etc.
Additionally, raffinose, a complex carbohydrate present in the asparagus contains 3 sugar variants- glucose, fructose, and galactose. Our digestive system doesn’t possess the requisite enzyme to break down raffinose, and hence it gets fermented by bacteria, which in turn triggers the formation of excessive gas. This excessive gas in our digestive tract gives rise to flatulence and also increase burping.
(8) Not So Good For Pregnant And Nursing Women
Pregnancy is an important stage in every woman’s life. At this stage, it is very important for the women to make sure that she is getting a healthy and nutritious diet as what she eats and drinks not only determines her health, but also the health and wellness of the fetus developing in her womb.
The folic acid present in the asparagus is very beneficial for brain development of the fetus, and also for reducing the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Other nutrients like vitamins and minerals and compounds like antioxidants also play a major role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Although asparagus is good for pregnancy stage, pregnant women are advised to first consult with their doctor before making asparagus a part of their diet. This is because asparagus extracts are also found to be useful in birth control because of their ability to affect hormones. Eating too much asparagus during pregnancy stage may give rise to various complications, and for this reason, it is advisable to talk with your doctor first.
Nursing mothers are also advised to limit the intake of asparagus in their diet, and better consult with their doctor about the same. This is because dietary fibers in asparagus can cause stomach discomfort in infants.
(9) Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad For Our Health
Regular and moderate consumption of asparagus has been found to be very beneficial for reducing the risk of several types of cancers like colon cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, etc. This benefit of asparagus is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Sulforaphane and other antioxidantal compounds in them.
These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells and tissues, and thus reduces the risk of cancer.
Although antioxidants are good for our system, it is advisable to eat asparagus in moderation. This is because over-intake of antioxidants in our system can do more harm than the good.
As per a study published in the Journal of Cancer Institute, it was found that individuals who took beta-carotene supplements in excess for a prolonged period of time were more likely to develop lung cancer in comparison to those who didn’t.
As per another study conducted by the Office of The Dietary Supplements, it was observed that large doses of Vitamin E ( above 150 IU ) can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
This side effect of antioxidant is because of the fact that in excessive quantity, antioxidants not only targets the free radicals and the cancer cells but the healthy cells around them.
(10) May Increase The Risk of Hypoglycemia
Eating asparagus on a regular basis has been found to be very beneficial for diabetic patients or those who are at the risk of developing diabetes. This benefit is mainly because of the low glycemic index of the asparagus. Glycemic index of asparagus is 15 which is considered as low. Low glycemic index means asparagus releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow rate and prevents a sudden spike in the blood sugar level, and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers in asparagus also play a significant role in managing diabetes as it reduces the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
Although asparagus is good for controlling blood sugar level, it is advisable to eat it in moderation. This is because eating too much asparagus may lower our blood sugar to a dangerously low level, and this may increase the risk of hypoglycemia, a condition caused by the low blood sugar level. Some of the common symptoms of glycemic are excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fainting, fatigue, headedness, etc.
Additionally, if you are a diabetic patient and already taking medication for the same, then also you should limit the intake of asparagus as they can interfere with the diabetics medication.
(11) May Cause Hypotension
Asparagus has been found to be very beneficial for controlling hypertension or high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, etc.
This benefit of asparagus is mainly due to the presence of Potassium in it. Potassium is a vital mineral that acts as a vasodilator which means it relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation and thus regulates blood pressure.
Even though asparagus is good for treating high blood pressure, it is advisable to include them in your diet in limited quantity. This is because of the high level of potassium in our system can lower our blood pressure to a very low level, thereby increasing the risk of hypotension or low blood pressure. Some common symptoms of hypotension are fatigue, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, blurry vision, etc.
Also, if you are suffering from high blood pressure and already taking medication for the same, then you should include asparagus in your diet only after consulting with your doctor. This is because the potassium in asparagus can interfere with the medication.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.