Asparagus and Cancer: Is the Myth Real?
While there are many foods that assist the body in resisting diseases, it behooves anyone fighting cancer to investigate any and all claims of foods that are considered cures for cancer. The latest claim to hit the air waves and rumor mills is that asparagus can cure cancer. Asparagus does contain vitamins and minerals that are essential in the fight against cancer. However there is not enough in one serving to do much good. Trying to eat asparagus to fight cancer would be like trying to hold back the ocean with a spoon.
The Positives of Asparagus
Methionine an amino acid found in everything from meat and poultry to sesame seeds, is also found in asparagus. This amino acid in conjunction with folate and vitamin B6, both of which are found in asparagus as well, has been shown to have cancer fighting properties. This was discovered in research published in the American Medical Journal in 2010.
Asparanin A discovered by researchers in China has shown promise as a compound that causes the death of many liver cancer cells. In addition, the anti-oxidant glutathione is another substance that staves off cancer. Asparagus is one of the best food options when it comes to providing this substance to the body. Glutathione also has antiviral properties.
Asparagus is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and it also contains a group of substances collectively called the saponins, known for their anti-inflammatory effect. Research has shown that these two work in concert to reduce stress. Stress, which is a lot more than the usual “stress” that people feel mentally, is not a healthy scenario for people developing cancer.
So even if asparagus is not the panacea of cancer, it only makes sense to include it as part of a healthy, diverse diet.
Another way that asparagus can add to the health of people is that is contains certain substances that aid with menopause, infertility, and loss of libido.
Leukemia vs. Asparagus
Interestingly, there is an amino acid called asparagine. Asparagine is one of the 20 essential amino acids that the body needs to assimilate to sustain its regular function. Unfortunately, it is also essential for the growth of leukemia cells. Elgar, an anti-leukemia drug, is administered to destroy all of the asparagine in the system and thereby starve the cancer cells of an important fuel.
Asparagus happens to be a good source of this amino acid therefore it works in a way that is counter-productive to fighting this type of cancer. All leukemia patients should thus abstain from asparagus and any other source rich in asparagine.
In the End
When anyone recommends eating any one food as a magic bullet to curing anything especially cancer they do not understand what alternative health is all about. Asparagus is certainly not a miracle cure for cancer. Ingesting large quantities will not provide you with what you are hoping for.
Balance is what alternative health is all about. The followers of this line of thinking understand that there is no one cure for anything, but they do believe that having a balance in their lives is key.
There are many fruits and vegetables that are available to be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating any one of these will help protect you and your body against cancer. But do not stop there as eating a healthy diet also strengthens the body in its daily fight against many other disease-causing elements. You should never be afraid to keep your body as healthy as possible.
Keep in mind that some people have food allergies, in which case certain foods should be avoided in order to maintain a healthy diet.