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Asparagus is rich in folate, vitamin A, potassium and vitamin K (ref. 1).
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Eating asparagus, among other vegetables, on a regular basis can help you meet your weight-loss goals. Effects of asparagus extracts on weight loss have also been investigated in research studies. However, you must decrease your total calorie intake or increase your calorie expenditure to effectively lose weight, regardless of how much asparagus you eat.
Asparagus can aid in weight loss because it's nutrient dense, but contains few calories. One cup of cooked asparagus provides just 40 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory. To effectively lose weight at a safe rate of 1 to 2 pounds weekly, reduce your current caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 a day, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Because asparagus is rich in fiber, it helps increase satiety, which is beneficial for weight loss. A review published in 2009 in вЂњNutrition ReviewsвЂќ pointed out that fiber-rich diets decrease your risk for obesity. Authors of this review suggested consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat, or about 17 grams of fiber daily when consuming a 1,200-calorie, weight-loss diet. The USDA reports that cooked asparagus provides almost 4 grams of dietary fiber per cup.
Asparagus extract is used in some herbal weight-loss products. A review published in a 2009 issue of the вЂњWorld Journal of GastroenterologyвЂќ reported that asparagus extract helped decrease body weight in research studies. However, in most of these studies, the asparagus extract was combined with other plant extracts. Another study published in 2006 in the вЂњEuropean Journal of Medical ResearchвЂќ found that active subjects who took asparagus extract combined with other botanical extracts -- such as green tea, black tea, kidney bean and yeast extracts - lost more body fat than control subjects. Always talk with your doctor before taking any type of dietary supplement.
If you enjoy eating asparagus, include it in your weight-loss meal plan. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggests eating 1.5 cups of vegetables daily when following 1,200- to 1,400-calorie weight-loss plans. To help increase satiety -- and your calorie expenditure -- for successful weight loss, boost your protein intake, suggest researchers who conducted a study published in 2009 in the вЂњJournal of Nutrition.вЂќ For example, eat grilled chicken breast, low-fat cottage cheese, egg whites, peanuts or reduced-fat cheese with your asparagus to increase the protein content of the meal or snack.