Good news for those who enjoy a tipple. Asparagus is a hangover cure at least to some extent. It can help reduce the effects of your over indulgence and help prevent that hangover.
According to a study in the Journal of food science (Volume 54 Issue 7 pages H204-H208 September 2009) Asparagus can alleviate the hangover effects of alcohol and provide some protection for our poor liver cells.
It starts by stating that Asparagus is “generally regarded as a supplement for the alleviation of alcohol hangover” and continues to look at the composition of asparagus leaves and shoots. It then goes on to use extracts of these parts of the plant to look at their biochemical properties in order to see how they might be shown to reduce the effects of alcohol consumption on our well-being and our livers.
The conclusion is typically scientific and doesn’t actually tell you how to use their knowledge in any practical way. The study was using extracts of the shoots and leaves in a lab so we are left to work out how to use the findings to banish the hangover blues. Perhaps someone would like to do some really practical research into how much asparagus you need to eat to make a difference, when to eat it, is it best steamed, as a soup, as an asparagus extract tablet etc. Any volunteers?
My suggestion would be to cover all angles and enjoy some good food at the same time. Include asparagus in your meal if you are going to have a few drinks with your meal. Eat some asparagus before going out if you plan on a ”heavy night” and then prepare yourself some asparagus juice to consume before you go to bed or first thing in the morning. However don’t use this as an excuse to go mad, remember to drink sensibly and keep drinking water as well.
In the study they did tests using both asparagus shoots and asparagus leaves. It seems the leaves actually have much higher concentrations of various amino acids and minerals than the stems so the study concluded that the leaves should be considered a good source of nutrients alongside the stems in any treatments being considered. Whether you fancy eating asparagus leaves before your night on the town is up to you…..
The article is also useful as it provides some references to other articles regarding the nutritional value of asparagus as per this quote from the introduction:
“Asparagus officinalis is a vegetable that is widely consumed worldwide and has also long been used as a herbal medicine due to its anticancer effects (Huang and Kong 2006). Several studies have demonstrated that A. officinalis possesses pharmacological properties including antifungal (Shimoyamada and others 1990), antimutagenic (Tang and Gao 2001), anti-inflammatory (Jang and others 2004), and diuretic activities (Schilcher and Rau 1988).”
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