Regulating blood sugar
The Mayo Clinic notes that vitamin B6 may affect blood sugar levels and advises caution for people who have diabetes or low blood sugar. However, those with healthy levels can benefit from asparagus’s ability to regulate it.
Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes
As with heart disease, risk of type 2 diabetes increases with excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, asparagus’ impressive anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants make it a good preventive food. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition also suggested that asparagus’ ability to improve insulin secretion and improve beta-cell function also helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Beta cells are unique cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release insulin.
The antioxidant glutathione is thought to slow the aging process, according to a 1998 article in The Lancet journal. And the folate that asparagus provides works with B12 to prevent cognitive decline. A Tufts University study found that older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better during a test of response speed and mental flexibility than those with lower levels of folate and B12.
Yet another amazing thing about the antioxidant glutathione: it helps protect the skin from sun damage and pollution. A small 2014 study published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology studied healthy adult women ages 30-50 who applied a glutathione lotion to half their faces and a placebo lotion to the other half for 10 weeks. The glutathione side saw increased moisture, suppressed wrinkle formation and smoother skin. It is unknown if eating glutathione-rich foods like asparagus would produce a similar effect.