It’s lean, it’s green, it’s full of nutrients, and it can help reduce your risk of serious health problems. It’s asparagus! Asparagus comes in green, purple, and white varieties, but no matter which one you choose to eat, you’ll be able to reap the healthy benefits. Discover tasty ways to add this superfood to your meal plan with some of our best asparagus recipes, and learn more about the nutritional benefits of this healthful food below.
For a complete list of superfoods, check out 50 Superfoods: The Ultimate Shopping List.
3 REASONS TO APPRECIATE ASPARAGUS:
1. Asparagus is High in Vitamin K and Antioxidants
Asparagus is a great source of Vitamin K, which helps build strong bones and promote blood clotting. It also contains large amounts of antioxidants to help your body fight off free radicals and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
2. Asparagus is a Great Source of Folate
Asparagus is high in folate, which is important during pregnancy. One study has also shown that elderly people who eat high-folate diets have a reduced risk of chronic diseases(1).
3. Asparagus is a Low Calorie Snack
Asparagus is low in calories, too! It only contains about 27 calories per cup. Plus, it’s filling, so that makes it an excellent snack choice.
This Super Food is Super Clean
Asparagus has the honor of making the Environmental Working Group’s list of the 15 cleanest fruits and vegetables, known as The Clean 15. This means that asparagus has one of the lowest occurrences of pesticides out of all fruits and vegetables.
There is one side effect to eating asparagus. Asparagus contains a unique compound called asparagurisic acid. This compound isn’t harmful, but it can make your pee smell pretty sulfurous. Not to worry, though. Increasing your intake of water and/or sipping cranberry juice may help eliminate the smell.
1. Folate: a key to optimizing health and reducing disease risk in the elderly. Rampersaud, GC, Kauwell, GP, Bailey, LB. Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2003 Feb; 22(1):1-8. [↩]