- Feb 09, 2018 -
Health benefits of asparagus
Yes, eating asparagus does make your pee smell. But once you’re past that, there are plenty of reasons to fill your plate with more of this spring superfood. The bright-green veggie is packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. Thanks to all these nutrients, asparagus offers some serious health perks.
“People should definitely take advantage of this vegetable while it’s in peak season,” says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet. “I love it roasted, grilled, or tossed into a pasta meal with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and grilled shrimp.”
Here, some reasons why you should eat more asparagus this season.
It can help you meet your weight-loss goals
Not only is asparagus low in fat and calories (one cup sets you back a mere 32 calories), but it also contains lots of soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Because your body digests fiber slowly, it keeps you feeling full in between meals.
It may keep your urinary tract happy
Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, making it a natural diuretic. In other words, eating more of the spears can help flush excess fluid and salt from your body, which may help prevent urinary tract infections.
It's full of antioxidants
Asparagus—purple asparagus in particular—is full of anthocyanins, which give fruits and veggies their red, blue, and purple hues and have antioxidant effects that could help your body fight damaging free radicals. When preparing asparagus, try not to either overcook or undercook it. Although cooking the veggie helps activate its cancer-fighting potential, letting it boil or sauté for too long can negate some nutritional benefits. “Overcooking asparagus could cause the vitamins to leech out into the water,” says Gans.
It contains vitamin E
Asparagus is also a source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. This vitamin helps strengthen your immune system and protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. To fill up on its benefits, roast asparagus with a little olive oil: “Our body absorbs vitamin E better if it’s eaten alongside some fat,” says Gans. “And when you cook it with olive oil, you’re getting healthy fat and vitamin E.”