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What Makes Asparagus an Amazing Nutritional Powerhouse?

Asparagus season is just wrapping up in our little valley. There are a few days left to buy farm fresh, locally grown asparagus, and then the season will be over until next spring. There are last-minute reminders up on the farmer's market bulletin board, and folks in town are scrambling to get the last few bundles to pickle or grill up this weekend.

Asparagus is a Nutritional Powerhouse

Asparagus can be an expensive vegetable. Even in season, a small bundle costs as much as several times the amount of carrots, onions, celery, or lettuce. But nutritionally speaking, this is a vegetable that gives a huge return on your investment!

Did you know that a half-cup serving of asparagus (about 67 grams) has no fat, cholesterol or salt, and contains only 15 calories? Of those few calories, 4 come from fibre and 4 from protein. Asparagus has many of the same nutrients as green leafy vegetables , so it's a great choice on a day when you aren't planning to eat a salad or to use greens as a side dish.

In addition to supplying vitamins A, C, E and K, and several B vitamins, asparagus provides a number of vitamins including calcium, iron, and copper. It contains a variety of antioxidants that help to stave off the aging process, and has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Glutathione, one of the plant's antioxidants, is known to help rid the body of various toxins and to prevent some types of cancer. Components in these tasty green spears can help protect us against heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well.

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Image credit: Asparagus by PublicDomainPictures /Pixabay ( CC0 1.0 )

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Ruby3881 wrote on June 6, 2015, 7:54 AM

It really is an expensive vegetable, so we don't buy it often. It might be worth trying to find it at a farmer's market in season - or maybe trying to grow it?

CoralLevang wrote on June 6, 2015, 10:06 AM

I LOVE asparagus now. As a kid, I hated it though, because all I knew was canned asparagus. YUCK! Just the smell of it still makes me gag. LOL

HappyLady wrote on June 6, 2015, 10:40 AM

Ok you have convinced me and I will start getting Asparagus again. I used to eat a lot of it as we had a patch of it on an allotment. Those were the days!

LeaPea2417 wrote on June 6, 2015, 12:34 PM

I like to eat asparagus and it is nice to know it has so much nutrition within them!

VinceSummers wrote on June 7, 2015, 4:26 PM

To be frank? I don't care about the nutrition aspect all that much. I just like the taste and texture. I love cream of asparagus soup. I make it using dairy cream, butter, and chicken broth. Cut off the tips, blend the stalks, and re-introduce the tips toward the end. DELICIOUS.

CalmGemini wrote on June 9, 2015, 6:15 AM

I was going to ask which is the best dish with asparagus.Reading the comment by VinceSummers I think I will go for cream of Asparagus soup-without the chicken broth.

VinceSummers wrote on June 9, 2015, 6:52 AM

I've always wished (but never made effort to fill the wish) that I had two things: a patch of asparagus and a patch of rhubarb.

VinceSummers wrote on June 9, 2015, 7:54 AM

Of course, for those who are vegan or vegetarian, the chicken broth will be undesirable. But for the rest, it adds a richness to the flavor. It's lack doesn't improve flavor.

CalmGemini wrote on June 9, 2015, 8:00 AM

No,I am not a vegetarian . I eat chicken.It is only that I wanted to taste the asparagus,that is why.

VinceSummers wrote on June 9, 2015, 8:21 AM

I understand. It's why I don't want cheese mixed in with crab meat. The crab is both very delicate and very expensive. I love its taste. Why dilute that with cheap cheese? Of course you can do whatever you want with the soup. Yet, I will tell you, the chicken broth does not mask the asparagus. I wrote that mostly for the sake of others who fear it may damage the clear note of asparagus.

Last Edited: June 9, 2015, 8:26 AM

CalmGemini wrote on June 9, 2015, 8:57 AM

OKay,if that is the case definitely I will try it your way.Thanks.

BodieMor wrote on June 9, 2015, 8:14 PM

I love to grill asparagus after drizzling the spears with rich olive oil suffused with garlic and lemon... Mmmm