One half cup of asparagus is 20 calories, a good source of vitamin K (57% RDI, RDI is how much you should eat of something every day). Vitamin K is used for blood clotting, bone complex and more. And folate rings in at 34% RDI, which is very important in pregnancy, cell growth and DNA formation. It’s a moderately good source of vitamin A (18% RDI) and vitamin C (12% RDI) and asparagus is relatively high in potassium (6% RDI). Research shows that eating asparagus contributes to lower blood pressure via potassium in two ways: by relaxing blood vessel walls and increasing salt excretion through urine.
Asparagus has high levels of flavonoids: quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol, which are do-gooders in the body, protecting us from the effects of oxidative stress and free radicals. Oxidative stress left unchecked contributes to body inflammation, premature aging, and other disease states. Studies found cooking asparagus increases the antioxidant capacity by three times.
Half a cup of asparagus gives you 1.8g of fiber or 7% of your daily need. Fiber, both insoluble and soluble, is essential for strong digestive health and asparagus has both kinds, with being a particularly big source of insoluble fiber which helps to bulk up stool and promote regular poops. It does contain insoluble fiber, which feeds large intestine good bugs or microbiome balance, specifically Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. We know that strong numbers of these good guys help to strengthen the immune system and help to produce B12 and K2 (I know, quite circularJ).
ASPARAGUS AND WEIGHT LOSS
Being low in calories, VERY high in water (94%), and a good source of fiber makes asparagus a great choice to include in your meals!
COOKING WITH ASPARAGUS
It’s easy to incorporate asparagus into meals and snacks.
- Asparagus is delicious raw, so snip off the woody ends and use it as a dipper for your favorite dip hummus, guac, white bean dip, etc.
- For a quick sauté, snip off the woody ends and sauté in a skillet on low with olive oil. Top with lemon and salt and pepper to taste. You can also roast in the oven or steam. NOTE: I have been chopping the asparagus into ½ inch pieces before cooking. It is a touch different, and very delicious, and a very easy colorful side dish to add to the table.
- I am not a fan of canned asparagus; it’s kind of mushy and contains too much added salt. Go for the fresh, which is in season now, or frozen.