Asparagus, like most vegetables, is full of vitamins and minerals (and tastes delicious!). It is primarily a springtime vegetable harvested here in the U.S. However, it can be enjoyed year-round with help from other countries. There are many health benefits to this edible member of the lily family, besides adding some flavorful crunch to your next dish.
One half cup of cooked asparagus provides:
- Fiber:8 grams per serving
- Protein:2 grams per serving
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Folate: 34% of the RDI for Adults and 22% of the RDI for pregnant women
- Potassium: 6% of the Potassium RDI for adults
- Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI for adults
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDI for adults
- Iron: 8% of the DRI for adults
Asparagus Health Benefits
- Gut Health: The soluble fiber in asparagus promotes gut health, creating an ideal environment for probiotics such as bifidobacterial and lactobacillus.
- Immune System: Vitamins A and C are essential antioxidants for optimal immune health, and asparagus contains both important nutrients.
- Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy: Folate is an essential nutrient for fetal growth and development, helping to prevent neural tube defects. A ½-cup of asparagus contains 22% of the RDI for pregnant women.
How to Eat Asparagus
Snap the stems
The first rule of eating asparagus is to snap off the stems, which are too fibrous to eat. Just bend the asparagus towards the bottom until it snaps. It will snap right at the spot where the overly fibrous area ends. This could also be a fun food prep activity for the kids.
Save the stems for soup
After you’ve snapped off the stems, consider incorporating them into soup broths to add flavor. Remember to discard them before you eat the soup. Besides adding flavor to other broths, you can make a soup focused solely on asparagus with delicious asparagus soup!
Great for grilling!
Steaming is a simple way to brighten asparagus’s color and flavor. Try this keto-friendly steamed asparagus with chopped egg recipe.
Asparagus is known for its use in frittatas, which can be thought of as a slow-cooked omelet. Try this tasty asparagus, feta and thyme frittata.
Remember asparagus can be enjoyed in green, purple and white varieties. Whichever color you choose, remember to snap those ends off and enjoy! For more information on how to incorporate asparagus into your daily meals, consider meeting with a Kroger registered dietitian via Telenutrition.