Asparagus is a spring vegetable that is packed with nutrition, extremely versatile, and has a unique and savory taste. If you don’t mind its strong aroma, adding asparagus to your diet is a great way to control calorie intake and reap some impressive health benefits.
This popular vegetable comes in a variety of colors, including purple, although green is the most common. It is used in dishes around the world and is readily available at most grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
This blog post uncovers a few of the great health benefits of asparagus.
Many Nutrients, Few Calories
Asparagus is very low in calories with just one cup only packing between 30-40. That being said, there is no shortage of nutrients when it comes to this superfood. You’ll find a healthy dose of vitamin K, which is good for bone health and blood clotting, alongside folate and other nutrients like vitamins A, C and E.
Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect your body from free radicals and oxidative stress, which contributes to aging, chronic inflammation and many diseases. Asparagus is high in antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk for heart disease. The best way to reap these benefits is to cook the asparagus perfectly – not too undercooked but also not overcooked.
Improves Digestive Health
One cup of cooked asparagus packs about 2-3 grams of fiber, making it an excellent way to meet your fiber needs. The fiber adds bulk to your stool, supports regular bowel movements, and feeds friendly bacteria in your gut. Fiber also helps you stay full for longer periods of time which can help with weight control.
Other Health Benefits of Asparagus
- Has small to moderate amounts of iron, copper, calcium and potassium
- Is a natural diuretic, helping to flush excess fluid and salt from the body
- Helps reduce gas and bloating
- Supports a healthy pregnancy with high levels of folate
- Lowers your risk for depression
Asparagus is Easy to Add to Your Diet
Asparagus is truly a versatile superfood that packs a ton of nutrition and promotes good health. It is also very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can cook asparagus by grilling it, baking it, steaming it, roasting it, boiling it and sautéing it. You can also buy it fresh, canned, or in frozen form. Try adding this vegetable into your pasta dishes, salads, omelets or in soups. It’s even a great side dish all on its own, especially when seasoned and mixed with other great savory tastes. Click here for some healthy asparagus recipes from Cooking Light.