Based on nutrients per calorie, nothing compares to asparagus. The United States is the largest importer of asparagus worldwide, accounting for about 65% of all worldwide asparagus imports.
Despite this, asparagus is among the least popular vegetables eaten by Americans.
Though asparagus may be overlooked, it’s worth trying for its many nutritional benefits.
Asparagus Vitamins and Nutrients
There are lots of different ways to prepare asparagus which, will change some of these numbers. For that reason, this section accounts for one cup of uncooked asparagus.
Asparagus is light on calories and fat, with about 27 calories and 0.16g of fat per cup. For this food with so few calories, you would be surprised that it contains 12% daily fiber, 8% daily potassium, 13% daily vitamin C, and 70% daily vitamin K.
For a crunchy green, the fiber in asparagus outpaces celery, spinach, and many other greens on a per-cup basis.
Boosting Gut Health
The high fiber content in asparagus makes it great for supporting regular bowel movements. However, it supports gut health further because it contains a small amount of soluble fiber. This fiber helps form a gel along the digestive tract and feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
A 2020 study on rodents in China found that asparagus helped diversify gut bacteria which had a positive impact on lowering cholesterol.
Types of Asparagus
Most asparagus is of the green variety that you see in the photo on this post. However, there is also a white and purple variety. Nutritional benefits remain similar, with the purple variety having a fruitier taste.
How to Cook and Eat Asparagus
With all the nutritional content in asparagus, you will ideally want to use a waterless cooking method. This helps avoid losing nutrients in the water during the cooking process. You can roast, grill, or even just eat your asparagus raw.
Side Effects of Asparagus
Some individuals experience a strong urinary smell after eating asparagus. It is not a sign of concern, but it comes as a result of the asparagusic acid found in asparagus. Young asparagus contains the greatest amount of this acid.