Asparagus Nutrition, Health Benefits And Cooking

Asparagus nutrition is something that many people are interested in.

How healthy is this unique vegetable that pairs so well with many of our favorite meals?

Well the good news is that asparagus is a very healthy choice to add to a well balanced diet.

With high levels of vitamins and minerals and low calories and sodium, asparagus is a nutritious choice that can be enjoyed many ways.

Asparagus is a spring vegetable and a perennial plant that is native to Europe, northern Africa and Western Asia.

The Asparagus is usually green in color, however white and purple color Asparagus is also found.

Asparagus-Bundle

The Asparagus Nutrition Facts

Great source of various nutrients

Vitamin K and Folate are loaded in Asparagus.

Approximately a cup of Asparagus has the nutritional value of 100% of Vitamin K and 67% of folic acid.

It means 100 grams of Asparagus shoots contains 35% of daily value or dietary value of Vitamin K.

It is also a good source of Vitamin A, C, E, some B complex , protein and some trace minerals like copper, iron, zinc, and many more.

Good Source of antioxidants

Asparagus has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

This antioxidant properties of Asparagus helps to prevent the risk of certain cancers and serious chronic illnesses like diabetes.

Fresh Asparagus is very nutritious as it contains good amount of anti oxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

Regular consumption of Asparagus of these anti oxidants develops the immunity and resistance against the bacteria that causes infectious diseases.

Nutritional value

A cup of fresh Asparagus is essential to maintain the healthy body as it is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol.

This much quantity of Asparagus also provides lot of nutrients, vitamin and minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, and Pantothenic acid and very good source of Fiber as well.

Calories: 20 kcal per 100g
Fat: 0.12g per 100g
Fiber: 2.1g per 100g
Protein: 2.2g per 100g
Sugars: 1.88g per 100g

Vitamins Found In Asparagus

Vitamins A, B6, C, K
Thiamin
Riboflavin
Niacin
Pantothenic Acid
Folate
Choline
Beta Carotene
Lutein + Zeaxanthin

Minerals Found In Asparagas

Potassium: 202mg per 100g
Phosphorus: 52mg per 100g
Calcium: 24mg per 100g
Magnesium: 14mg per 100g
Iron: 2.14 mg per 100g
Sodium: 2
Zinc: 0.54
Copper: 0.189
Manganese: 0.158

Asparagus is a low calorie vegetable.

The nutritional value of Asparagus is worth knowing as it definitely provide immense health benefits of it.

Asparagus Health Benefits

The health benefits of asparagus come from the many nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants that it contains.

Asparagus health benefits include providing fiber and vitamins such as A, B, C and K.

Being low in calories, asparagus helps maintain a healthy weight.

The high vitamin count contributes to a healthy complexion.

The health benefits of asparagus also include being packed with antioxidants. The antioxidants neutralize cancer causing free radicals.

The antioxidants in asparagus also combat carcinogens and aid in detoxification of the body.

Early research suggests that asparagus’s antioxidants can help slow down and prevent the process of aging.

The health benefits of asparagus also extend to bone health.

The vitamin K in the asparagus aids in the absorption and retention of calcium.

This also makes prevention of osteoporosis an asparagus health benefit.

The high levels of iron contribute to keeping the bones and joints strong and elastic.

As a natural diuretic, asparagus helps the body to flush itself of water retention, excess fluids and salt.

This ability to flush the body makes the asparagus health benefits very useful to those suffering from heart disease, edema and diabetes.

The high fiber and water content prevent constipation and colon cancer, making aiding digestion one of the health benefits of asparagus.

Asparagus is also high in folate, which contributes to the asparagus health benefits.

Folate is important to pregnant and nursing women to prevent neural tube defects and miscarriage.

Folate assists in warding off depression.

It also prevents certain types of cancer such as breast, cervical, bone, colon, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

The health benefits of asparagus can also have an effect on cognitive function.

Asparagus is high in folate and when combined with vitamin B12, it works to keep the mind sharp and slow down the brain’s process of aging.

Asparagus health benefits are largely tied to the high folate content.

Health Benefits of Asparagus

Helps in digestion of food

Asparagus can be considered as a digestive support food because of its inulin content.

Inulin is present in Asparagus has significant amount of nutrient value.

Inulin is a type of carbohydrate which doe not break down in our digestive tract, instead it passes undigested all the way to large intestine and act as an ideal food source for certain bacteria, which in turn helps with the nutrient absorption.

Thus it helps to balance and regulate the bowel movements.

Also Asparagus is rich in fiber, 1 cup of Asparagus contains at least 3 grams of fiber and 4-5 grams of proteins.

Hence it keeps the digestive system going at smoother rate.

Fight cancer

As we know Asparagus is highly nutritious in terms of fiber, it provides good amount of roughage to keep the bowel healthy and controls constipation issues, hence it significantly reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

General health

Vitamin K is abundantly present in Asparagus.

Adequate amount of Vitamin K helps in the food helps in limiting the neural damage in the brain.

It significantly helps to improve the bone health as well.

Cooking Asparagus

Asparagus can be used in cooking in many ways.

Perhaps the easiest and best way to for cooking asparagus is just to boil it in water. 

Other ways to cook asparagus include grilling, pickling, frying and steaming.

Asparagus is a delicious and healthy vegetable packed full of vitamins, folate, selenium and iron.

Whether you’re a long time asparagus lover, or new to the delights of this nutritious vegetable, you’ll want to know the best way to cook asparagus.

Cooking asparagus is easy, and with so many ways to prepare it you can incorporate it into a wide variety of meals.

cooking asparagus

Before you start cooking asparagus, prepare it by giving it a thorough wash and snapping of the rough ends of the stems (alternatively, place on a chopping board and cut off 3 – 5 cm).

Steam

There are plenty of folks who would argue that steaming is the best way to cook asparagus.

It’s so quick and simple.

All you need to do is grab a vegetable steamer or even a sieve or colander, and position it carefully over a pan of bubbling water for 5 minutes or so until the asparagus is tender.

Bake

Baking is a great method for cooking asparagus, resulting in lightly browned and deeply flavored stems.

Simply preheat the oven to 400F and find a shallow baking dish or even a baking tray. Line with foil, then spread the asparagus spears over the foil.

Drizzle the asparagus lightly with olive oil, or you can brush them with a little butter.

Put in the hot oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes for tender but oh so slightly crisp and tasty results.

Broil

Broiling asparagus is easy.

Simply heat up your broiler, and find a shallow dish to place your asparagus in.

Set the spears in the dish and drizzle with olive oil – you can even add a little garlic, brown sugar, or a few tomato slices for added flavor.

Place the asparagus under the broiler and cook gently for 8 or so minutes, keeping an eye on it and turning if need be.

Grill

Whether you’re grilling indoors or outdoors, grilled asparagus is very tasty and makes a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish.

All you need to do is heat your grill up, roll your asparagus in a little olive oil to ensure even cooking, and lay the spears cross-ways over the grill slats (this ensures they won’t slip through).

Grill for 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly brown, turning regularly.

Sautéing

Sautéing is a wonderful method of cooking asparagus that really brings out the flavor.

To sauté, start by cutting the asparagus into short even lengths.

Now take a thick-bottomed skillet and place it on your hob to heat up.

When it’s hot, add oil or butter of your choice – be careful of splatters.

Cook the asparagus in the hot oil for five minutes, constantly moving it.

Boil

Boiling is another simple way of cooking asparagus that keeps its natural flavor, but is mild enough to go with other flavorful foods as an accompaniment.

Simply bring a large pan of water to the boil on your stove top, lower the asparagus in, and cook for five minutes before draining.

If you’re looking for the best way to cook asparagus, be sure to try out one of these delicious methods.

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