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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Asparagus

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Bunches of asparagusWhen I think of a vegetable I hated to eat as a child, I think of asparagus. However, the more I was exposed to it, the more I began to enjoy it and rightfully so as asparagus is a powerhouse veggie!

This vegetable is a member of the lily family relating it to onions and garlic. Most commonly seen and known for its beautiful green color, it also can be seen in white and purple colors. Naturally low in calories, asparagus is a nutrient dense food, rich in nutrients and fiber making it well worth eating. That’s why this week’s superfood of the week is asparagus!

Although its texture and aroma may have you second guessing eating this vegetable, you should reconsider having it accompany your evening meal. This stalky green vegetable is full of body boosting nutrients that help with reducing certain medical conditions listed below!

Cancer Fighting

Asparagus’ high content of antioxidants including glutathione make it an excellent vegetable to help defend the body against viruses, certain forms of cancer. It also aids to boost immunity.

Blood Sugar Control

Asparagus contains B vitamins which are essential for the metabolism of starches and sugar.

Heart Healthy

Asparagus has been purported to fight depression, lower cholesterol, prevent urinary tract infections, and reduce blood pressure.

Digestion

Asparagus is a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps maintain your digestive system by keeping food moving through your system.

Pregnant Women

Asparagus’ high content of folic acid is important for reducing the risk of certain birth defects. For more nutrition and food tips, check out my Pregnancy Nutrition Book!

Ever wonder why your urine does smell after you eat asparagus? Well that’s because it contains a sulfur called mercaptan, which is also found in onions, garlic, rotten eggs, and in the secretions of skunks. The significant smell occurs when this substance is being broken down in your digestive system. Not all people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan and strangely enough some people can’t smell its odor either. It is believed that most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only 22% of the population has the autonomic genes required to smell them!

Asparagus is relatively easy to cook! My favorite way is to either sautee or roast asparagus with a little bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Although asparagus flourishes in the spring time, it is available all year long! Check out these recipes for some additional ideas to adding more color to your dinner tonight!

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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