Asparagus is cultivated and consumed all over the world.
This vegetable has been appreciated for its versatility and taste since antiquity. For example, when Roman emperor Caesar Augustus wanted something to be done quickly he famously quipped “Do it faster than cooking asparagus.”
From its nutrient profile to its potential to improve heart health, asparagus has a well-deserved spot it global cuisine. Read on and discover more about this amazing vegetable.
Nutritious, but With Few Calories
Asparagus’ nutrient profile is very complete. Half a cup (90 grams) of asparagus provide 57% of the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) of Vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone health. Furthermore, it contains the amino acid asparagine, which is important in the development of the brain. On the other hand, asparagus is extremely low in calories: Five spears of asparagus contain about 20 calories, with no fat and very little sodium.
Good Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are extremely important, because they protect cells from the action of free radicals, which are responsible for inflammation and many of the effects of aging. Asparagus is high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids such as quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol. It also contains glutathione, a detoxifying compound that may help destroy carcinogens.
Improves Heart Health
As we mentioned above, asparagus contains a good amount of vitamin K, which helps blood clotting. But this vegetable also provides two substances linked to improved heart health: Vitamin B, and more than 1 gram of soluble fiber per cup. Furthermore, asparagus may also contribute to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of diabetes.
Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, or Vitamin B9, a very important nutrient during pregnancy. Just half a cup of asparagus provides 34% of the Daily Recommended Intake of folate, or 22% of the daily recommended intake for a pregnant woman. Folate helps form red blood cells and produce DNA, and its consumption during pregnancy protects the fetus against neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Asparagus is part of Chef Gourmet’s amazing array of delicious, healthy gourmet-prepared meals. We exist to provide excellence at the intersection where imagination and passion for culinary arts come together.
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