5 Health Benefits of Asparagus

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Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles; Giada De Laurentiis

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles; Giada De Laurentiis

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Asparagus’ green spears are a sure sign of spring. If you’re wondering about the health benefits of this seasonal must-have, this blog’s for you.

It’s low in calories: Five large spears have just 20 calories and 2 grams of fiber, making this a flavorful guilt-free food.

It’s nutrient-dense: Asparagus packs a lot of nutrition. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K (the vitamin that helps your blood to clot) and a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron and some B vitamins.

It acts as a diuretic: Asparagus contains high levels of the aptly named amino acid asparagine, which acts as a diuretic. This can actually help to lower high blood pressure.

It’s high in antioxidants: This vegetable delivers antioxidants that can fight the free radicals that cause disease. One of the antioxidants, glutathione, helps your body detox and helps prevent against certain diseases (it’s also found in cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cabbage).

It contains prebiotics: Asparagus contains inulin — a type of indigestible fiber that’s considered a prebiotic. Prebiotics support your health by providing food for the healthy bacteria known as probiotics.

One note: Asparagus has a short shelf life. It’s best to eat it within a couple days of bringing it home from the market (the sooner the better).

Recipes:

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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