Try asparagus for a low-calorie, high-in-vitamin-K dish


Asparagus may help fight cancer, slim you down and potentially benefit your brain. — TNS

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant brought from Europe to North America hundreds of years ago.

However, its history dates back to ancient Egypt, where images of it can be found on the walls of tombs.

It originally grew wild along riverbanks or the seashore, preferring a soil too salty for other plants.

The world's top producers of asparagus are China, Peru and Germany.

Most of the asparagus grown in the United States comes from three states: California, Washington and Michigan.

Asparagus can take up to three years to produce a crop.

It's harvested in the spring, and one plant will continue to produce for about 15 years.

Under perfect growing conditions, asparagus can grow up to 10 inches (25.4 centimetres) in 24 hours.

Green is the most common colour of asparagus, but white and purple have gained popularity.

The white variety is picked before the spear breaks through the soil, so it's never exposed to the sun.

Since it's only available for a few weeks, white asparagus is more expensive than green.

Purple asparagus is pretty when raw but loses its colour during cooking.

The main difference between the colours is taste and texture; the nutritional value is virtually the same.

Asparagus can be part of a well-balanced diet.

Low in fat and calories, one-half cup or five spears cooked contain only 20 calories.

The primary nutrients in asparagus are vitamin K and folate.

People on blood thinners may need to watch their vitamin K intake and should talk to their healthcare team to find out if it's OK to include asparagus in their diets.

After eating asparagus, some people notice their urine has a funky smell.

That's due to asparagusic acid, which digestion breaks down into sulphur-containing compounds that give urine the distinctive asparagus odour and colour.

Only some people can smell this odour, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.

But the temporary odour is no reason to pass on this healthful, versatile spring vegetable. – By Chrisanne Urban/Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

Chrisanne Urban is a registered dietitian in Wisconsin, United States

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Asparagus , diet , nutrition , vegetables


Next In Health

Feel the kilos piling on after hitting menopause?
Is healthcare prepared for the advent of AI?
How much screen time is too much time for your kids?
Dealing with pain during your period
Is it a stroke or am I going to get a migraine?
Regrowing the skull bone with 3D printing technology
Stroke patients recommended to get genetic test to optimise treatment
Clearing the air on the tobacco generational endgame Bill
Health White Paper open for continuous feedback from public
Vaping: What we know and what we don't

Others Also Read