Asparagus is high in fiber, and low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories.
Asparagus is an excellent source of:
Vitamin K – makes proteins to help with blood clotting
Folate – a B vitamin that helps to make red blood cells and prevent anemia
Vitamin C – helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps gums healthy
Manganese – helps blood sugar regulation and protects body against free radicals that can cause cell damage
Asparagus also contains:
Other B vitamins in lesser amounts: B1, B2, B3 and B6.
Vitamin A – eye health; helps protect us from infections
Potassium – helps control blood pressure and keep blood and tissue fluids balanced
Protein – helps build and maintain muscle tissue
Phosphorus – required for bone and tooth structure; important for energy metabolism
Copper – helps build strong tissue and produce energy in our cells
Selecting and Storing Asparagus
Choose spears that are smooth and firm, avoiding the wrinkled ones.
Select a bunch with spears of similar diameter so they will all cook at the same rate.
Avoid buying spears that have a yellowish look or a sharp smell, as this indicates lack of freshness.
Avoid washing or trimming asparagus until you are ready to use it. Store in the fridge, standing upright in a small amount of water, or cover the ends with a wet paper towel, place in an open plastic bag and keep in your crisper.
Cook asparagus right away, as it will take on a wooden texture after 2 days.
You can boil, roast, grill, steam or sauté asparagus. Steaming is a good way to achieve optimal nutrition. Steamers designed for asparagus allow the spears to stand up. This lets the harder parts at the base receive more heat while the more tender part does not overcook. If using a microwave, limit the cooking time to as little as possible so as to not overcook asparagus. Asparagus lends itself well to seasonings and sauces such as olive oil, sea salt, garlic, turmeric, butter and lemon. Can be eaten raw in salads.