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When compared to all vegetables, asparagus contains the highest percentage of folate in addition to numerous vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for any diet. You are probably familiar with green asparagus, but you can find white asparagus as well. Both contain healthy nutrients, but green asparagus contains higher amounts.
A half-cup serving -- approximately five spears -- of cooked asparagus will provide you with 20 calories. Asparagus does not contain any cholesterol and has minimal fat, just 0.20 grams per serving. The majority of calories in asparagus are made up of carbohydrates, at 3.7 grams. Asparagus, a good source of dietary fiber, provides 3 grams per serving. Asparagus also provides 2.16 grams of protein. White asparagus, which is grown with soil covering it to prevent exposure to sunlight, contains lower amounts of protein when compared to green asparagus. It contains less than 2 grams per 100 grams of edible portions, according to the California Asparagus Commission.
- A half-cup serving -- approximately five spears -- of cooked asparagus will provide you with 20 calories.
- Asparagus does not contain any cholesterol and has minimal fat, just 0.20 grams per serving.
What Vitamins Are in Cauliflower?
Folate is a B vitamin that aids in the production of new cells. An adequate folate intake is crucial for women who plan to become pregnant or are currently pregnant. A lack of folate in pregnancy increases your baby's risk of being born with a neural tube defect. Asparagus provides 34 percent, or 134 micrograms, of your daily needs for folate per serving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women need at least 400 micrograms of folate per day 2. If you do not consume enough folate in your diet, you will need to take a supplement.
- Folate is a B vitamin that aids in the production of new cells.
- An adequate folate intake is crucial for women who plan to become pregnant or are currently pregnant.
Asparagus also contains other key nutrients your body needs daily. It is a good source of potassium, providing 400 milligrams per serving, and a significant source of thiamin and vitamin B-6, providing at least 10 percent or more of your daily needs. White asparagus, while still a healthy option, has lower amounts of thiamin. Another beneficial nutrient, rutin, which aids in the strengthening of your capillary walls, is found in asparagus, as is glutathione, an antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage.
- Asparagus also contains other key nutrients your body needs daily.
- Another beneficial nutrient, rutin, which aids in the strengthening of your capillary walls, is found in asparagus, as is glutathione, an antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage.
Ways to Enjoy Asparagus
What Vitamins Are in Lettuce?
Enjoy versatile asparagus steamed in the microwave or on the stove top. Asparagus can also be baked in the oven or grilled. Even raw asparagus can be a tasty treat. Try adding asparagus tips to your cheese and crackers for an appetizing snack. Other creative ways to enjoy asparagus are by adding it to omelets, soups, pasta dishes or salads.
- Enjoy versatile asparagus steamed in the microwave or on the stove top.
- Even raw asparagus can be a tasty treat.
What Vitamins Are in Cauliflower?
What Vitamins Are in Lettuce?
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What Vitamins Do Vegetables Contain?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Asparagus, Cooked, Boiled, Drained
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Facts About Folic Acid
- Produce for Better Health Foundation: Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Asparagus
- Chauhan NS, Sharma V, Dixit VK, Thakur M. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:868062. doi:10.1155/2014/868062
- Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Holscher HD. Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes. 2017;8(2):172-184. doi:10.1080/19490976.2017.1290756
- Chianese R, Coccurello R, Viggiano A, et al. Impact of dietary fats on brain functions. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2018;16(7):1059-1085. doi:10.2174/1570159X15666171017102547
- Potassium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated March 2, 2020.
- Kurutas EB. The importance of antioxidants which play the role in cellular response against oxidative/nitrosative stress: Current state. Nutr J. 2016;15(1):71. doi:10.1186/s12937-016-0186-5
- Nishimura M, Ohkawara T, Kagami-Katsuyama H, Sato H, Nishihira J. Improvement of blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and lipid profile by the intake of powdered asparagus (Lú Sŭn) bottom-stems and cladophylls. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013;3(4):250-5. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.119728
- Barua S, Kuizon S, Junaid MA. Folic acid supplementation in pregnancy and implications in health and disease. J Biomed Sci. 2014;21:77. doi:10.1186/s12929-014-0077-z
- Ruzzo EK, Capo-Chichi JM, Ben-Zeev B, et al. Deficiency of asparagine synthetase causes congenital microcephaly and a progressive form of encephalopathy. Neuron. 2013;80(2):429-41. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.013
- Pasqualetti V, Altomare A, Guarino MP, et al. Antioxidant activity of inulin and its role in the prevention of human colonic muscle cell impairment induced by lipopolysaccharide mucosal exposure. PLoS One. 2014;9(5):e98031. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098031
- Bosscher D, Van Loo J, Franck A. Inulin and oligofructose as prebiotics in the prevention of intestinal infections and diseases. Nutr Res Rev. 2006;19(2):216-26. doi:10.1017/s0954422407249686
- Worm M, Sturm G, Kleine-Tebbe J, et al. New trends in anaphylaxis. Allergo J Int. 2017;26(8):295-300. doi:10.1007/s40629-017-0042-y
Rebecca Slayton is a Registered Dietitian and has worked in the nutrition field since 2006. Slayton received the 2005 Betty Feezor Scholarship Award for her studies. She holds a Master of Science in food and nutrition from East Carolina University.