08 July, 2011
Is Asparagus High in Vitamin K?
Asparagus is a flowering perennial plant that produces long, slender, edible shoots during the spring and early summer. In optimal conditions, these shoots can grow up to 10 inches in 24 hours, according to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. Asparagus provides a wide variety of nutrients, and is a moderately high source of vitamin K.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for adult males, and 90 micrograms for adult females, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Vitamin K Content
A 1 cup serving of raw asparagus provides about 55.7 micrograms of vitamin K, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. This is about 46.4 percent of the daily recommended intake for adult men, and about 61.8 percent of the recommendation for adult women.
Spinach, one of the most abundant sources of vitamin K, contains 2.6 times the amount of this vitamin as asparagus -- about 144.9 micrograms per 1 cup serving, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Kale, an even richer vitamin K source, contains about 547.4 micrograms per cup, more than 9.8 times the content of asparagus. Broccoli contains about 1.6 times the vitamin K content, or 92.5 micrograms per cup. However, asparagus compares favorably to avocados, another source of vitamin K. A 1 cup serving of avocado contains about 48.3 micrograms of this vitamin. It is also a better source than strawberries, which contain only 3.7 micrograms per cup.
Vitamin K is necessary for preventing osteoporosis, a condition marked by loss of bone density. It helps your bones absorb and use calcium, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitamin K also aids in the production of prothrombin, a substance that aids in blood clotting. This helps speed scabbing and healing of wounds.
Trim asparagus shoots about 3 to 4 inches from the tips to remove the woody lower stalk. Boil in water for four to six minutes, depending on the thickness of the shoots. Thinner shoots, about the diameter of a pencil, become tender more quickly than thicker shoots, which can be up to 1/3 inch in diameter. Alternately, place shoots in the vegetable tray of a steamer, and steam for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender.
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