Here in Ontario, the month of May typically means the arrival of fresh, local asparagus. It’s something I always look forward to as asparagus is one of my favourite veggies, and I imagine a lot of other folks can relate.
The asparagus season is a brief one, and even more so this year. The frost we received earlier this month was devastating for farmers in all areas of the ag sector, but the vegetable industry was hit hard, meaning there are limited amounts of this delightful vegetable. In addition to the frost, farmers were and are still struggling to prepare and harvest crops as a result of the COVID-19 complications impacting the arrival of seasonal workers, so needless to say, this year’s asparagus season isn’t comparable to past, better years.
I wanted to do some research about asparagus regarding its health benefits in hopes of encouraging more of us to support our local farmers and purchase asparagus if and when we see it. This information comes from Healthline.
Asparagus is packed with nutrients. “In fact, just half a cup (90 grams) of cooked asparagus contains (1):
- Calories: 20
- Protein: 2.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 57% of the RDI
- Folate: 34% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Phosphorous: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 7% of the RDI,” Healthline says.
“Asparagus is a good source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce your risk of chronic disease.
“As a good source of fiber, asparagus promotes regularity and digestive health and may help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
“Asparagus contains potassium, a mineral that can help lower high blood pressure. In addition, animal research has found that asparagus may contain an active compound that dilates blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure,” says Healthline.
Be sure to take a look at the linked Healthline website for even more information about this beneficial veggie, and try to buy and support local when purchasing asparagus!