Nutrition & Health
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist Glenn Cardwell (see below) has provided this information. Asparagus has abundant nutrition packed into every spear, including a range of B group vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Add to that the emerging research that asparagus has bio-active compounds like antioxidants that help protect the body against future disease and you have a pretty impressive vegetable.
B group vitamins help the body convert fuel from the diet, such as carbohydrate, into energy. With sufficient B vitamins it is easier for us to be active and get the best out of each day. Asparagus provides the complement of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin and vitamin B6, all helping enzymes do their job in the normal metabolism of the body.
One B vitamin that is of particular interest is folate because of its powerful health benefits. For example, adequate folate during pregnancy helps Mum deliver a healthy baby (too little folate is linked to spinal deformities in babies). One serve of asparagus (3-4 spears) provides over 20% of the folate we need daily.
One serve of asparagus (3-4 spears) provides a quarter of our daily needs of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and helps in the absorption of iron in the diet.
Potassium and Sodium
A diet high in potassium and low in sodium (salt), helps keep a steady heartbeat and healthy blood pressure. Asparagus has the balance right: plenty of potassium and virtually no sodium.
Iron is a very important mineral for healthy blood. Although asparagus provides only a modest amount of iron, it is high in vitamin C so the body is better able to absorb the iron that asparagus and other vegetables provide.
Antioxidants and Bioactive Compounds
Asparagus provides some powerful antioxidants, such as rutin, carotenoids (e.g. beta-carotene), flavonoids, vitamin C, saponins and glutathione, which help keep our bodies healthy now and long into the future.
Spearheading health with asparagus report
Click here to download the Spearheading Health with Asparagus report.
This report was written by Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, Glenn Cardwell who has 32 years of experience in clinical and public health nutrition.
Glen presents on food, nutrition and healthy eating throughout Australia and internationally and was awarded Life Membership to Nutrition Australia for his work in nutrition education. You can find out more about Glenn’s work at www.glenncardwell.com.