This green stem may look unassuming. But don’t be fooled. If you’re keen for a quick vitamin hit—that tastes amazing in everything from salad to stir-fry—this fibrous veg packs a serious nutritional punch. Top of the list in terms of its health-boosting benefits? You’ll gain plenty in the way of antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C, E and beta-carotene along with the minerals zinc, manganese and selenium. B vitamins are a key player in maintaining health and asparagus is a great source of B1 and B2 as well as folate, essential for helping cells regenerate. Pregnant women are encouraged to eat more of this health hero, because of its high levels of this B vitamin, which reduces the risk of birth defects. It also contains anti-cancer properties thanks to glutathione; a free-radical fighting antioxidant. Lastly, it’s a delicious vehicle for your favourite dip (who needs chips?) Pass the hummus and tzatziki, stat!
How to buy: Spears should be dark green, with compact braided heads.
So why not try these…
- Add a handful of finely sliced asparagus to your next AM omelette—fast, filling breakfast anyone?
- Wrap prosciutto around asparagus. Grill until lightly golden—
the ideal entree!
- Stack steamed asparagus on toast spread with light cream cheese for an instant protein hit.
Why it’s a winner
- Rich in vitamin C, it helps maintain a healthy immune system. Nice!
- The humble spear is bursting with vitamin E and selenium for healthy skin.
- It’s a great source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A for good eye health.