Diet: asparagus - low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals

Diet: asparagus - low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals

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Green asparagus contains even more vitamin C and provitamin A than white

The asparagus season in Germany started a few weeks ago. Most vegetables in this country are extremely popular. It not only scores with the delicious taste, but also with its positive effects on health due to the vitamins and minerals it contains. In addition, the asparagus spears are extremely low in calories.

Due to the lack of workers, the asparagus harvest started somewhat bumpy this year. However, since the demand from the catering trade is almost completely eliminated, consumers do not have to worry about insufficient domestic asparagus in times of the corona pandemic. This is indicated by the Bremen Consumer Center in a current announcement. The asparagus season traditionally ends on June 24th, St. John's Day.

Health benefits

Asparagus is about 93 percent water and is therefore extremely low in calories. Nevertheless, the sticks are rich in potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, B vitamins and phytochemicals. Green asparagus contains even more vitamin C and provitamin A compared to white.

The Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) points out further health benefits of asparagus on its website:

  • Asparagus stays in the stomach for a relatively long time and thus makes you feel full for a long time.
  • Asparagus is easily digestible and digestible even for sensitive stomachs.
  • The fiber and secondary plant substances (saponins) in the asparagus stimulate digestion and thus promote healthy bowel function.
  • The asparagine protein component in asparagus stimulates the kidneys and promotes urine output.

The typical tasty taste comes from the sulfur compounds it contains.

People with gout should be cautious

Despite the health benefits, the noble vegetables can sometimes be harmful for some people. So people who suffer from gout should be more reluctant to use asparagus.

According to the BZfE, these patients should generally not ingest more than 500 mg of uric acid per day (or 3,000 mg per week) with food. A "side dish portion" (200 g) asparagus contains 48 mg uric acid and is usually completely unproblematic for these people.

But a "gourmet portion" (500 g), which is often served on the plate in the asparagus season, already accounts for 125 mg of uric acid. Together with side dishes and other foods that are consumed throughout the day, the value quickly exceeds.

Caution should also be exercised for kidney sufferers: You should coordinate asparagus consumption with your doctor, as the stimulating effect on kidney activity can have a negative impact on these people.

And those who suffer from increased blood fat levels should eat asparagus without high-fat sauces, ideally as a salad or combined with low-fat dishes.

Difference between white and green asparagus

As the Bremen Consumer Center explains, the botanical name is Asparagus officinalis.

White asparagus that grows underground turns purple when it comes in contact with sunlight. That is why it is harvested just before the poles break through the earth.

Green asparagus, on the other hand, grows above ground and contains chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color.

Classification is no longer mandatory

The division into classes Extra, I and II are no longer mandatory, but it is still possible voluntarily.

Sorting by class depends on the head strength, the color of the heads for white asparagus and the white portion of the stem for green asparagus. The shape of the bar and the sorting according to bar thickness also play a role.

According to the experts, it is mandatory to state the country of origin for both loose and packaged asparagus.

Best prepared fresh

"Asparagus tastes best when it is processed as freshly as possible," said Sonja Pannenbecker, consultant for food and nutrition at the Bremen Consumer Center.

"That is why it is advisable to buy regionally grown asparagus - then it is not a long way to go and this also protects the climate," explains the expert.

If the poles are only used later, they should best be wrapped in damp towels in the refrigerator. This way they stay fresh for a day or two.

The asparagus should be washed thoroughly before preparation and then peeled from the head down with a peeler. Green asparagus does not have to be peeled.

Because the end piece is often woody, it should be shortened by about one to three centimeters. Add a little salt and a pinch of sugar to the cooking water, this will alleviate the bitter taste.

A classic in this country is bite-proof asparagus with melted butter. Parsley potatoes and hollandaise sauce are usually added to the plate. But there are many more delicious asparagus recipes on the Internet. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

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