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The Low-Calorie Wonder: Asparagus

Interesting Health Benefits of Asparagus (2 min 3 sec)

A fun and often surprising fact about asparagus involves its effect on the smell of urine. Many people notice a distinct, sulfurous odor in their urine shortly after eating asparagus. This phenomenon is due to asparagusic acid, a compound found uniquely in asparagus. When your body digests asparagus, it breaks down asparagusic acid into sulfur-containing byproducts. These byproducts are volatile, meaning they can vaporize and become airborne quickly at room temperature, leading to the characteristic odor when you go to the bathroom.

Interestingly, not everyone can smell this change in their urine. Genetic differences make some people more sensitive to these sulfur compounds, while others might not notice the odor at all. This sensitivity—or lack thereof—is determined by variations in specific genes related to olfactory receptors.

Why is Asparagus So Low in Calories?

Asparagus is composed mainly of water—about 93% of it is just water. This high water content significantly lowers its calorie count since water has zero calories. A serving of asparagus (about half a cup or 90 grams) contains only about 20 calories. Its low caloric density makes it an excellent choice for those on calorie-restricted diets or anyone looking to manage their weight effectively.

Nutritional Bounty in Asparagus

Despite its low caloric content, asparagus packs a nutritional punch. It’s a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals:

- Vitamins A, C, and E: These antioxidants help to protect your cells from damage, support immune function, and maintain skin health.

- Vitamin K: Crucial for blood clotting and bone health.

- Vitamin B6: Supports metabolism and brain function.

- Folate: Essential for DNA synthesis and very important during pregnancy for fetal development.

- Iron and Copper: Vital for blood health and energy production.

- Calcium: Important for bone strength and cardiovascular function.

- Protein and Fiber: Help in muscle repair and digestive health.

These nutrients make asparagus not only a low-calorie food but also one that supports a wide range of bodily functions and overall health.

Cooking Asparagus: Simple and Tasty Recipe

Garlic Roasted Asparagus


- 1 lb of fresh asparagus

- 2 tablespoons of olive oil

- 3 cloves of garlic, minced

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

- Optional: Grated Parmesan cheese or lemon zest


1. Preheat your oven: Set it to 425°F (220°C), allowing it to warm up while you prepare the asparagus.

2. Prepare the asparagus: Wash the spears and trim off the tough bottom part of the stalks. You can usually tell where the tough part ends by bending the spear until it snaps.

3. Season the asparagus: Place the trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the spears in a single layer to ensure even cooking.

4. Roast the asparagus: Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 12-15 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and lightly browned. Stir once halfway through to ensure even cooking.

5. Optional garnishes: Once done, you can sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese or lemon zest over the hot asparagus for added flavor.

6. Serve and enjoy: Serve immediately as a side dish or a healthy snack.

This garlic roasted asparagus recipe is straightforward, highlighting the natural flavors of the vegetable while enhancing it with the richness of garlic. It’s a perfect example of how easy it can be to include asparagus in your diet.

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a wealth of benefits with very few calories. Its diverse range of vitamins and minerals makes it an excellent addition to any meal, supporting everything from bone health to pregnancy. Try incorporating asparagus into your diet with the simple recipe above and enjoy both its health benefits and delicious taste!

Get After It!!



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