Is Asparagus Keto?

Introduction

One of the biggest questions that people considering Keto ask is, “Can I eat that?”  Some foods such as pasta and bread are obviously not allowed because of their high carb content, but what about vegetables such as asparagus?  The short answer is, yes, asparagus is Keto-friendly!  The following article will give you an overview of Keto and explain why asparagus is a great Keto choice as well as the health benefits that it can provide you.

Getting the best out of your asparagus

Asparagus can be a little expensive so it’s best to buy it when its on sale.  It’s also important to make every bit of your asparagus count and avoid food wastage whenever possible.  To avoid wilting asparagus choose one that has tightly closed buds up top and slice off the bottom inch when you get home.  You can then put your spears in water the same way that you would flowers, covering the tops with a plastic bag.  This will help keep them fresh.  

A lot of people get rid of the woody end of the asparagus by snapping it at it’s natural snapping point.  This is an effective way to get rid of the woody end’ however, it can result in up to half your asparagus spear being tossed in the trash.  In order to avoid this, cut off the bottom inch and then use a vegetable peeler to slice away any remaining hard woody sections of your asparagus spear.  It might take you a few minutes of extra work but it’ll save you money so if you have the time, it’s worth it.

What about canned asparagus?

Canned asparagus in water is nutritionally similar to fresh asparagus and it tends to be a lot cheaper; however, the money you save comes at the expense of texture and flavor.  Canned asparagus tends to be a mushy mess.  If you’ve ever cooked asparagus too long in boiling water you know what I’m talking about.  It’s also extremely flavourless compared to its fresh counterparts.  The mushy texture makes it difficult to pan fry or bake so you might have a hard time using it in your favorite Keto recipes.  If the only way you can afford asparagus is to eat the canned version, it won’t hurt your Keto but your taste buds might have something to say.

Keto asparagus

Asparagus is an extremely tasty food that works great on Keto.  It pairs well with dips and marinades that you can make using your favorite Keto oil.  If you spritz asparagus with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with some spices, you’ll have a healthy side dish that crisps up nicely in the oven and contributes some healthy fats to your Keto. You can also make a heavy cream sauce to pour over your asparagus spears or you could dip them in a homemade dressing.  

The best part about asparagus is that it’s simple to cook.  If you don’t feel like getting fancy with it, all you need to do is drop the prepared spears in a pot of boiling water with salt and cook for 1-3 minutes.  Simple, quick and very healthy.

Health benefits of asparagus

Not only is asparagus Keto-friendly, it also offers your body a host of essential vitamins and nutrients.  A full cup of asparagus contains 11% of your daily recommended fibre for the day.  Fibre is vital to your success on Keto and you should actively seek out foods that are high in fibre to make sure you’re getting enough to keep your digestive system working efficiently.

A cup of asparagus contains 20% of your daily vitamin A.  Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body’s immune system, reproduction and vision.  Asparagus also contains 12% of your daily vitamin C needs.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system as well as helping your body to heal from injury and create collagen.  

Since asparagus is also a good plant-based source of iron, the vitamin C in the asparagus works to help your body properly use that iron. There is 16% of your daily iron in a cup of asparagus and your body needs that iron in order to transport oxygen through your blood and into your muscles.  

A cup of asparagus contains almost 17% of your daily folate needs.  Folate is important for a number of reasons.  There are studies that show there may be a link between getting enough folate and lowering your risk of depression.  There is also a link between folate and healthy cell development and pregnancies.  Women are encouraged to take folic acid supplements while pregnant in order to reduce the risk of birth defects in their babies.

Asparagus is great for the health of your bones because it contains calcium, vitamin K, iron and phosphorus, all of which play a role in strong bones.  A diet that’s rich in asparagus might help prevent osteoporosis and other bone related diseases. 

Asparagus might also be good for the health of your heart.  People with diets high in fibre see less of a risk of developing heart conditions.  Potassium, which is found in asparagus, also plays a role in reducing your risk of heart disease because a diet that’s low in salt and higher in potassium can help lower your blood pressure.

Conclusion

Asparagus is a healthy, tasty vegetable that works well with your Keto.  It contains very little carbs and its versatile enough to support the additions of healthy fats in the form of dressings, sauces and oils.  Asparagus can be very easy to prepare which can save you time in the kitchen.  When you eat asparagus you can be certain that you’re giving your body a healthy dose of essential nutrients such as iron, folate, vitamin A and fibre. 

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