Our asparagus nutrition page offers a more detailed look at the nutritional value and corresponding health benefits of eating asparagus, along with top tips, interesting snippets and our favourite recipes that feature asparagus.
Our printable asparagus nutrition vegetable chart makes a great at a glance guide, stick it in a notebook, or to the front of your fridge - it might inspire you when you look inside and don't know what to do with what's lurking in your vegetable drawer!
There are several varieties of asparagus including white, green, purple and green, wild, and purple tipped. The all green variety has the most flavour.
Asparagus is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, A, C, E and K, calcium, choline, magnesium, pantothenic acid, and zinc.
It is a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium.
It also contains chromium and the amino acid asparagine.
Asparagus contains compounds called purines which, in excessive amounts, can cause problems for some people. If you have kidney stones or suffer with gout, it would probably be wise to limit your intake of asparagus or avoid it all together.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable with the British asparagus season running from St George's Day on April 23rd to Midsummer's Day on June 21st.
Always wash your asparagus to remove any gritty particles left from the growing process.
Asparagus is best served at its absolute freshest, but if you plan on keeping it for a few days the best thing you can do is to pop it, spears up, in a pot of water in the fridge.
Alternatively, with a little preparation to prevent the enzymes degrading, you can freeze it:
Asparagus is a perennial (it will keep on growing for many years) which requires a dedicated and quite spacious bed.
It is possible to grow asparagus from seed, but it is better to buy and plant one or two year old crowns. These are much more expensive than growing from seed, but they will save you years of waiting time, as it takes 3 years before your asparagus is ready to be harvested.
Growing your own asparagus might seem like an extravagance, particularly if space is at a premium in your garden, but strong, mature plants will give you 5 - 8 weeks of fresh, delicious and highly nutritious spears. Given how expensive it is to buy in the shops, it might well be worth the time and effort.
Tomatoes and asparagus are great companion plants as tomatoes repel asparagus beetles and asparagus repels certain types of nemotodes that affect tomato roots.