When you are on the keto diet or a low-carb diet you are looking out for carbs in every food you consume. And, it is surprising to see how much carbs are in foods you would otherwise not expect to have any carbs! So, it is understandable that you want to check everything- even green vegetables, such as asparagus.
Asparagus is a versatile and tasty vegetable that goes well with many foods, especially meat. And, asparagus is a great decorative piece to any dish. However, can you have it on a low-carb or keto diet, and still stay in ketosis? To get answers to all your questions about asparagus on the keto diet, and more- keep on reading!
What is Asparagus?
Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus Asparagus. People also call it by the name garden asparagus, its folk name sparrow grass, or its scientific name Asparagus officialis. People are only using its young shoots as a spring vegetable.
Historically, people have been using it since ancient times- as early as 3000 BC in Egypt, Rome, Greece, as well as Spain and Syria. People use it for its distinct flavor, but also its medical uses- as a diuretic. Additionally, people are using it for its purported properties as an aphrodisiac.
The only parts of the plant that people consume are the young asparagus shoots. The reason for that is because once the buds start to fern out or open up, the shoots become woody fast. The typical use for this vegetable is as an appetizer or a side dish. Most commonly, it is boiled or grilled and served.
However, in different cuisines, asparagus is prepared differently. For example, in Asian-style cooking, it is often stir-fried with meat such as chicken or beef. Sometimes it is stir-fried with seafood such as shrimp. It can also be an ingredient in stews and soups, and today people also consume it raw in salads. People also pickle this vegetable to store it for up to a few years.
Asparagus Nutritional Facts
Below, you can see the nutritional information on 100 grams of boiled, salted asparagus. Keep in mind that the nutrition facts may change depending on what you add to it while cooking. (*)
Is asparagus healthy?
About 93% of this vegetable is water. That makes it low-calorie, but it doesn’t mean that it is low in nutrients. This tasty vegetable has many beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and phosphorus. It also contains small amounts of iron and zinc. Its health benefits come from the micronutrients it has.
This vegetable is rich in vitamin K, which is proven to be an anticancer, bone-forming, anti calcification, and insulin-sensitizing molecule. (*)
It also contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical molecules that prevent and help fight oxidative damage to cells. The chemicals that are responsible for oxidative damage are called free radicals. They cause oxidative stress which leads to oxidative damage to cells. Antioxidants prevent the damage by binding to the free radicals and disabling them from doing any cell damage.
The antioxidants in this tasty vegetable are vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione. It also contains various flavonoids and polyphenols. Specifically, asparagus is high in the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin. Scientists have done numerous research studies on humans, animals, and test tubes. They have determined that these molecules have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, as well as blood pressure-lowering properties. (*) (*) (*)
Purple asparagus has vibrant pigments that are called anthocyanins. They are powerful antioxidants, and they help prevent cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and heart attack. (*) (*) (*) (*)
Another nutrient that is present in this veggie is folate. Folate is an important nutrient for a healthy pregnancy, especially in the early stages. It helps produce DNA, form red blood cells, and it promotes healthy development and growth.
Can You Eat Asparagus On Keto Diet?
When you look into the table with nutritional information, you can see that this veggie is a low-calorie food. And, not only that, but asparagus is also low-sugar. In 100 grams of asparagus, there are 22 calories, 2.4 od protein, 0.22 grams of fat, 4.11 grams of total carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 2.11 grams of net carbs.
That means that it is easy to incorporate into everyone’s diet, including those on the keto diet or a low-carb diet.
Asparagus is a nutritious food that you can eat raw, as well as cooked in many different ways. It is flavourful, and it offers many health benefits.
So, to answer the question, can you have asparagus on the keto diet? The answer is YES, you can! It is a flavourful addition to a keto or a low-carb diet. It is hard to overeat it, so it will not kick you out of ketosis easily. It goes well as a side dish with meat, or you can have it in a salad.
For example, we recommend it as a side with our Keto Primavera Stuffed Chicken Breast, which it goes especially well with. You can also make a stir-fry with it, and you can also make a soup or a stew.
There are 2 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
Yes, it is! You can use it in many stir-fry recipes.
Asparagus is an ancient plant that people use even today. Only the young shoots of the plant are used as vegetables. It has a very distinct taste, yet it is very versatile in the kitchen. You can consume it raw or cooked. Some of the most popular ways to cook it are grilled, boiled, or stir-fried with meats and other veggies. You can also add it to stews or soups.
This veggie is nutritious and full of healthy nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, and flavonoids. They are strong antioxidants that prevent diseases such as cancer, inflammation, heart disease, and more.
The most significant part for keto and low-carb dieters is the number of carbs it contains. And, luckily this vegetable is low-carb, and it is also low-calorie. At only 2 grams of net carbs and 22 calories per 100 grams- it is ketogenic. Plus, it is a tasty addition to anyone’s diet.
See more: Is Eggplant Keto Friendly?