All about asparagus: How it affects human health, how to consume it and much more information in one place!

Asparagus is an excellent vegetable with great effects on our health.

What is important to know about him?

What are its species?

How to grow it?

In this article, you will learn how to prepare it correctly, where you can use it, and many other tips.

Asparagus, a luxurious delicacy vegetable

Asparagus is a plant that is grown primarily for its fleshy shoots. All shoots tend to be green unless covered. Some varieties also have a purple color. It is used in many dishes and is one of the easier vegetables to grow, especially for beginning gardeners.

Types of asparagus

There are many different varieties, different colors, tastes, textures and hardiness. We will mainly be interested in four basic types, which are green, white, purple and wild asparagus. The rest of the varieties are special types of asparagus that fall into one of four basic types.

Green asparagus

This is the most common type found in grocery stores around the world. This makes it one of the cheapest varieties around. It is bright green and becomes even brighter when cooked. It gets its green color from chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis. Green asparagus is one of the most nutritious types available . It contains vitamins B and C, potassium, beta-carotene, calcium and folic acid, to name just a few essential nutrients. In addition, it is richer in fiber. Higher fiber content can make it stiffer.

Green asparagus does not need to be peeled, but should be washed before use. Always cut off the white, woody end. You can prepare it in several different ways. It can be boiled, stewed, grilled, fried and so on. Green asparagus combines very well with other vegetables, ideally you can bake it in the oven.

Stalks of green aspen stacked on a plate with a lemon wedge placed next to it.

White asparagus

White asparagus is basically the same as green asparagus, but the harvesting process is different . It lacks color because it is grown in the dark, which prevents photosynthesis. It can be woodier and tougher than other varieties, so it’s best to peel it before cooking .

The extra attention required to grow it and the limited harvest time mean that white asparagus is much more expensive than green asparagus . Many people find white asparagus to be sweeter than the green variety, which is another reason people are willing to pay much more for it. It is rarer in America than in Europe, where it is considered a delicacy. It is usually sold in specialty stores or canned goods. White asparagus is one of the most delicious and delicate .

White asparagus is commonly combined with lemons, butter, mayonnaise, mustard and hollandaise sauce.

You can use it as a side dish or add it to salads, soups, pasta and many other dishes. Compared to green asparagus, it has thicker stems and therefore takes longer to cook than green asparagus.

White asparagus is not easy to blanch, grill or sauté, so it is steamed or boiled. It has a tougher skin due to the high fiber content and you need to peel at least 2/3 of the stem (measured from the bottom). In addition, the lower part of the stem needs to be trimmed.

White asparagus piled on a plate.

We have the best recipes for soups with asparagus in 6 variants. Get inspired!

Purple asparagus

Purple asparagus is different from other species, and not just because it’s purple. It also contains higher amounts of anthocyanins , an antioxidant that gives it its purple color. Anthocyanins are also found in berries and other similarly colored, richly pigmented foods and have a number of health benefits as well. It is a very mild variety due to its lower fiber content.

Purple asparagus has a slightly nuttier and sweeter taste than the green variety. Mainly because it contains about 20% more sugar . It was first developed in Italy, specifically in the Albenga region. Turns green when cooked. It is more commonly found in specialty stores or farmers markets.

Purple asparagus can be eaten raw and is a colorful addition to almost any salad. It gets along well with other vegetables, herbs and even fruits such as blueberries.

While purple asparagus loses its vibrant color when exposed to heat, it is a versatile vegetable that adds visual appeal to a variety of cooked dishes.

To preserve cooked asparagus, you can quickly blanch it and immediately place the stalks in ice water, or put them on the grill over high heat and watch them carefully. Even if it loses its color, lightly charred asparagus is delicious.

Purple asparagus stacked on top of itself.

Wild asparagus

The name of this variety of asparagus reveals where it is found, namely in the wild . It is more common near the coast, on dunes and cliffs, and in areas with increased humidity.

Wild asparagus is much longer and thinner than its cultivated relative. Its thorns are soft, which means you shouldn’t wear gloves when picking them. Like any asparagus, you should pick it in early spring . It has a milder taste. Although it looks very similar to green asparagus, do not eat it unless you are 100% sure it is wild asparagus.

Asparagus growing wild in nature.

Also worth mentioning is asparagus , which is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress. It is the basis of Ayurvedic medicine.

Why is it appropriate to include asparagus in our diet?

Consuming asparagus has several health benefits such as

It has many nutrients but few calories

Asparagus is low in calories but boasts an impressive nutritional profile, which you can find in the text below. It also contains small amounts of other micronutrients, including iron, zinc, and riboflavin. An excellent source of vitamin K, asparagus is also high in folic acid, a nutrient that is vital for a healthy pregnancy and many important processes in the body, including cell growth and DNA formation.

It is a good source of antioxidants

Asparagus is a good source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Improves digestion

Dietary fiber is essential for healthy digestion. Just half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7% of your daily requirement. Studies suggest that a diet high in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Asparagus is particularly high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stools and promotes regularity. It also contains a small amount of soluble fiber, which dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. Soluble fiber nourishes the friendly bacteria in the gut. Increasing the number of these beneficial bacteria plays a role in boosting the immune system and producing essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and K2.

Lowers blood pressure

Asparagus is a good source of potassium, providing 6% of your daily requirement in half a cup. Increasing potassium intake while reducing salt intake is an effective way to reduce high blood pressure. In addition, animal research has found that asparagus may contain an active substance that dilates blood vessels, thereby also lowering blood pressure.

It helps with weight loss

Asparagus has a number of properties that make it a food suitable for weight loss. It is low in calories, high in water and rich in fiber.

Other Health Benefits of Asparagus

  • purifies the blood
  • is a diuretic
  • supports kidney function and excretion of harmful substances
  • helps with skin problems, eczema or acne

Nutritional values of asparagus

In the following table, look at the comparison of nutritional values in 100 g of fresh white and green asparagus.

Nutritional values per 100 g White asparagus Asparagus green
Energy 15 calories 24 kcal
Proteins 1.5 g 2 g
Fat 0 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 2.3 g 3 g
Sugars 0.8 g 0 g
Fiber 1.5 g 3 g

Vitamins and minerals in asparagus

Look at the average amount of minerals and vitamins that asparagus contains.

Vitamins and minerals in 100 g of asparagus mg
Potassium 270
Phosphorus 70
Calcium 20
Magnesium 12
Sodium 3
Chlorine 40
Boron 0.12
Iron 1.1
Copper 0.14
Zinc 0.32
Manganese 0.3
Flour 0.045
Iodine 0.002
Vitamin C 31
Vitamin A 0.4
Vitamin B1 0.2
Vitamin B2 0.19
Vitamin B3 1
Vitamin B5 0.6
Vitamin B6 0.06
Vitamin B8 0.002
Vitamin B9 0.09
Vitamin E 0.8

Side effects of eating asparagus

For some people, eating asparagus has a strange side effect: strange-smelling urine. But it doesn’t happen to everyone. Most people notice the odor within two hours of eating the vegetable. Why do some people experience this phenomenon and others do not? There are two main reasons: On the one hand, the smell is a result of how the body’s digestive system and metabolism react to vegetables.

Asparagus contains asparacic acid, which releases sulfur compounds during digestion and is responsible for the peculiar smell of urine. But not everyone digests acid in a way that releases sulfur, so not everyone’s urine will smell.

How to buy and store asparagus properly?

The tips have the best flavor, so make sure they are firm and not wilted . Asparagus has a pleasant smell and the stems should be plump and firm. The color can be green, purple or white, depending on the variety. Fresh asparagus also cannot be bent, it will snap if you try . Make sure the color is not faded. A good grocer will refrigerate asparagus or store it upright in cold, fresh water.

Asparagus comes in several sizes , from thinner than a straw to thicker than your thumb. If you’re shopping at a farmer’s market, you may be able to ask the vendor to put together a bunch of stems of the same size, saving you the trouble.

Don’t forget to buy asparagus mainly in season at the best prices .

As for storage, it does not store very well, so it is best to consume it on the day you buy it.

If you plan to refrigerate it for a few days after you bring it home, treat it like a bouquet of flowers : Cut a small amount from the bottom of the stems with a sharp knife and place them in a large glass with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Change the water daily. This will help keep the stems firm and crunchy for several days until you’re ready to cook them.

You can also wrap the cut ends of the asparagus in a damp paper towel and store the stems in a plastic bag.

Green asparagus stored in the refrigerator in a jar and covered with a plastic bag.

Asparagus in kitchen preparation

How to prepare asparagus before consumption?

White asparagus should always be peeled before cooking, as its outer texture can be a bit tough and stringy. It’s really good that there isn’t even a bit of skin left on it that you can smell in the food. However, green asparagus should not be peeled. However, if it’s very strong, peeling it can help make it a bit more tender after cooking, but that’s more a matter of personal preference.

Wash the asparagus (especially the tips), then grab the bottom third of the asparagus with both hands and start breaking it. It breaks at the point where the woody part turns into the juicy part. Discard the woody part (or keep it for the stock), peel the lower part of the asparagus with a potato peeler (peel the whole white asparagus), put them all next to each other and cut them to the same length. Then tie them together with a string or rubber band.


Blanching helps asparagus retain its bright color and flavor after cooking.

  1. Fill a bowl with water and ice cubes and set aside.
  2. Immerse the asparagus in a pot of boiling water.
  3. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until soft (white asparagus will take longer to cook than green, about 5 – 8 minutes).
  4. Remove the asparagus with tongs or a slotted spoon and place directly into a bowl of ice water.
  5. Store in the fridge until needed, then simply drain and reheat in a pan with a little butter when ready to serve.

Grilling or roasting in a pan

Another way to prepare asparagus is to grill or fry it in a pan. Lightly charring the asparagus gives it a nutty flavor while retaining its distinct texture and liveliness. This method of preparation is especially suitable for green asparagus.

  1. Brush the asparagus tips with a little olive oil.
  2. Put the pan on a high flame or heat the grill.
  3. When the pan is hot or the grill is hot, add the asparagus and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Bake or grill for 1-2 minutes, turning occasionally, until the asparagus is tender.


Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest ways to prepare this tasty vegetable. Again, however, the method is mainly suitable for green asparagus.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Put the prepared asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes until tender.

For raw

Asparagus can also be eaten raw as part of a salad. He is very good to work with.

  1. Start by removing the tougher outer layer and discarding it.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, cut out long ribbons until you reach the center, then flip and repeat on the other side.

Steam cooking

Steaming asparagus is easy.

  1. Bring about 2.5 cm of well-salted water to a boil in a pot with a steaming insert and place the asparagus in the steamer in a single layer. (Work in batches if necessary, don’t try to cook too much at once.)
  2. Cover the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus.
  3. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon or tongs and wipe off excess water with a towel.

Check out our delicious asparagus recipes in one place. Great lunch inspiration!

Pickled asparagus

If you want to save asparagus for worse times, there is nothing better than canning it. So it will last for many months and taste absolutely delicious!


  • 1.5 kg of fresh asparagus with the ends cut off
  • sprigs of fresh dill
  • 2 and 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dill seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons of cane sugar
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic


  1. Cut the asparagus to match the length of whatever glasses you are using, leaving about half an inch from the top of the glass.
  2. Stack the asparagus in the jars as tightly as possible.
  3. Place fresh dill between the asparagus.
  4. To make the glaze, place all the marinade ingredients (vinegar, water, salt, dill, coriander, mustard seeds, allspice, cane sugar, and garlic) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour the marinade into sterilized jars, making sure you have some seeds and garlic in each jar, leaving half an inch above the top of the jars.
  7. Screw on the lids.
  8. Once the jars have cooled, refrigerate for at least a week before eating.
  9. It will last at least a month in the fridge.
  10. If you really want to freeze them for long-term storage, immediately after pouring the hot liquid and sealing the jars, put the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before relocating.
  12. Lasts up to a year.
Green asparagus pickled in jars.

Asparagus in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, only one species grows in the wild – asparagus, which can only be found in warmer areas, where it grows on dry slopes and in light bushes.

In our country, asparagus is grown in only one place – in Hostín near Vojkovic in Mělnick . Asparagus festivities are then held in Ivančice , but asparagus imported from Slovakia is sold there. Local restaurants offer asparagus menus and different specialties during these festivities, and you can also buy a variety of fresh shoots to take home. Cooking shows, concerts, exhibitions and a children’s program await you.

Asparagus was cultivated in the Czech lands more than a hundred years ago. During the First Republic, we exported it to all of Europe. After the war, its cultivation was completely canceled and in Mělnick its cultivation was not resumed until November 1989.

Growing asparagus

Asparagus belongs to the Asparagaceae family. The family Asparagaceae includes about 153 genera and about 2,500 flowering plants , including hyacinth and lily of the valley. The best type of soil for its growth is a deep, loose, light loam with plenty of organic matter.

It grows in places with moderate temperatures and remains dormant during the colder months. Asparagus requires cold temperatures in winter to develop properly. It also requires the right fertilizer and constant care over several seasons. A few species are also grown as ornamentals.

Most vegetables are annuals, meaning they need to be planted every year, while asparagus is one of the few perennials, meaning it comes back year after year.

Asparagus plants are either male or female . Most gardeners plant male asparagus because it is easier to harvest, grows in larger numbers, and produces larger, tastier shoots. Small yellow flowers appear on the plant in spring. And during the fall, the plant will grow red berries that are toxic to humans, so be sure not to eat them!

Our asparagus season starts at the end of April and lasts until the end of June.

Asparagus history and interesting facts

Asparagus has long been considered a delicacy around the world. So long that artefacts dating back to 3000 BC depict bunches of asparagus. It is difficult to determine where asparagus comes from, but it was first seen in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. Famous Greek physicians such as Hippocrates and Dioscorides used it to treat health problems. Legend has it that Caesar Augustus commissioned elite military units to grow and supply his favorite vegetables for him.

In 2018, the largest producers of asparagus were China, Peru, Mexico, Germany and Thailand. Germany holds an annual festival known as ” Spargelzeit ” to celebrate asparagus, especially the white variety. The Germans call it “white gold”. Stockton, California also hosts an annual festival known as the Stockton Festival . It began to be held in 1985 and is one of the largest in the world.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)