Nutritional Value of Broccoli vs Asparagus: Which is Healthier?
| 3 min read
Those of us trying to maintain our healthy lifestyle – or trying to become healthier – know how important it is to aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Our bodies get vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and many nutrients each time we eat them. But drill down a little deeper and it is interesting to compare the nutritional value of certain foods. Take broccoli vs asparagus – which is healthier?
In the spring, both broccoli and asparagus are pretty abundant in local grocery stores and farmers markets; but can often be found year-round in large supermarkets. Both green vegetables get high marks for their nutritional content and other benefits, but broccoli and asparagus also have their differences. Let’s look at each vegetable independently:
This crunchy member of the cruciferous vegetable family has gotten a bad rap in the past from some pint-sized picky eaters, but it has lots of healthy benefits. Separated into thumb-sized florets, heads of raw broccoli are great served with your favorite dip, tossed into salads or piled into pita pockets with microgreens and hummus. It can be steamed, baked or flash-fried. Here are some other health perks:
- Broccoli is a good source of fiber, which helps prevent certain diseases.
- It is high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
- It is rich in antioxidants and plant compounds. One of these is sulforaphane, which is a plant compound that has been shown to reduce the risk for certain cancers.
- Broccoli contains nutrients that can help protect eye health.
These slender stalks are the harbingers of spring in sandy fields across parts of rural Michigan. Cold storage means local asparagus stays in purchase-ready condition well into summer. These fast-growing perennial vegetables have lots of nutritional benefits. Stalks can be cut and served raw in salads, or grilled, steamed or pan-fried. Some of the benefits include:
Asparagus is a low-calorie and low-fat food, but it’s high in fiber. Eating foods high in fiber is a key factor in feeling full after a meal and this helps with weight loss, studies have shown.
These stalks are a good source of Vitamin K. This vitamin is known as being important for keeping your bones healthy and blood clotting.
The B vitamins found in asparagus may act as mood-boosters. Cheers to vegetables that do double duty as bettering our mental health, too.
Broccoli vs. asparagus
Because both of these veggies are so healthy for you, the biggest differences come down to the different levels of nutrients these fiber-rich greens contain. If you are targeting a specific vitamin or nutrient to get more of into your diet, pick the vegetable that will give you the highest value per serving.
- See the nutrient breakdown for broccoli here.
- See the nutrient breakdown for asparagus here.
If you are trying to get more calcium, folate, potassium or Vitamin C in your diet, add more broccoli to your plate.
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