Asparagus is a highly nutritious vegetable, packed with folic acid and supplying more of this nutrient per serving than many other vegetables. Easy to prepare on the stove or grill, a one cup serving of raw asparagus provides 3 g of fiber, has only 27 calories and is virtually fat-free, making it a healthy choice.
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Folic acid, also known as folate or folacin, is a water soluble B vitamin that is essential to cell reproduction. Folic acid is especially important for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive a baby. Pregnant women should get 600 micrograms of folic acid per day, according to the March of Dimes. A 5.3 oz serving of asparagus provides 60 percent of the recommended daily value of folacin.
Potassium is a mineral that supports the function of all cells and tissues in your body. As an electrolyte, it helps to maintain the fluid balance inside of cells and their surrounding environment. Normal potassium levels are crucial to the activity of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. A 5.3 oz serving of asparagus provides 400 of the 4,700 daily recommendation of potassium.
Other B Vitamins
The B vitamins are a group of water soluble vitamins that are important for such things as energy metabolism and cellular division. Besides folic acid, a 5.3 oz serving of asparagus offers 15 percent of the recommended daily value of thiamin, 10 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6, and 6 percent of the recommended daily value of riboflavin and niacin.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that aids in the synthesis of certain proteins in your body. It helps make the connective tissue protein known as collagen. This protein is found in the skin and other connective tissues and helps to hold sheets of cells together. Vitamin C is also used in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. A 5.3 oz serving of asparagus provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
Vitamin A contributes to the regulation of gene expression and to healthy vision. It is also important in contributing to the health and function of the immune system and normal development of red blood cells. A 5.3 oz serving of asparagus contributes 8 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A.