Lifestyle Medicine: Asparagus

This month we’ll take a closer look at a seasonal favorite of mine: ASPARAGUS!

This nutritional superstar is both HIGH in nutrients but LOW in calories, and is a Michigan native plant. Wild asparagus can be found all throughout the state this time of year, but Oceana County holds the official title of “Asparagus Capitol of the World”! It’s a farmers market favorite of mine because of its superb taste and market availability, as well as offering a high content of folate, Vitamins A and C and K, as well as fiber. It also contains protein, iron and zinc. All for just 20 calories per ½ cup! Although you can certainly eat it raw, asparagus is one of a handful of foods (like broccoli) that actually have an increased nutrient availability if it is cooked.

I love grilled and roasted vegetables, and grilled asparagus is a family favorite of ours. There are rarely any leftovers! Roasted asparagus is a wonderful side dish on its own, but can also be added to salads, stirfrys, pasta dishes or risotto, making it an extremely versatile veggie.

  1. For roasting, you’ll start by preheating the oven to 425° while you prep the asparagus. Rinse your asparagus well and trim off the tough portion of the stalk at the bottom.
  2. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or any seasoning of your choice). Spread out the asparagus spears into a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  3. After roasting, remove from the oven and add your favorite toppings. I love a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle with red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, balsamic reduction or parmesan cheese.