Asparagus Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  10 min read
asparagus benefits and side effects

What are asparagus benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are asparagus pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on asparagus benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about asparagus benefits and side effects. This will include asparagus benefits for your health and potential risks, asparagus water footprint and asparagus carbon footprint, asparagus sustainability, if asparagus is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if asparagus is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about asparagus benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Asparagus Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Asparagus health benefits may include:

Additionally, asparagus is…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 2,150 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of asparagus / 258 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of asparagus

Carbon footprint: low, 0.88 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh asparagus, a car driving equivalent of 2.25 miles or 3.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, asparagus production is relatively sustainable, no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as there are no pesticides, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Asparagus is…

Animals

Kills: none, asparagus production does not require any animals

Harms: none, asparagus production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from asparagus production as long as there are no toxic chemicals, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Asparagus is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers often experience exploitation, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Asparagus…

China produces most of the world’s asparagus followed by Peru, Mexico, United States (leading states are California, Michigan, Washington).

The world’s top asparagus exporting country is Mexico, followed by Peru, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Australia and Canada.

Asparagus uses include cooking, steaming, baking, roasting, sautéing, grilling, and more.

Yes! Asparagus is low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate and Vitamins A, C and K.

asparagus benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

asparagus is alkaline.

Is asparagus alkaline or acidic?

Asparagus is alkaline.

What is the pH level of asparagus?

Asparagus has a 10.0 pH level raw and 8.0 pH level cooked, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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asparagus is gluten free. asparagus benefits include fitting into a glute free diet.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is asparagus gluten free?

Yes, asparagus is gluten free. Asparagus does not contain gluten. Asparagus is a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

asparagus is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is asparagus a common food allergen?

No, asparagus is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to asparagus but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

asparagus is a high-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is asparagus FODMAP friendly?

No. Asparagus is a high-FODMAP food so you should limit or eliminate it on a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Foods.

asparagus has a low water footprint.

asparagus benefits include a low water footprint

Does asparagus have a high or low water footprint?

Asparagus has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of asparagus?

It takes 2,150 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of asparagus / 258 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of asparagus.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

asparagus has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does asparagus have a high or low carbon footprint?

Asparagus has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of asparagus?

It takes around 0.88 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of asparagus, a car driving equivalent of 2.25 miles or 3.5 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

asparagus is sustainable. asparagus benefits include being relatively sustainable overall.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is asparagus eco friendly and sustainable?

Asparagus production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

asparagus is vegan. asparagus benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is asparagus vegan?

Yes, asparagus is vegan. Asparagus is a vegetable and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

asparagus may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is asparagus a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with asparagus production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Workers can experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

This post was all about asparagus benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Asparagus, raw – FoodData Central

Asparagus | Food and Nutrition Information Center | NAL | USDA

Province of British Columbia – Government of B.C.

Asparagus | HealthySD.gov

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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