There is no doubt that asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse. It packs a decent amount of dietary fiber and protein, and is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium. Moreover, it is almost bereft in calories, with 100 grams of asparagus containing only 20 calories. To complement its nutritional properties, asparagus has a unique savoury taste, making it suitable to be eaten both raw and cooked. So this makes us wonder. Is it really safe to consume raw asparagus? This is what we are here to find out.
Cooking might boast of another advantage. Asparagus contains polyphenols, which have potent antioxidant capabilities. One study found that cooking asparagus increases its antioxidant activity by as much as 16%, and another study found that cooked asparagus has nearly three times the antioxidants than raw asparagus. While cooking enhances the activity of certain compounds like polyphenols, it may, however, reduce the content of other nutrients. A study found that cooking asparagus reduced the vitamin C content by 52%. Heat sensitive nutrients such as vitamin C lose their potency when exposed to high temperatures.
The bottomline is that yes, you can eat raw asparagus, as it is perfectly safe and healthy to consume. The vegetable is a healthy choice no matter how you consume it, and will provide you with a decent bunch of nutrients. For maximum health benefits, add other nutritious foods to accompany your plate of asparagus, and don’t worry about eating it raw.