What is asparagus?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Asparagus is a member of the lily family. Native to the Mediterranean, asparagus is now grown all over the world. Surprisingly, there are about 300 varieties of asparagus, but only 20 are edible. Asparagus has fleshy spears topped with budlike, compact heads. It is harvested in the spring when it is 6 to 8 inches tall. Normally green or greenish purple in color, white asparagus is grown underground to inhibit the development of its chlorophyll content to provide a more delicate flavor and color for a unique culinary experience.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

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Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it...

's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.