Asparagus are rich in a polyphenol called rutin that is protective to heart health. But how you select your asparagus can make a difference to how much bang for your buck you are getting. Scientists have found that rutin levels are massively increased as the shoots grow with longer stems having twice the amount as shorter ones. And since rutin is concentrated in the skins of the stalks opt for longer, skinnier shoots to reap more antioxidant power.
It has also been shown that cooking asparagus (by any means) does not affect it’s antioxidant status – a rare find. But, asparagus are also a favoured food of our good bacteria. They thrive on it’s special fibre known as inulin. However inulin levels are halved through cooking so try adding some raw asparagus to salads or crudités as another way of eating this nutritional vegetable.