Did you know that May is National Asparagus Month? Asparagus is an interesting vegetable for many reasons. First, you’d be surprised to know that it’s actually part of the Lily family. That’s right — it’s related to onions, leeks, and garlic. Next, most of us are familiar with that smell of pungent urine after we eat asparagus. Not sure why this is? Let’s take a look at what makes asparagus do this to our bodies and some other little known facts about this springtime-sprouting veggie.
Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell
Just like its family members, onions and garlic, asparagus has a sulphur-containing compound called mercaptan. When your body breaks down this compound, it releases by-products that cause the strange smell. Did you know that mercaptan is also found in rotten eggs? (It’s all making sense now.) But another interesting fact is that only some people experience this smelly effect. People that do not have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan will not have stinky urine.
Other Fun Facts About Asparagus:
- Asparagus contains phytonutrients, called saponins, that provide many health benefits. They help fight cancer, maintain blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and more. Asparagus contains no fat or cholesterol.
- Asparagus contains minerals and amino acids that protect the liver from toxins. And because it contains enzymes that help break down alcohol, you can eat some before you drink to reduce the possibility of a hangover.
- About ninety percent of our asparagus supply in the United States comes from Peru, the largest exporter of asparagus in the world.
- Because asparagus is a perennial plant, it is the gift that keeps on giving. You only have to plant it once and it’ll keep sprouting year after year.
What are the health benefits of other fruits and vegetables? Read our blog about celery and cherries. You can also receive automatic updates of our blogs by liking Hospitality Health ER Galveston’s Facebook page.