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Six Bone Healthy Nutrients In Every Bite

asparagus-osteoporosis

Some vegetables can be bland and boring. But believe me, this certainly doesn’t apply to one of my favorite alkalizing vegetables. It not only tastes delicious. As you’ll find out, it’s a true nutritional powerhouse, rich in no less than six Foundation Supplements. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, prebiotics for digestive health, and plenty of potassium.

I’m referring to the often forgotten asparagus. So let’s take a look at the nutrients it contains.

A Vitamin K Superstar

In ‘Vitamin K: Your Osteoporosis Knight in Shining Armor’, I write about the importance of Vitamin K and how it works synergistically with vitamin D to regulate the production of osteoclasts, as well as its role in preventing fractures.

Just one cup of asparagus gives you almost 70 percent of the daily RDA for this nutrient, as K1.

And asparagus have…

More Foundation Supplements!

If you read the Save Our Bones Program, you know that the Foundation Supplements are nutrients critical to your bone health. And asparagus is a very good source of the following:

  • B vitamins are a group of vitamins that have a broad scope of action. They give you energy, improve mental function, and help you control stress – to mention a few. As it relates to bone health in particular, asparagus contain the following potent combination of B vitamins listed in the Program as Foundation Supplements: B1, B2, and Folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid).
  • Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that’s crucial for the production of collagen, a protein that maintains – among other things – healthy bones and cartilage.
    Copper, a multi-tasking mineral present in an enzyme that produces collagen and elastin.
  • Vitamin D, which among many other important functions, plays a crucial role in preventing falls and fractures. You can read more on this in “The Latest News on Vitamin D: What Does It Mean for You?”

The Glutathione Connection

Asparagus also contains glutathione, known as the Master Antioxidant. It consists of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. This power-packed compound protects against the damage caused by free radicals and helps detoxify the liver. Ensuring liver health is a good way to protect your bones as poor liver function has been connected to osteoporosis.1

But there’s more to glutathione. One study found that it can increase the formation of osteoblasts and inhibit osteoclast production and overactivity without harming the osteoclast cells.2

Tips for Storing Asparagus

Of course it’s always important to store produce properly and consume it as quickly as possible, but this may be even more true for asparagus. When a vegetable is picked, its metabolic activity does not automatically stop. The “respiration rate” of a vegetable takes into account how quickly starches and sugars break down and the speed at which carbon dioxide is released.

In comparison with other vegetables, asparagus has a high respiration rate, which means that it’s more highly perishable – it can quickly lose nutrients, wrinkle, and harden if not handled properly.3

The best way to preserve fresh asparagus is to wrap both ends of each stalk with a damp cloth or paper towel before storing them in the refrigerator. And for maximum nutrient retention, asparagus should be eaten within two days.

Below’s my Power of Six Soup recipe. It’s deliciously alkalizing, and just the thing for a cold winter night.

Power of Six Soup Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Instructions

1 dozen asparagus spears
2 carrots, sliced
2 small onions, sliced
5 cups water (adjust to achieve desired thickness)
1 cup milk substitute
2 teaspoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon vegetarian butter
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In large pot boil the asparagus and carrots in enough salted water to cover them for twenty minutes or so.

In a saucepan, sauté onions in vegetarian butter till slightly browned, for about 10 minutes.

Add the asparagus and carrots removed from salted water (keep stock in pot) and cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring constantly.

Mix in the flour dissolved in a little water to get a pasty texture and heat for 5 more minutes.

Transfer the asparagus mixture into the soup pot with the stock, add the water, and boil for approximately 20 minutes.

Pass through a sieve, return to pot, and add the milk substitute. Heat for a few more minutes, and enjoy!

References

1 Wariaghli G, Mounach A, et al. “Osteoporosis in chronic liver disease: a case-control study.” Rheumatology International, Vol. 30, No. 7. May 2010.
2 Bilezikian L P, Raisz L G, Martin T J. Principles of Bone Biology. Second Edition. Academic Press. 2002.
3 Albanese D, Russo L, Cinquanta L et al. “Physical and chemical changes in minimally processed green asparagus during cold-storage.” Food Chemistry Volume 101, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 274-280. 2007.

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62 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Tamera Price May 18, 2013, 11:30 pm

    I Personally, Have Osteoporosis From Living With Celiac Disease For 37 Years Without Knowing That I Had It. I Had A Long List Of Auto-immune Diseases That I Have Gotten Under Control… But I Was Still Sick. When My Doctor Told Me Wednesday, That I Had Osteoporosis… She Started Recommending Drugs. I Cut Her Off And Said That I Was Not Going To Be Doing Any Of Those. She SNAPPED At Me And Told Me That I Have To. That I Had The Bones Of An 80 YO. She Said That She Would Start The Process For Getting Me On Prolia. I Asked For More Information First And She Send Me Home With An Apt. And A Brochure. I Cried… I Am Doing So Much Better. She Did Not Have A DEXA To Compare It Too. I Know That I My Body Has Been Healing Naturally. My Sciatica Has Even Gone Away. My Hand XRays Looked Better.. And I Have Been Years Without Fractures. I Know I Have Been Absorbing … I Have Gained Weight. She Also Did Not Give Me Any Papers.. Or Any Numbers… I Had No Idea What My Count Is. And The Information She Sent Me Home With Was All In Spanish. I Know She Did That On Purpose. I Did My Own Research,Just To Build My Case. I Still Produce Estrogen…. My Is From Celiac That Is Under Control. I Avoid All Grains Now. I Am Mostly Paleo/ Raw…. I Have Been Mostly Pain-Free For A While. I Eat Most Only GMO-FREE VERIFIED FOODS. I Have So Many Food Allergies And Chemical & Drug Allergies… That I Am So Very Careful. I Cook Most Everything From Scratch. I Eat Raw Super Foods… I Know My Body Is Healing… That Is All I Have Been Focusing On For Years. I Have Avoided Doctors Because Of All This. I Have Gotten So Much In Remission Without Meds… I Looked Up The Meds And Found That No One Should Take It With My Condition… Absorption Issues And Food/Chemical/Drug Allergies… SO, DOES SHE NOT READ? She Is Not Even My Doctor, Doctor… I Just Went To Her For A PAP. I Left And Scheduled An Apt With An Ortho Who I Was Told Would Honor Me Wanting To Heal This Naturally. Then I Cancelled My Apt With The WHOHA DOC Who Was Trying To Finish Me Off. THOSE SHOTS ARE $825 Each. How Much Does She Get From That? Sorry, I Am Venting. I Am Just Upset That I Have To Wait A Few Days To Call And Give Her A Piece Of My Mind…LOL

  2. Dara May 16, 2013, 7:43 pm

    I am allergic to eggs. Do you know a good substitute for the custard-like consistenacy? I use black beans or apple sauce for brownies or baked goods, but getting the creaminess for custard is missing. Thank you in advance.
    Dara

    • Tamera Price May 18, 2013, 11:32 pm

      Apple Sauce Is What A Lot Of Vegans Use For Baking. BabyCakes Make A Great Vegan & Gluten-Free Cook Book. There Are A Few Egg-Free Egg Substitutes In The Baking Section. I Think ENERGY Is The Brand I Saw. I Can Look Again.

  3. Noreen Delany March 17, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Trying to follow the programme Vivian but I am on long term Warfarin and so must restrict the amount of vitiam K that I can have each day. Green beans, peas and all root veg are ok but the most greens can only be eaten in very small quantities. Any suggestions would be very welcome

  4. Cathy August 21, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    I’ve been reading a lot lately about Glutathione and the Protandim connection and I’m curious to know your thoughts about Protandim.

  5. Mauricio May 7, 2012, 1:21 am

    Debarati Banerjee Posted on wow thanks for shairng this secret of a true genius! He was so simple a man..so good at heart..no comparisons with him can be justifiable..simply a gem of a person!

  6. Dolores March 12, 2012, 9:38 am

    I have very severe leg cramps at night, especially in my inner thighs. I
    take a massive dose of Natural Calm magnesium each night and it controls
    the cramps very well. I am wondering if the magnesium is causing any harm
    to my bones as I recently fell and fractured my pelvis. I have tried muscle relaxers and they do not stop the unbearable leg cramps or spasms. Please let me know if I am doing harm to myself with the magnesium. I had stopped Actonel a year ago.
    Thank you.

  7. juvy February 15, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Thank you my dear Vivian for your Asparagus soup recipe. I love totry it.

    Love from,

    Juvy

  8. Selma February 13, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Thanks Vivian,
    My cousin prepared asparagus soup and it was delicious.
    I appreciate your recipe which I will make since you told me the high
    nutritional value of it.
    Selma

  9. Lupe Marroquin February 12, 2012, 11:14 pm

    HI Vivian,
    I have been following recipes and diet for six months. I have gotten my bone density results and they were not all that encouraging. I have lost more bone density. Although discouraged, I don’t want to give it up. My question is, how long before you see any changes? Please respond.
    Thank you!
    Still Trying,
    Lupe

    • Valentyna April 24, 2014, 11:48 am

      It would be nice to know the answer to the question asked by Lupe :” My question is, how long before you see any changes? “

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 24, 2014, 11:57 am

        Valentyna, it’s impossible to say precisely how long you need to follow the Program before changes occur, or just what those changes will be! It’s important to remember that there’s more to bone density than test scores, however – if you’r following the pH-diet and exercise routine as described in the Program, chances are your bones are doing fine. :)

  10. Lupe Marroquin February 12, 2012, 11:06 pm

    There was once a recipe fro carrot cake. Does anyone know how I can get it? My birthday is coming up and my daughter wanted to make me the cake thanks!!

  11. victoria m. beronilla February 6, 2012, 2:10 am

    Dear Vivian
    I love asparagus but as one of the lady said that it makes ur gout worse n thats one reason why i seldom buy asparagus now. i’m going to try the soup too but you mentioned b4 that carrageenan is not good for your health and you always recommend almond milk which has carrageenan in it. Since you mention carrageenan, everytime i buy milk substitute i always look on the ingredients if there’s carrageenan. so i always buy for milk substitute is the brown rice milk. i don’t how much nutrient i get in it but thats my milk. even any soy milk there’s carrageenan in it too’
    thank you, thank you so much for all the good information you give us.

    • Tamera Price May 18, 2013, 11:37 pm

      You Can Make Almond Milk From Almond Butter And Water In A Blender. :) Most Canned Coconut Milk Does Not Have Carrageenan In It. Soy, If You Have Any Thyroid Issues Or Issues With Hormones Is Not The Best Since It Is A Phyto-Estrogen. Soy Is Also A Huge GMO Crop… EEK!

  12. LynnCS February 4, 2012, 1:34 am

    Vivian. Maybe you answered this, but I wanted to ask it because I had a bad experience. I wondered if you have any experience eating it raw? I put it in my salad and have had a lot of problems since. Maybe it wasn’t the asparagus, but it is the only thing I did differently.

  13. Flavia Adams February 3, 2012, 9:12 am

    Your recipe for asparagus surprised me. I avoid using salt in cooking or adding it to food since there is enough salt in prepared foods (bread) to satisfy a daily ration. Why not use lemon juice as that will also retain the green color in the asparagus?

  14. Tania February 2, 2012, 11:21 pm

    Yummy I am going to try this soup this week-end, sounds delish as well as good for bones. We appreciate you vivian. Thank you.

  15. mary Deacon February 2, 2012, 2:58 am

    Would canned asparagus be alright to use?

  16. Beret Dickinson January 31, 2012, 5:38 pm

    How much harm is done when freezing asparagus? Is there any nutrients left?

    • Vandana October 5, 2012, 2:37 pm

      In my experience, a batch of asauprgas crowns planted will always yield a few females, and I have always left the female plants in. They produce plenty of good asauprgas, and the weedy asauprgas that pops up beneath them is easily weeded out. I think that statistically, over time, the females will produce fewer spears, but in my mind that’s a statistic that is more relevant for the commercial grower.

  17. Ann Gentry January 31, 2012, 1:24 pm

    What are you referring to as a “Milk”
    Substitute?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 31, 2012, 10:27 pm

      Hi Ann – A milk substitute would be any non-dairy milk. Almond milk is an excellent choice. Other non-dairy milks include coconut, rice, hemp, and coconut.

  18. Ann Gentry January 31, 2012, 1:14 pm

    In your asparagus soup recipe, one ingredient is “milk substitute”

    What is a milk substitute ???

    Thanks,
    Ann

  19. Nancy Hughes January 31, 2012, 12:55 pm

    How about tinned Asparagus?Thanks for the soup recipe.
    My doctor is encouraging me to go back on Actonel.My last bone scan was -2.5 and since then I have been following”Save our Bones”.I am determined to continue but fear the future and that later on she will say”I told you so”
    Nancy

  20. Anne S Hritzko January 30, 2012, 11:47 pm

    I have found out that asparagus contains purines which gives me gout. What can we do about that?

  21. Nicole Staudenmayer January 30, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Hi Vivian
    I love asparagus and just steam them and eat them as often as i can; they are delicious that way. I a not sure what veg. butter is. Does not look all natural. Any steamed vegetable is good; why use veg. butter?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 30, 2012, 10:38 pm

      Hi Nicole – Vegetarian butter (or vegetable spread) is natural, non-hydrogenated non-dairy spread. There are several on the market. Smart Balance, Earth Balance, and Spectrum Naturals are a few of the available brands.

      • Annie February 1, 2012, 2:50 pm

        Vivian,
        Those butter subs are are All Prossessed, and not healthy.

        We should be using butter that is , Organic and from Grass fed cows.
        As that has k2- MK4 in it for our bones, not that subs you mentions..yuck!!

  22. Joan Miller January 30, 2012, 9:59 pm

    Thank youn so much Vivian. We love asparagus & have it q 10 days or so. Also, thanks for the recipe. Good to know how valuable this veggie is with all its nutrients !!!. Joan

  23. Susan January 30, 2012, 9:20 pm

    I am confused about adding yogurt. Vivian, I thought yogurt is a milk product and therefore would be on the do not eat list.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 30, 2012, 10:39 pm

      Hi Susan – Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir are alkalizing and contain beneficial bacteria that makes them a bone healthy choice.

  24. Shula January 30, 2012, 8:46 pm

    This is such a great reminder of such a great vegetable. Thanks. Shula

  25. Abigail January 30, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Hi Vivian, thank you so much for sharing the recipe, and for the information about it being alkaline. I appreciate what you are doing. God will surely reward your patience and hard work, and your kind efforts to help so many others. I am grateful for the blessing of knowing you.

  26. LynnCS January 30, 2012, 6:52 pm

    Great ideas, Vivian. I will adapt it to my grain free, raw vegan food plan. I am amazed at all the good nutrients found in Asparagus. Thank you for the info. It is hard to find time to research everything that you provide here in one place. Hope I can apply it all. Your book is a wealth of information too. Much appreciated. Lynn

  27. nelson January 30, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Vivien, can you comment on the bone heealth benefits of vitamin K2-Natto 7 ?

  28. connie January 30, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Hi Vivian, The soup sounds delicious but what do I use in place of the wheat flour as I am gluten intolerant?

    • Tamera Price May 18, 2013, 11:41 pm

      Arrow Root Is Grain Free/ Gluten-Free And Great For Thickening! Mix It In A Small Glass Of Water/Broth Before You Add It To What You Want To Thicken!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 30, 2012, 10:46 pm

      Hi Connie – You can substitute any gluten-free flour such as quinoa or rice flour.

      • Annie February 1, 2012, 2:54 pm

        Vivian,
        Are you aware that whole wheat flour robs our bones of Calcium???
        And we all thought it was good, well its not.
        You might want to eat , Sprout bread, but a sprout bread that does not have any wheat.
        I think Trader Joe’s sells it!!

        Also a real Sour Dough bread is very good for our bones, and it is Fermented.

        • Tamera Price May 18, 2013, 11:50 pm

          Actually, Any Gluten Can Rob Your Body Of Bone!
          I Am Not Making It Up.

          Just One Way Is That It Can Mat Down The Celia That Helps With Absorption… Especially With Minerals.

          If You Have Too Much Of That, It Can Make You Acidic.. And Rob Your Bones That Way, To Balance It All Out.

          And, You Can Have Or Develop Autoimmune Issues That Can Do The Same… So, You Might Wake Up One Day With An Issue To Gluten/ Grain In General.

          A Lot Of Bone Loss That Just Gets Worse And Worse .. Might Not Get Better Until You Rid Yourself Of Gluten/ Grain First.

        • Jeanie February 6, 2012, 2:21 pm

          Only bread I eat is Ezekial sprouted bread…excellent..and so much healthier than any processed bread with additives.

  29. RE Brink January 30, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I was lead to believe asparagus is bad for men to eat. It somehow affects one’s prostate.
    What do you know about this.

  30. LESLIE January 30, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Hi! Vivian,

    That Recipe For The Asparagus Sounds Delicious! And Who Would Have Known It’s Was So Nutritious? Thank You VERY MUCH FOR SHARING IT WITH US!

    LOVE, MS. L. (LESLIE)

  31. Coral Vorster January 30, 2012, 1:51 pm

    It is so important to get enough vitamin K. But you also have to make sure you’re getting the right kind. Vitamin K2 is better than the cheaper K1 form typically found in supplements.
    Unlike K1, vitamin K2 is used by your body’s tissues—such as your bones and teeth. It draws calcium in where it’s needed and keeps it from building up where it doesn’t belong.
    Preliminary animal studies have shown that vitamin K2 caused fewer problems for people on blood clotting therapies. However, if you are taking a blood thinner like warfarin, you should check with your doctor before taking vitamin K of any kind.

    • Annie February 1, 2012, 2:57 pm

      Coral, Great point you make . It is K2 Mk4 we need, but it has a short shelve life.
      Need to take it about 2 to 3 times a day..

      K-1 is known give some people , Leg Cramps.

  32. Donna Bell January 30, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Good morning and GOD bless you.

    One thing that makes me believe in what you suggest about bone retention are your abundant cheekbones!!!!

  33. LYNDA January 30, 2012, 10:46 am

    Thanks for this great soup idea! i LOVE asparagus. We eat it with fish. If any leftovers. I use asparagus in morning omelets or if in a hurry, just scramble egg*lands best eggs with extra asparagus and whole wheat muffin. I steam the asparagus in my rice steamer. Enjoy!!

  34. Jeanie January 30, 2012, 10:13 am

    Soup recipe sounds wonderful. I will have to try it. Thanks. I made your cream of onion soup this week and added fresh mushrooms. My husband even ate it!
    In response to the lady that comments about oatmeal. I fix my oatmeal in batches of 14 days. I have 14 small rubbermaid containers and in each one i put…1/4 cup of whole grain oatmeal, spoonful of either raisons, craisions, cut up dried apricots or prunes….shake or 2 of cinnamon, shake of cloves, 1 T of ground flax seed, small scoop of chopped nuts whatever you have on hand, (i like sunflower nuts or seeds), and a small scoop of powdered soy protein drink….if you like it sweet you can add a pak of stevia to each mix…. put the lids on and shake a little to mix it up. I refrigerate them and when ready to use on i put it in a cereal bowl and add half a cup of water…microwave about 3 min on high….then i add about 1/4 cup of almond milk..That has been my breakfast for over a year now and I love it….and so does my 3 year old grand daughter!!! enjoy

    • Annie February 1, 2012, 3:00 pm

      Thanks.Sounds graat, but Soy is NOT healthy at all.It is causing thyroid cancers..it is a Harmon, and is GMO also.

  35. gretchen santos January 30, 2012, 9:18 am

    I eat oatmeal with blackberries, sweetened by a little stevia and use almond breeze milk at breakfast. I used to have shredded wheat with bran or Kashi go lean cereal for a quicker breakfast. Both of these have fiber and protein with little or no sugar. Can you recommend a ready to eat cereal that I can use as an alternative to oatmeal? Thank you.

    • Jeanie January 30, 2012, 10:21 am

      Gretchen, I put a recipe in a comment which is right above yours…check it out…jeanie

  36. Carol January 30, 2012, 9:17 am

    I LOVE asparagus but have not had it since going on the Saveourbones diet a few years ago. I can’t find organic asparagus anywhere. Is this a vegetable on which many pesticides are used? I know there is some produce that has fewer pesticides and some with many types of pesticides used. Any adice anyone?

    • Diane Martinson January 30, 2012, 11:35 am

      Carol, asparagus is on EWG’s clean list so it doesn’t need to be organic and since it’s an alkaline vegetable you can eat as much as you want! Diane

  37. Celestina Marie January 30, 2012, 9:09 am

    Thank you Vivian for talking about this healthy vegetable. I just love asparagus and serve it at least once or twice a week with salmon. I like to parboil it, then grill it lightly and serve with griled sweet potato wedges. So yummy good and so healthy. Thank you for sharing your soup recipe. Sounds good.
    Have a happy and healthy day!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 30, 2012, 9:35 am

      You’re making me hungry, Celestina. :) That sounds like a wonderful combo.

  38. gerri January 30, 2012, 8:45 am

    My soup is similar my changes are: I reserve the asparagus tips and cook all the rest in some chicken broth, no milk. when the veggies are soft I puree them in the blender and then add the tips and cook till the tips are cooked but not soggy. I then add some greek yogurt to thicken. Adding some previous cooked quinoa also is wonderful. enjoy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 30, 2012, 9:34 am

      That sounds delicious, Gerri! The yogurt and quinoa are great additions — I’ll have to give that a try. :)

  39. veronica January 30, 2012, 8:32 am

    Thanks for the recipe I will try it .
    Veronica

  40. Ann January 30, 2012, 8:16 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  41. Feona January 30, 2012, 5:45 am

    What excellent news! I love asparagus, so knowing that it will be helping my bones gives me another good reason for eating it a lot. Thanks, Vivian!

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