The Many Myths Behind Asparagus

People disclose information about asparagus as if they’re true—at least, they believe what they’re saying is true. The thing is, it isn’t. So many myths surround this spear-like vegetable and the only thing to do to dispel these myths is to fight it with facts.

MYTH: Asparagus is a diuretic, meaning it increases the flow of one’s urine.

FACT: Yes, asparagus is responsible for making the urine of some people stink. That’s because it has a compound that the body converts into a stinky chemical, something akin to skunk spray. This fact does not mean though that the asparagus is a diuretic.

MYTH: Asparagus does not pair well with wine.

FACT: It’s true that wine does not pair well with wine—the fruity kind that is. However, there are many more wine types that do not go in conflict with asparagus. Rosy and oaky-flavoured wine may not work, but Pinot Noir, White Zinfandel and the like will not cancel the flavours of both.

MYTH: Raw asparagus is toxic.

FACT: Asparagus that has not been cooked doesn’t have the same delicious flavour of cooked asparagus, but that doesn’t mean it’s already toxic.

MYTH: If the base of the asparagus spear looks freshly-cut, it means they’re fresh.

FACT: If the base of the asparagus spear looks freshly-cut, it means they have just been cut. It is not an indicator of freshness. To determine if an asparagus is really fresh, it should be firm and not droopy.

MYTH: Asparagus causes gout.

FACT: Definitely not true. Only food and drinks with a high purine-content would cause a gout flare-up such as offal, some sea foods and alcoholic beverages. Asparagus is not high in purine, therefore, it isn’t responsible if your gout acts up.