The folic acid, vitamin C and beta carotene in asparagus help protect against heart disease.
Choose spears of asparagus (green, white or purple) that are a bright, clear colour. Whether buying thin or thick asparagus, the stalks should be firm, full and round, with compact tips and tight scales. If the stalks are limp or bend easily, or the colour is dull, the asparagus is well past its best. Remove the tough ends of the stalks before cooking, keeping these trimmings to flavour a homemade vegetable stock.