Who would have thought, apparently asparagus can affect people differently. Yeah, I’m confused too. Let’s check in with Susan Bowerman of The Los Angeles Times:
Asparagus' reputation for producing noxious urine is so widespread that those who produce the odor assume everyone else does too. That's not the case. Studies indicate that about 79% of Americans are "excreters" -- they excrete smelly sulfur compounds in their urine -- as are about half the people in Britain. Non-excreters don't suffer asparagus-eating's effect on urine odor because they don't produce these sulfur compounds. The ability to "excrete" is inherited.
Chemical analysis of the urine of excreters has identified six compounds responsible for the odor. Two, methanethiol and dimethyl sulfide, impart the most aroma, while the other four contribute to the unique and complex bouquet. Their source is from the breakdown of other chemicals present in the fresh vegetable.
A prime candidate is asparagusic acid, a sulfur-rich compound found only in asparagus. In 1987, a study found that excreters who ingested asparagusic acid produced the volatile compounds in their urine -- whereas non-excreters didn't. But researchers have also suggested that other compounds present in higher concentrations in asparagus than other foods could also contribute.
A few studies published more than 20 years ago suggest that the numbers on people who produce smelly urine may be unreliable. It could be, the authors argue, that everyone produces pungent urine after eating asparagus -- but not everyone can pick up the smell.
Don’t you just love talking about pee. Yes my mind is in the toilet and in this case it fits—pun intended. But seriously, asparagus is a great food. Dr. Fuhrman tells us why:
Asparagus is one of the most healthful foods on the planet. It leads nearly all fruits and vegetables in the wide array of nutrients it supplies. Ten ounces (one box of frozen spears) have only 68 calories and 9 grams of protein, yet it is like a vitamin pill, giving you a variety of minerals such as selenium, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. Plus, it is very rich in folate.
Asparagus has an exceptionally high nutrient-per-calorie ratio and is the perfect weight-loss food. Anti--cancer compounds that have been shown to prevent tumors and cancers in animals are plentiful in asparagus. Asparagus also contains isothiocyanates, indoles, and sulforaphane, powerful compounds that promote cellular rejuvenation with anti-cancer properties. It is rich in glutathione and rutin, healing compounds for the liver and blood vessels.
I really like asparagus, especially asparagus veggie-sushi rolls! Hey, speaking of food. Here’s a great asparagus recipe for you to try. Check it out:
2 large leeks, white and pale greenCut leeks lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Quarter potatoes and steam in a steamer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a bowl. In skillet, water-sauté leeks in seasoned water for 3-4 minutes, stirring until tender. (Add liquid if needed.) Transfer leeks to bowl with potatoes. In skillet, heat more VegiZest water and water-sauté asparagus for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms and water-sauté mixture, and continue cooking for about 3 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Combine all ingredients. Before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over vegetables, stir in mint, parsley, and pepper to taste, and gently toss. Serves 4.
1 lb. small red potatoes
2 cups water, seasoned with VegiZest or another dehydrated vegetable seasoning
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally
1/2 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
All this talk about asparagus has got me psyched to go out eat some and then, have some wicked stinky pee!