The effect of eating asparagus on the eater's urine has long been observed:
- "[Asparagus] cause a filthy and disagreeable smell in the urine, as everybody knows." (Treatise of All Sorts of Foods Louis Lemery, 1702)
- "asparagus... affects the urine with a foetid smell (especially if cut when they are white) and therefore have been suspected by some physicians as not friendly to the kidneys; when they are older, and begin to ramify, they lose this quality; but then they are not so agreeable" ("An Essay Concerning the Nature of Aliments," John Arbuthnot, 1735)
There is debate about whether all (or only some) people produce the smell, and whether all (or only some) people identify the smell. It was originally thought this was because some of the population digested asparagus differently than others, so that some people excreted odorous urine after eating asparagus, and others did not. However, in the 1980s three studies from France, China and Israel published results showing that producing odorous urine from asparagus was a universal human characteristic. The Israeli study found that from their 307 subjects all of those who could smell 'asparagus urine' could detect it in the urine of anyone who had eaten asparagus, even if the person who produced it could not detect it himself. Thus, it is now believed that most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only about 22% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them."
Além disso, a planta é rica em vitamina B6, cálcio, proteína, vitamina A, C, D e um monte de outras; ferro, selênio (alô tpm!!) etc. Não possui muitas calorias nem sódio - considerada até diurética (lembrar do cheiro ruim) e é ótima fonte de ácido fólico.
Este último é relacionado com a formação de novas células, reprodução humana, está também associada a prevenção de algumas doenças como por exemplo as do coração, depressão, obesidade, esquizofrenia, alergias, infecções e uma série de outros males.
Ou seja, com moderação é um alimento super poderoso para a saúde além de ser, na minha opinião, saboroso e versátil.