Ask the Nutritionist
Q: We keep getting info from well-meaning friends about the benefits of asparagus for cancer, fresh vs. canned, etc. What is your opinion?
Judy Smith, Woolwich, Maine
A: There are many claims on the Internet about the benefits of asparagus for cancer that all seem to refer back to a theory started in the 1950s and in an article published in Prevention magazine.
While there does seem to be a lot of hype surrounding the topic on the Web, there are also claims that it is a hoax and/or jut a popular fad.
On the specific topic of asparagus preventing cancer, there is no scientific evidence that suggests that it can cure cancer, as many popular sites are suggesting.
Asparagus is a healthy food to include in your diet and does have many benefits, including phytonutrients that can protect against cancer. However, there is no proof that asparagus can cure cancer.
Instead of recommending asparagus in particular, we recommend patients follow a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Asparagus is a great addition to this type of diet but should not be the main staple of it.
Check out our Meal Planning and Recipes sections for more tips on a healthy diet and for suggested recipes.