Asparagus is back! Head to your local grocery store or farmer’s market and pick up a stalk or two while they’re at their prime. This savory, highly nutritious vegetable is the perfect addition to any meal. Not only can asparagus provide multiple health benefits. It’s the perfect blank canvas when cooking, as it absorbs whatever spices you’re using. Food not only keeps our internal fire burning, it’s the perfect medicine to replenish our bodies.

In just half a cup of cooked asparagus, you get 2.2 grams of protein and 1.8 grams of fiber, which is essential for good digestive health. According to The Ohio State University, it contains inulin, which is a dietary fiber associated with improved digestion. Asparagus is incredibly versatile and can be cooked in variety of ways. You can boil, grill, steam, roast, or sauté it. Pair asparagus with your favorite source of protein, shrimp, chicken or tempeh. Throw it into a salad or even a sandwich. If you’re pregnant, adding some to your lunch can be incredibly beneficial. Asparagus contains folate, which is a nutrient that helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy.

The greener the asparagus, the fresher the stalk. This veggie also contains the antioxidant glutathione, which according to an article in The Lancet journal, has been known to slow the aging process so that you can feel as vibrant as your new favorite vegetable. Thankfully, there are hundreds of different recipes you can experiment with to make your day a little greener.

BY TAYLOR MCLAMB