Asparagus & Reflux
What’s in Asparagus? Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. it’s literally packed with goodness!
What does it do for my baby’s body? Because B vitamins play a key role in the metabolism of sugars and starches, they are critical for healthy blood sugar management. Asparagus is packed with folic acid, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2 as well as a very good source of niacin, choline, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid – all perfect allies for managing blood sugars.
Asparagus contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin (a type of Carb called a polyfructan) and is often referred to it as a ‘prebiotic.’ Once it arrives at the large intestine, it becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) that are associated with better nutrient absorption and low risk of allergy. Asparagus is a food that contains a valuable amount of this unique carb and can help support the digestive health in this unique way.
Asparagus is also high in fibre which helps to stabilise digestion and keep food moving through us at the desirable rate. It’s not surprising to see asparagus being heralded as an anti-inflammatory food because it provides a truly unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients are some of the best risk reducers we know for common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Should I give Asparagus when my baby has infant reflux? While it is healthy, Asparagus, in a similar fashion to cauliflower or broccoli, is not really the best option for your baby’s first vegetable. It is known to cause wind and may prove difficult for your baby’s developing stomach to handle in the early days, unless you puree it and give in small amounts. A baby struggling with wind, will add to the reflux symptoms and cause baby to squirm and wriggle and possibly bring up food as they push to release trapped wind.
Asparagus makes a great finger food, and the best time to give it to an infant is between eight and ten months old. With reflux in the mix, and the chances that Asparagus will work up some wind, it may be worth holding off giving it until your baby has weaned well into 6 months. There are other vegetables that will be a better choice for early weaning a little refluxer.
Fun fact: Asparagus is a perennial garden plant belonging to the Lily family (Liliaceae). While approximately 300 varieties of asparagus have been noted, only 20 are edible!
If you have any baby Asparagus recipes, send them in!