When You Eat A Lot Of Asparagus, This Happens

Fresh asparagus is one of those foods that definitely has its season. You might be able to find it year-round, but The Spruce Eats says it's really only at its best during April and May. While frozen asparagus is an acceptable off-season substitute (canned, not so much), if you're an asparagus fan, you'll want to indulge all you can during those peak months. But is there such a thing as too much asparagus? Well, yes and no.

Registered dietitian Jamie Feit, MS, RD, a health expert with the website Testing.com, says that overdoing it on asparagus won't have any serious affect on your health and that it is likely to do your body a lot of good. Asparagus, she tells us, "is a vegetable that has a very good nutrient profile and is very healthy to eat," and she goes on to say that, "No one can eat too many vegetables unless you have a condition, allergy or a medical GI condition that requires a low fiber diet." She recommends eating asparagus for its high folic acid, B vitamin, and potassium content, and especially for its fiber. Veggies high in fiber, she says, can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

The only downside may involve some digestive unpleasantness

Feit acknowledges that eating a lot of asparagus can have the same unpleasant side effects that are common to many high-fiber vegetables. A high dose of fiber can be hard on the gut, and with your intestines working overtime, Feit mentions "gas and bloating" as potential asparagus side effects. While it may not be as notorious a fart-producer as beans or cabbage, aspara-gas is the kind of thing you probably want to avoid on a first date.

One property unique to asparagus is something else Feit brings up: "a bad smell when you go to the bathroom." Okay, so there's very little that goes on during that process that could actually be termed fragrant, but asparagus is known for causing extra-stinky pee. As to why it should have this odd effect, Live Science explains that it's the only food that contains something called asparagusic acid. (Makes sense ... it would be weird if, say, spinach had this stuff in it while asparagus contained something called spinachic acid.) When digested, this acid breaks down into sulfur-containing compounds which have that distinctive rotten egg smell. The weird thing is, not everyone can smell the stuff, so you may be one of the lucky ones who can eat asparagus without being aware of how bad your pee smells. Or you could always hold your nose when you go to the bathroom — no need to skip eating asparagus on account of how it smells on the way out.