So you’ve been told to go on a low FODMAP diet, but are wondering if asparagus is on the low FODMAP list?
In this article I will explain the FODMAPs that asparagus contains and if it can be consumed whilst on a low FODMAP diet.
Certain vegetables are high in FODMAPs and may cause symptoms for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
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Does Asparagus contain FODMAPs?
To get straight to the point, asparagus contains FODMAPs.
Asparagus is classified as high FODMAP as it contains a high amount of two types of FODMAPs; fructose and fructans. Fructose is a monosaccharide (the ‘M’ in FODMAP) and fructans are oligosaccharides (the ‘O’ in FODMAP).
A high FODMAP serving of asparagus is 5 spears (75g) (1).
Although, you don’t have to miss out on asparagus on a low FODMAP diet. According to the monash food app, ⅔ (12g) of an asparagus spear is classed as low FODMAP (1).
Asparagus and prebiotics
Did you know that asparagus has prebiotic properties? (2). Prebiotic foods such as asparagus have the potential to positively alter bacteria in the gut microbiome, although the extent of this is unknown and everyone responds differently in studies (3).
Read more about prebiotics and IBS symptoms here!
Similar vegetables that are also high FODMAP
The following vegetables are also high in FODMAPs. However, please be aware that there is a wide variety of low FODMAP vegetables that you can enjoy too.
- Brussels sprouts
- Globe and Jerusalem artichokes
- Sweet corn
It is also important to note that asparagus contains inulin which can also trigger IBS symptoms.
Alternatives to asparagus that are low FODMAP
Vegetables are needed in the diet as they contain fibre which is important for gut health due to the abundant source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it provides us with (4). Read more about how fibre affects IBS here.
Low FODMAP vegetables that are naturally low in FODMAPs include:
- Bamboo shoots (raw or canned)
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers/ capsicum
- Choy sum
- Eggplant/ Aubergine
- Zucchini/ Courgette
Read this blog to learn more about low FODMAP vegetables!
Luckily, there are a wide range of vegetables that can still be enjoyed whilst on the low FODMAP diet. However, when enjoying low FODMAP foods, we need to be careful of FODMAP stacking.
Low fructose alternatives
If you have completed the low FODMAP diet and reintroduction phase, and find that you are sensitive to fructose, the vegetable options that are low FODMAP are still extensive.
Low fructose vegetables such as:
- Bamboo shoots
- Bok choy
- Green peppers/ capsicum
- Plum tomato
- Sweet potato
- White potato
Ensuring the diet includes vegetables contributes to a healthy and balanced diet (6).
To summarise, asparagus is high FODMAP as it contains fructans, fructose and inulin. If you are having asparagus, be sure to stay within the low FODMAP portion to avoid symptoms. Alternatively, there is a wide variety of low FODMAP vegetables that you can choose from instead.
Written by Camilla Donaldson BSc Hons Nutrition reviewed by Serena Bansal Registered Dietitian BSc Hons
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.
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