We eat a fairly decent amount of asparagus in our household. And why not? It’s a fabulous source of vitamins A, C ,E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, and chromium. It’s also a great detoxifier and is full of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Score. Plus it tastes yummy with butter and sea salt.
The only downside I can think of to this killer veggie? Smelly pee. I was genuinely curious as to the cause (and I’m confident that now you are too), so I hit up Google for some answers.
According to WebMD, only about ¼ of the population has the special gene that allows them to smell the specific compounds our bodies create when digesting asparagus. This was news to me. So everyone creates smelly asparagus pee, but not everyone can smell it. Lucky folks.
The actual smell, according to Discovery.com, is caused by a metabolite called methanethiol. As your body breaks down asparagus, it produces this chemical and tells your kidneys to transport it to your bladder. “Methanethiol is composed mostly of sulfur with a splash of hydrogen, plus some carbon, a brew famous for its effect in rotten eggs, cabbages, and paper mills” (Discovery.com, 2013). All stinky stuff. Makes sense!
Regardless of smell, we’ll continue to regularly eat asparagus, since I’m pretty sure it’s health benefits outweigh this particular shortcoming. And now that you’re super pumped about asparagus too, how about a simple, tasty reci-pee!? (please humor me, it’s Friday).
Easy Sautéed Asparagus
· 1 bunch fresh asparagus
· 1 tbsp butter
· 2-3 cloves garlic
· Sea salt & pepper
· ½ lemon
· ¼ c shredded parmesan cheese
1. Break off the bottom 2 inches of each asparagus stalk and discard.
2. Cut each stalk into 1-2 inch sections.
3. Melt butter in sauté pan on medium heat – add garlic and heat until golden.
4. Add asparagus & sauté 3-4 minutes until bright green and tender but still a bit crunchy.
5. Add ½ a lemon worth of juice and cook for another 2-3 minutes until asparagus reaches your desired consistency.
6. Remove from pan and toss with parmesan cheese, sea salt, and pepper. Enjoy.
7. Think about how tasty it was the next time you go to the bathroom.
For those of you still reading…thanks for sticking around to learn about this somewhat un-PC (but quite fascinating) topic.
What other strange bodily functions should I research?