Have you ever wondered: Why does your urine smell after you eat asparagus?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Asparagus is packed with nutrients, like fiber and vitamins K and C.

"A lot of those nutrients are going to help stave off heart disease, help with brain health," explained Kristin Sousek, who is a dietitian at Hy-Vee. "Definitely the high folate helps with preventing birth defects, so it's a super food to include in your diet."

It's a super food that can cause some people to feel super self-conscious in the bathroom.

"What happens is that during the digestion process of asparagus is that your body breaks down this sulfurous amino acid into a chemical compound that smells," said Tiffany Krogstad, a registered dietitian with Sanford.

Some people have a specific gene that makes their urine smell after eating the vegetable and make it smell within 15 minutes of consuming it. The gene is not hereditary and anyone can have it. Krogstad said everyone's urine smells to some extent, no matter what you consume.

"I mean, some people can smell coffee in their urine. It all depends upon what or how good of smell you have," Krogstad said.

An odorous urine doesn't depend on how many stalks of asparagus you eat either. There's no stopping the smell if you have the gene. It's all normal though, and that shouldn't stop people from eating it.

"I don't think there's a lot of research on it. It's just been known," explained Krogstad. "They talked about Benjamin Franklin knowing about it that it was talked about back then."

Only 25% of the population have the gene. Bell peppers, zucchinis, and sweet potatoes are just as packed with nutrients as asparagus is. If you have any things you wonder about, email Vanessa Gomez at vanessa.gomez@ksfy.com and she'll do her best to answer your questions.



 
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