Sometimes looking and feeling younger is as simple as changing what foods you give your body to work with. Read on to discover how 11 common vegetables can supply you with the nutrients you need to stay young and healthy
The monounsaturated fats in avocados can help lower cholesterol (1) and protect your body against cancers and heart disease (2).Avocados are full of essential nutrients, which keeps you feeling invigorated as you age. They are also packed with antioxidants, a classic antidote to the aging process.
Avocado oil is particularly good for nourishing your skin.
A prime detoxifying agent, kale is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (3). It features glucosinolate, which helps the body detoxify and fight tumors (4).
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C, which promotes healthy skin, and vitamin K, which promotes bone health. The calcium contained in this leafy vegetable also works to keep your bones firm and strong into old age.
The lycopene in tomatoes(5) is basically an all-in-one anti-aging miracle. Lycopene has serious benefits including the promotion of cardiovascular health and protection against toxins. It has also been found to offer defense against UV damage and chronic illnesses.
Antioxidants are all the rage when it comes to slowing down the aging process. They neutralize free radicals, which can disrupt metabolic processes.
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Broccoli contains the antioxidant quercetin (6), which can also be found in oranges, apples and cranberries. Better yet, broccoli sprouts are also jam-packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants called isothiocyanates(7).
Iron is necessary to give your body the oxygen it needs, and spinach has a lot of it—not to mention countless other vitamins and minerals (8).
The vitamin C in spinach will protect the collagen in your skin, contributing to an overall more youthful appearance. Spinach also contains magnesium, which regulates blood sugar levels, and heart-healthy folic acid.
A classic natural beauty enhancer, cucumbers’ health benefits affect both your skin and your body at large. Their phytonutrients (9) and electrolytes will pump you with energy, while their natural antioxidants will work to protect your cells.
The lignan in cucumber(10) has been linked to decreased risk of many common cancers, including breast and prostate.
The beta-carotene in pumpkin (11) is amazing for overall health. Highly concentrated in pumpkin, the nutrient is converted to vitamin A when it enters your body.
One cup of canned and cooked pumpkin offers more than 100% of your body’s daily requirement of the vitamin (12). Beta-carotene is also associated with healthy hair, reduced cancer risk and heart disease prevention.
This cruciferous vegetable is rich in anti-aging properties. It is packed with glucosinolates, important phytonutrients that facilitate the action of many cancer-fighting agents.
Recent research suggests that regular consumption of Brussels sprouts (13) may stabilize DNA inside human cells.
Particularly when steamed, the fibre-related components of the vegetable helps with the excretion of bile acids from the digestive tract, which results in the lowering of cholesterol levels.
9. Chilli Peppers
From relieving pain to increasing metabolic speed, chili peppers (14) are chock-full of potential health benefits. They contain a compound called capsaicin, which is thought to prevent carcinogens from attaching to DNA.
This same compound is responsible for the peppers’ pain-relieving and metabolism-boosting powers. Chili peppers are a good source of vitamin A, which helps you maintain good eyesight as you age.
The silica in this fibrous vegetable promotes healthy skin, hair and nails (15). Celery also contains a healthy dose of vitamin C. Bear in mind that celery is particularly susceptible to toxins, so as a health measure, always make sure you buy from the organic section.
When it comes to keeping your skin looking fresh and smooth, carrots are an ideal addition to your salad bowl. Both their vitamin A and their antioxidants foster the healing and maintenance of moist, unblemished skin.
Regular consumption of carrots has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer (16), as well as heart disease and stroke (17).
In short, the first step to staying young for a long time is making sure you get enough essential nutrients. Vitamins A and C and antioxidants are particularly helpful with this process.
Snack on a carrot next time you collapse in front of the TV, or maybe plump up your next salad with a juicy avocado. A diet rich in anti-aging vegetables will help you look and feel better for longer.