This mineral supports a healthy immune system and regulates heart rhythm. Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens (noticing a trend here?), nuts, fish, soybeans, and avocado.
Good for digestive support and liver health. One of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants, artichokes come with an impressive bevy of health benefits. A natural diuretic, they aid digestion and optimize gallbladder function. They are also beneficial to the liver, thanks to their high content of an antioxidant called cynarin that increases bile flow.
Good for brain health and cancer prevention. Nibble on asparagus spears to prevent certain types of cancer—including bladder, breast, and lung cancer—and to ward off dementia. Folate is well known to fight cognitive decline, and asparagus contains high levels of this brain-friendly nutrient. Asparagus is also rich in the antioxidant glutathione, which fights against free radicals that cause aging.
This rich, creamy fruit is good for cancer prevention, heart health and skin health. Avocados get an A+ when it comes to your heart health. The high levels of oleic acid found in avocados can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol, combating your risk of heart disease. A good source of potassium, avocados are also effective at regulating blood pressure.
Good for heart health, blood pressure reduction, detoxification and sexual health. Beets contain a unique mixture of powerful antioxidants not found in other vegetables. A rich source of potassium, even a single serving of beets can significantly lower blood pressure. Beets are also a well-known natural aphrodisiac and promote optimal sexual health. Lastly, beets aid the detoxification process by helping to remove free toxins from the body.
Good for eye and brain health. Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin A, which may help preserve eyesight, and vitamin C, which may lower cancer risk and protect against cataracts. Additionally, bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6, which is vital for improving brain function.
Chromium, which is naturally occurring in meat, broccoli, apples and grape juice, helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, making this nutrient especially important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Good for heart health, blood sugar control and diabetes prevention. This lesser-known grain facilitates blood sugar control and may be useful in the management of diabetes. A high intake of buckwheat is also associated with lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Good for eye health, heart health and cancer prevention. Studies suggest that a diet high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Carrots are also rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. Carrots also help prevent certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.
Good for anti-inflammation, cancer prevention and liver health. Cauliflower’s cancer-fighting potential is well-documented; the cruciferous vegetable can protect against breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer. Additionally, it is a good source of Vitamin K, which regulates the body’s inflammatory response and can decrease the risk of inflammation-mediated diseases such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. Cauliflower has also been shown to provide detox support to the liver.
Good for heart health, anti-inflammation and pain reduction. Studies suggest that a high cherry intake can lower all major risk factors for heart disease, including inflammation, body fat, and cholesterol. Additionally, cherry’s anti-inflammatory benefits may ease the symptoms of gout and arthritis.
Good for thyroid health, heart and bone health. Chicken is high in protein, and adequate protein intake is important for reducing bone loss in older adults. The vitamin B6 in chicken promotes heart health by homocysteine levels low and preventing damage to the blood vessel walls. Finally, chicken is a good source of the mineral selenium, which is crucial for optimal thyroid function.
Good for weight control and cancer prevention. Cayenne and other types of chili peppers are loaded with capsaicins, a cancer-fighting compound that is especially effective at killing prostate cancer cells. Capsaicins also regulate the appetite and stimulate the metabolism, leading to greater weight control.
Although regarded as a waistline foe, dark chocolate—well, the right kind of dark chocolate—can deliver a healthy burst of energy. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to improve cognitive function. Confirming what you probably also knew, other studies have found that chocolate can ease emotional stress. Nix the sugary chocolates and opt for dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70 percent, and stick to a small square or two.
Good for anti-inflammatory, digestive health, pain relief and diabetes prevention. Linked with regulating blood sugar levels, a sprinkling of cinnamon on your bowl of oatmeal might help to ward off diabetes. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pain associated with arthritis, and it acts as a natural digestive aid that stimulates the production of digestive enzymes.
Good for lowering cholesterol and antibacterial. Coconut oil contains a saturated fat called lauric acid, which improves levels of healthy HDL cholesterol in the blood. Additionally, coconut’s antibacterial properties are useful in providing immunity against the viruses and bacteria that cause illness.
Good for heart health, oral health, cancer prevention and antibacterial. Research shows that regular cranberry juice consumption can prevent urinary infections in women. Cranberries may also inhibit the bacteria associated with periodontal disease. Rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries may optimize heart health.
Good for anti-inflammatory, breast health, blood sugar regulation and cholesterol reduction. Soy intake has been associated with decreased insulin resistance and healthy blood sugar levels, which may help prevent diabetes. Also, soybean consumption may help maintain good heart health and regulate cholesterol levels.
Good for eye health and cancer prevention. Eggs are abundant in the nutrient choline, which may lower the risk of developing breast cancer. Additionally, eggs are high in the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which have been shown to ward off macular degeneration.
Good for heart health, cancer prevention and cholesterol reduction. Flaxseed is an excellent source of three key nutrients: omega-3 essential fatty acids; a type of antioxidant called lignans; and fiber. Flaxseeds should be eaten ground in order to be fully digested; sprinkle some on your oatmeal or cereal or add to smoothies or baked goods.
Good for antibacterial, anti-fungal and blood pressure regulation. Allicin, a sulfur compound in garlic, may prevent free radical damage to the linings of blood vessels, reducing inflammation and staving off heart attacks or stroke. Garlic may assist people in blood pressure regulation, and has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Good for ovarian cancer prevention, anti-inflammation, pain relief and digestive support. Ginger’s healing properties are well documented. Ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which can alleviate pain associated with arthritis, soothe cramps, and ease sore muscles. A natural digestive aid, ginger can also relieve stomachaches and nausea. It is also thought that ginger is helpful in hindering the development of ovarian cancer.
Good for cholesterol reduction, kidney health, eye health and heart health. Grapes pack a number of powerful health benefits, from promoting kidney health to preserving vision to bringing down cholesterol levels. Much of the miraculous anti-aging power of grapes comes from a compound called resveratrol, which protects the heart and wards off certain types of cancers, especially colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
Good for anticancer, anti-inflammatory, heart health and brain health. Green tea contains a unique catechin known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which regulates and kills cancer cells and also inhibits the conversion of glucose into fat.
Good for antimicrobial, anti-viral and immune support. Honey’s natural antimicrobial and anti-viral properties make it one of nature’s best remedies. Studies show that honey can ease sore throats and suppress coughs. Honey’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties gives your immune system a boost, protecting you against infection.
Good for cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, eye health and cardiovascular support. Rich in vitamin K, kale can help prevent various cancers, especially colon, prostate and ovarian. Additionally, the lutein and zeaxanthin compounds in kale promote good eye health, while the fiber in kale can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Good for heart health. Loaded with protein, folate, iron, and other vitamins and minerals, lentils contribute to longevity and boost overall health in many ways. Lentils contain an abundance of folate, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and optimize the functioning of the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
Good for immune support, digestive support and skin health. Squeeze a lemon in your glass of water for a powerful dose of nutrition. The Vitamin C abundant in lemons might have myriad health benefits, from protecting the immune system to rejuvenating the skin. Additionally, lemons are useful for easing symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching.
Good for lowering cholesterol, heart health and blood sugar control. With 3 grams of fiber per bowl, a daily serving of oatmeal can lower cholesterol by up to 23 percent and cut your risk of heart disease in half. Moreover, oatmeal is rich in magnesium, which regulates the body’s insulin and glucose levels. Studies suggest that a magnesium-rich diet can prevent type-2 diabetes.
Good for lowering cholesterol, cancer prevention, heart health and regulating blood pressure. Long renowned for being high in monounsaturated fats, olive oil can lower LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” and has been associated with regulating blood pressure. Studies suggest that olive oil consumption can decrease the risk of cancers in the respiratory system, upper GI tract, colon and breast.
Good for gastrointestinal health and cancer prevention. Onions scavenge harmful stomach bacteria that can cause ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancer. They also contain a powerful compound called quercetin, which plays a significant role in cancer prevention.
Good for breast health, immune support and digestive health. Miso contains a long list of health and anti-aging benefits. A good digestive aid, miso supplies the digestive tract with healthy bacteria and aids digestion. Miso also offers an excellent source of zinc, which can help strengthen the immune system to combat infection. High soy consumption has also been linked to lower rates of breast cancer among Japanese women.
Good for heart health, skin health and immune support. High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, pistachios can reduce inflammation, protecting the blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease. They are also rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that defends against premature aging and skin cancer, as well as vitamin B6, which helps promote immune system health.
Good for heart health, prostate health and brain health, these small-but-mighty seeds are bursting with nutrition. Studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice can lower systolic blood pressure by as much as five percent. The polyphenols in pomegranates also reduce build-up of the harmful brain plague that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Lastly, if prostate cancer runs in your family, chug a hefty glass of pomegranate juice every morning—the fruit is thought to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. Although they're delicious enough to eat as-is, pomegranates make a great addition to yogurt parfaits or as a salad topping.
Good for brain health, lowering blood pressure and thyroid health. The humble spud offers a host of surprising anti-aging benefits. Potatoes are packed with iodine and other nutrients that contribute to the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. Numerous studies have also demonstrated the positive benefits of potatoes on blood-pressure reduction. Prepare potatoes steamed and with minimal condiments. And don’t forget to eat the skin—it’s loaded with fiber.
This seasonal ingredient should be added into your year-round rotation. Pumpkin boasts a slew of amazing health benefits, from protecting your eyes to clearing out your lungs. Nutrition-packed pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, substances that may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Pumpkin also contains a carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which may decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Good for blood sugar regulation and heart health. Often touted as a “superfood grain,” quinoa comes with a number of amazing health benefits. The grain is high in magnesium, which promotes healthy blood sugar control and wards off type 2 diabetes. Additionally, quinoa contains compounds called lignans that may thwart the development of heart and cardiovascular disease.
Good for cancer prevention and anti-inflammatory. Raspberries contain serve up an impressive dose of ellagic acid, a powerful polyphenol associated with inhibiting the development of certain cancers of the skin, lung, liver, and esophagus.
Good for skin health, brain health and cancer prevention. Red cabbage is high in vitamins C and E, which aid in keeping skin supple, soft, and glowing. Red cabbage is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent, due in part to its high content of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that ward off certain types of cancers. It is also thought to reduce the formation of brain plaques that can lead to Alzheimer’s.
Good for brain and digestive health. Abundant in Vitamin K, red kidney beans offer outstanding health benefits for the brain and nervous system. Additionally, kidney beans are high in insoluble fiber, which is essential for maintaining good digestive tract health.
Good for cancer prevention, brain health and immune health. Popeye knew a thing or two for eating this green leafy vegetable. Flavoinoids—a cancer-fighting phytonutrient abundant in spinach—have been shown to slow the growth of ovarian, stomach, and prostate cancers. The vitamin A in spinach boosts immunity and protects red blood cells against infection, while the abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes to healthy brain function.
Good for cancer prevention and skin health. Thanks to a potent two-punch combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, strawberries offer defense against types of cancer. The abundance of Vitamin C found in strawberries also boosts the production of collagen, which keeps skin young and supple.
Good for blood pressure regulation, immune health, heart health and skin health. Sweet potatoes are rich in the potent antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps protect and repair the skin from cell damage caused by exposure to UV rays. An excellent source of heart-healthy nutrients including vitamin B6 and potassium, sweet potatoes can regulate blood pressure and lower homocysteine levels, thus protecting your ticker from heart attack or stroke.
Good for cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction and skin health. Tomatoes are packed with beta-carotene and lycopene, antioxidants that confer protection against skin damage. The lycopene in tomatoes can also provide defense against certain types of cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Good for cardiovascular health, eye health and brain health. The omega-3 fatty acids in tuna offer a host of cardiovascular benefits, reducing inflammation and preventing irregular heart rhythms. The high levels of omega-3s in tuna are also useful for preventing age-related macular degeneration, as well as lessening cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Good for heart health, skin health and cancer protection. Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, the healthy fats that fend off heart disease and keep skin supple. Packed with antioxidants, walnuts can also stave off certain diseases, specifically prostate and breast cancers.
Packed with 10 to 14 grams of slow-digesting protein, Greek yogurt will rev up your metabolism all afternoon long. For an even more potent energy punch, stir in some chopped nuts and fruit.
The secret to defying the aging process is not lurking in the depths of your medicine cabinet—it’s in your refrigerator. Consuming a nutrient-rich diet is one of the best ways to keep you looking and feeling young, no freaky surgeries or expensive anti-aging creams required. Certain foods have also been shown to fend off a number of age-related diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. So load up your plate with these 50 anti-aging superfoods, and you’re on your way to discovering the fountain of youth.
Making a few smart choices will keep you healthy on your next vacation—and happily looking forward to the next one!
Forget expensive pills and potions. These superfoods are wonder drugs for your health.