21 Best Anti-Aging Vegetables for a Healthier You


Aging is a natural process, but that doesn’t make any less undesirable. Noticeable signs of aging can be embarrassing, causing many to turn to pricey supplements, lotions, or creams for relief. However, a diet rich in the right anti-aging vegetables can be far more effective. So, what are the best Anti-Aging vegetables?

The best anti-aging vegetables for health and youthfulness are ones that contain the largest amount and variety of essential nutrients and minerals such as broccoli, kale, and spinach. Enjoying a diet that is high in many of these vegetables can help individuals maintain a youthful appearance.

In this article, we’ll explore the best anti-aging vegetables that could lead to a healthier and happier you. We’ll also briefly discuss why aging happens and what factors can accelerate the signs of aging. The following are the best Anti-Aging vegetables.

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1. Watercress

Perhaps the biggest kept secret in the vegetable world is just how much watercress can do for you. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s difficult to think of another veggie that even comes close to supplying the anti-aging payload of watercress. 

A single cup of these rounded leafy greens is only four calories and provides an entire day’s recommended intake of Vitamin K. Watercress also contains a long list of other essential nutrients, including Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, and manganese 1

This nutritional profile makes watercress one of the best vegetables to eat if you’re hoping to avoid wrinkles and keep your complexion looking youthful. Watercress can be a little spicy or bitter, but it works well in fresh salads, especially when mixed with other greens. 

With the amount of nutrition, you’ll be enjoying with each bite, you’ll surely be coming back for more, no matter how you enjoy this leafy green.

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2. Bok Choy

Bok Choy is a leafy green vegetable that is also called Chinese cabbage. This vegetable, along with swiss chard, are often overlooked when people are picking greens to make their salad with. You may want to pick some up next time at the supermarket because they’re loaded with nutrients.

It contains a ton of vitamin C, 52% of the daily recommended amount. In addition, it has 63% of Vitamin A, and 40% of Vitamin K. It also contains the mineral selenium. This important mineral helps fight inflammation, protect against cancer, asthma and cognitive decline 2.

3. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard tastes very similar to spinach or beet greens, though it often sports slightly crisper, lettuce-like leaves. It is considered one of the best anti-aging vegetables due to its massive Vitamin K content. A single cup of Swiss chard contains more than 700% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin K.

There’s also more than 200% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A, and a decent smattering of other beneficial vitamins and minerals. If you’re determined to make the most of your salad, Swiss chard can ensure you get a little Vitamin E, Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.

If you’re concerned about your circulation or heart health, Swiss chard may help put some of those fears to rest. Thanks to the significant amount of Vitamin K in each leaf, consumers may be able to enjoy better blood flow throughout their entire bodies. This could help keep the heart healthy while also improving cognitive ability and boosting bone health.

The benefits of Vitamin K are worthwhile enough to make Swiss chard a new crisper-drawer favorite 3. And like many other anti-aging vegetables, this leafy green could be served raw, steamed, or cooked.

4. Collards

Collards, or collard greens, are another type of leafy green you could choose to eat. They’re rich in bone-friendly Vitamin K, and they also contain Vitamin A, a nutrient essential to continued skin and hair health. Collards also contain iron and choline 4.

There is some evidence to support the idea that choline may help improve cognitive functioning, mood, and sleeping habits. In this way, collards could help individuals experience a healthy amount of sleep and avoid the detrimental effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Collards also provide Vitamin E, another vitamin that boosts skin health and helps individuals prevent wrinkles. Collard greens may taste a little bitter, which is why they’re often cooked and served alongside slightly salty or sour entrees. 

If you’re eager to choose an anti-aging veggie that packs a wallop, collard greens may be the right choice. A cup of collards contains more than five grams of protein and a slew of life-affirming nutrients. Of course, if the taste is too overwhelming, you could always add a little turmeric.

5. Brussels Sprouts

Though they’re often called ‘Brussel sprouts,’ these vegetables hail from Brussels, hence their name. These vegetables often produce a love-hate relationship in consumers. If you absolutely cannot stand the taste of Brussels sprouts, then you’re not alone. However, you are missing out on some extraordinary benefits.

Brussels sprouts are low in calories and high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K. This makes them a great option for anyone hoping to boost their immune system and keep their bones and circulatory system strong. And thanks to the wide range of antioxidants found in Brussels sprouts, they may even help some people lower their risk of developing cancer 5.

These rounded sprouts are also notable for their ALA omega-3 fatty acid content. This type of fatty acid may be able to impede some of the most dramatic effects of aging, including cognitive decline and joint inflammation.

You could choose to eat Brussels sprouts raw, steamed, baked, or grilled. Many people choose to add salt, butter, pepper, or other spices to improve the flavor of these circular veggies. Of course, your palate and preferences will help determine the best way for you to get the most out of Brussels sprouts.

6. Chili Peppers

Chili peppers are related to the bell pepper but are notable for their hot flavor. Many different kinds exist like jalapeño and cayenne. They can be prepared in many ways and used as a spice. Did you know that paprika is made from ground chili peppers?

Chili peppers are very high in Vitamin C. Just one pepper contains over 100% of the daily recommended amount. It’s also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K.

Chili peppers have a chemical called capsaicin. There are several studies reporting how capsaicin helps to boost metabolism and burn calories after consumption. It makes chili peppers a high thermic effect food. The thermic effect is the energy needed for absorbing, digesting and disposing of the nutrients 6.

7. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are primarily composed of water and carbohydrates, and they can differ greatly in taste and color. However, while this veggie does contain more sugar than other options on this list, it also contains a variety of vital nutrients and minerals that could help you feel younger 7.

Red bell peppers contain beta carotene, a pigment found in carrots, apricots, and some types of squash. Beta carotene has several potential benefits, including improved eye, lung, and heart health. Bell peppers also contain a noteworthy amount of Vitamin E, a crucial vitamin for improved skin health and appearance.

Eating bell peppers regularly could help keep your eyes in good condition, and it could also help reduce the symptoms of anemia. That’s because this vegetable contains both iron and Vitamin C, two necessary components in the fight against anemic bruising and lethargy.

All in all, bell peppers are an easy-to-enjoy, mild option that may help your entire body feel and look better. However, if you’re looking for an iron-rich anti-aging vegetable, spinach may be the more attractive alternative.

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8. Red Beets

Or just beets, what makes them so great for anti-aging? They’re a rich source of potassium, folate, Vitamin C and magnesium. In addition, beets are high in nitric oxide which opens up your blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Studies have shown they can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce the number of related deaths, including heart attacks 8. One cup contains 442 mg of potassium which helps contribute to the 4,700 mg the American Heart Association recommends. That’s just as much as a banana, which believe it or not, is not even in the top 5.

9. Sweet Potato

Within the last decade, sweet potatoes have risen from the position of Thanksgiving side to a healthy alternative to all-purpose, starchy potatoes. They are still relatively high in calories and carbohydrates, but they also provide protein, Vitamin D, and a variety of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals.

Sweet potatoes are perhaps most notable for their micronutrient content. These veggies contain zinc, thiamin, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are often added to processed foods to make them more nutritionally beneficial, especially breakfast cereals and grain-based snacks.

These orange-colored yams also carotenoids, making them a fantastic source of antioxidants. Because sweet potatoes contain so many vitamins and minerals, they’re one of the most powerful anti-aging veggies 9

However, tomatoes also contain carotenoids, and they offer a unique antioxidant.

10. Potato

At my Thanksgiving meal, right along sweet potatoes on my plate are mashed potatoes. I love dipping a nice juicy piece of turkey into my potatoes. Like the sweet potato, regular are high in carbs but are considered a healthy one.

Potatoes are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, B6, iron and copper. In addition, they contain potassium and beneficial magnesium for your cardiovascular system. Potassium helps reduce excess fluid, and magnesium relaxes blood vessels 10.

Potatoes can be prepared in so many ways which helps break the boredom. Mashed, baked or cut up into fries, as long as the unhealthy additives like butter are kept out, potatoes are a great anti-aging vegetable.

11. Tomatoes

Though they were once thought to be poisonous, tomatoes are now widely used and accepted. The debate concerning whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable continues to rage on, and while most scholars do classify tomatoes as fruits, the general public seems determined to view tomatoes as vegetables.

Tomatoes come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and shapes. The standard tomato that most consumers are familiar with is approximately the size of a baseball and is bright red. However, unlike sweet potatoes, this color doesn’t come from beta-carotene.

Instead, tomatoes are full of a pigmented antioxidant called lycopene. While many veggies contain carotenoids, not many contain lycopene, which is partially why tomatoes are so cherished and popular. Lycopene may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, in addition to lowering the risk of suffering a stroke 11.

They are low in calories and contain a moderate amount of sugars and carbohydrates. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, and they’re often enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt or pepper. However, you could also choose to cook and consume tomatoes. These vegetables (or fruits) are often found in salads, pasta dishes, and Mediterranean recipes.

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12. Kale

Leafy greens are an essential part of any healthy diet, and kale is one of the most impressive cruciferous vegetables. While salads are often viewed as boring, mundane, or simply unappetizing, there are hundreds of kale-based recipes available that can make this vegetable far more appealing. You could even bake kale to make chips!

Kale has become far more popular within the last several years due to its outstanding nutritional makeup. A single cup of kale provides almost 700% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin K and more than the daily recommended intake of both Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

This leafy green veggie can taste bitter or a little spicy, which is why it is often mixed with other greens, including spinach and collards. An acidic or sour salad dressing may also complement the flavor profile of kale. 

Kale also happens to contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart. A cup of kale every day could result in lower cholesterol, improved immunity, and lowered risk of developing cancers 12. And while kale isn’t bright orange, yellow, or red, it’s also an extraordinary source of beta-carotene. Then again, so is eggplant.

13. Eggplant

Eggplant may contain nicotine, but that doesn’t mean that it affects you in the same way that cigarettes or tobacco products do. In fact, eggplant is rich in antioxidants, including eye-friendly lutein. This veggie also contains a decent amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.

Thanks to this combination of antioxidants and vitamins, eggplants could help some individuals lower their risk of developing certain cancers, as well as keep blood sugar levels in check 13. Eating eggplant every now and again may also help improve brain function, including memory.

That’s because eggplant contains choline, one of the most essential components for cognitive health. Eggplant is also a source of beta-carotene, dietary fiber, and potassium. If you don’t enjoy bananas, you may be able to get your daily recommended dose of magnesium and potassium by enjoying some fried, roasted, or baked eggplant.

14. Mushrooms

Though most people tend to try and stay away from fungus, there are some types of edible fungus that can help you feel more fit and youthful. That’s because non-toxic mushrooms often contain quite a few desirable vitamins, minerals, and components.

The mushrooms found in grocery stores often contain antioxidants, B vitamins, and a handful of beneficial minerals. This makes mushrooms one of the most heart-healthy options. And while mushrooms technically aren’t vegetables, they do provide the same amount of low-calorie nutrition as some of the most potent and powerful veggies.

It’s crucial to choose mushrooms that are firm, clean, and non-poisonous. Consuming mushrooms from reputable distributors or grocery stores is the safest way to enjoy them. Unless you have an advanced understanding of botany and local fungi, it’s crucial to never eat wild mushrooms.

Fortunately, mushrooms make a fantastic topping or side dish. They can be served raw, though most enjoy them roasted, cooked, or lightly sauteed. 

15. Carrots

Many people are aware that carrots are good for your eyes, but fewer people are aware of their additional benefits. Carrots contain Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium. They’re full of antioxidants that can help boost your immunity and help fight cancer-causing free radicals 14.

Carrots can also improve your circulation and help ensure that your digestive system runs smoothly. They’re full of dietary fiber, so they can help fight one of the most frustrating symptoms of old age, constipation. 

However, carrots can become dangerous if eaten in large quantities over short periods of time. If you notice any changes in your skin’s coloration, you may be ingesting too much beta-carotene. In most cases, drinking plenty of water and avoiding carrots for a few weeks is enough to reverse the side-effects of excess beta-carotene.

Carrots can be eaten raw, or they can be cooked and consumed. Of course, if you’re determined to get the most nutrition from your carrots, it’s best to eat them raw. 

16. Pumpkin

Often featured during the fall season, pumpkin could be an ideal year-round solution to aging woes. That’s because one serving of pumpkin provides more than 200% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin A. It also contains a decent amount of Vitamin E, making it one of the most skin-nourishing vegetables in existence.

And like carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, helping to make them an impressively antioxidant-rich veggie. Pumpkins are also naturally sweet, making them an excellent alternative to candy bars, processed sugars, and highly addictive high fructose corn syrup products.

You could choose to purchase a whole pumpkin, or you could purchase a pre-sliced pumpkin. Canned pumpkin products tend to be far less nutritious than raw, fresh pumpkins. However, you’re welcome to enjoy pumpkin in any form and at any time of the year. Pumpkin seeds are also a tasty treat, and they’re packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

17. Celery

Celery is a tremendous source of antioxidants 15. It can help protect against inflammation and support digestion. The antioxidants can protect blood vessels, cells and organs from oxidation.

It’s well known as a nutrient dense food because it only has 10 calories per stalk. Celery contains Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium. One cup provides 37% of the daily recommended number of vitamin K.

When you purchase celery, always check the stalks and make sure they are crisp and don’t bend. Many people discard the leaves but they are edible and contain most of the calcium. The leaves don’t store as long as the stalks, so eat them sooner before they turn.

18. Red Onion

When I prepare a salad and I’m out of onions, it’s not as enjoyable. I miss the onion taste but maybe not the after taste. I choose the red onion over white because they contain more antioxidants. Any boost the immune system gets the better.

They are also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and B6. In addition, they have many minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Onions can be added to almost food dish and will provide you with 10% of the daily recommended number of fiber.

The benefits of vitamin C alone are worth adding red onion to your next meal or salad. In addition to the immune system, Vitamin C has been shown to reduce blood pressure 16. The best part is you can serve them raw, steamed or cooked.

19. Asparagus

Although asparagus is mostly available in a green color, did you know it also comes in white and purple colors? This low calorie, high nutrient vegetable can be added to many meals like next to a nice piece of salmon or added to a stir-fry or pasta.

It has more than 50% of the daily Vitamin K and is also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folate. In addition, asparagus contains potassium, phosphorous, Vitamin E and fiber. It’s been known to help people lose weight and improve digestion 17.

If you’re pregnant, asparagus provides 22% of the daily amount of folate and 34% for the average adult. Folate, which helps form red blood cells and DNA for healthy development, is especially important during the early stages of pregnancy 18.

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20. Broccoli

Broccoli is also an excellent anti-aging veggie to try. It can be eaten raw and cold, warm and steamed, or hot and boiled. However, like most other types of vegetables, broccoli provides the greatest amount of nutrition when consumed raw. It also imparts some notable benefits 19.

One cup of broccoli provides the daily recommended dose of Vitamin K and Vitamin C. It also contains potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Because Vitamin K is essential to bone health, broccoli is one of the best foods to eat if you’re hoping to avoid osteoporosis or arthritis.

Selenium is crucial to DNA maintenance and protection, and it also regulates the thyroid. This means that broccoli can help protect your body on a cellular level, fighting free radicals that could cause cancer or harm organic tissue.

Even better, broccoli is chock-full of healthy dietary fiber. If you’re eating a cup of broccoli each day, your digestive system is bound to appreciate it. This is one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables available, making it a prime choice for those hoping to feel younger and fitter.

21. Spinach

Spinach is low in sugar and high in both protein and fiber. It also contains a decent amount of iron, making it an excellent addition to any diet. But while spinach is lauded as a high-iron vegetable, that’s not all that it brings to the table.

It also contains Vitamin C, a vitamin that is essential to iron absorption. Foods that are rich in iron but low in Vitamin C (such as fresh red meats) don’t tend to raise iron levels in anemic individuals as effectively as spinach. A single spinach leaf also provides half the daily recommended amount of Vitamin K1.

Spinach also contains a range of B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. These components could improve circulatory functioning and health and help reduce muscle inflammation. Lowered blood pressure and reduced muscle cramps are potential benefits of eating spinach 20.

Fortunately, spinach can be prepared in many ways, ensuring that individuals have plenty of recipe options. However, while you could choose to cook spinach, it may be better to simply eat it raw. Doing so could help ensure that your body receives the maximum amount of nutrition.

Why Does Aging Happen?

Though this might seem like a silly question, it can lead to some interesting answers. Explaining why will show why the nutrient contents of the ant-aging vegetables are so important. For example, children may grow and become older, but their bodies are constantly regenerating lost cells while also producing completely new ones. The rate of cellular repair and creation far outpaces the rate of degeneration.

This process continues until the age of about 18, at which point the body begins to slow its repair and creation response. By age 25, the body is no longer regenerating cells as quickly or efficiently as it once was, eventually leading to noticeable signs of aging such as:

  • Wrinkles
  • Discolored Skin
  • Varicose Veins 
  • Aching Joints
  • Constipation
  • Decreased Cognitive Ability

In addition, our immune system weakens as we age and bad stuff in our bodies adds up over the years. The oxidation that attacks our cells is typically fought with antioxidants, like the ones in all the vegetables on my list. As we age, our bodies produce less antioxidants making the vegetables even more important.

Inflammation repairs the wear and tear in our bodies but when they become too much for us, excess inflammation occurs. The nutrients in the vegetables can help protect against inflammation.

Glycation is another reason why we age. Our cells become less sensitive to insulin causing the glucose levels in our bodies to increase. The excess sugar attaches to proteins changing their structure. This makes it harder for our bodies to repair tissues and grow healthy. Eating less unhealthy food and more vegetables and fruit can slow this process down.

One of the best ways to fight aging is to understand not only what causes it, but what can cause it to accelerate.

Factors That Contribute to Aging

Several factors contribute to aging, and it has recognizable signs and symptoms. Your lifestyle will influence a significant amount, though genetics do also play a key role. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine throughout the majority of your life can help you fight aging and feel healthier for a longer amount of time. Even if you’ve never exercised or tried to eat nutritiously, if you begin now, you could help your body feel and look much better.

However, there are several activities and habits that can accelerate the aging process and contribute to it. These choices can cause your skin to age prematurely, and they can also cause your cognitive abilities to deteriorate over time. They include:

  • Smoking
  • Excess Sun Exposure
  • Poor Diet
  • Stress
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Poor Sleeping Habits
  • Alcohol Consumption

Individuals who eat well, exercise, actively reduce stress in their lives and limit their alcohol consumption tend to experience a youthful appearance well into their later years. It also helps to avoid smoking, too much time in the sun (especially if you’re without sunscreen), and environmental pollutants such as smog or car exhaust.

Of course, getting plenty of rest every night is also crucial to feeling healthy and enjoying smooth, wrinkle-free skin. However, these factors are all things that an individual can control (to an extent, at least). Genetics can also determine who quickly you seem to age, which can be disheartening for some.

Still, by chowing down on some of the following anti-aging veggies, you could help ward-off aging and its unpleasant signs and symptoms. No matter what your DNA has handed you, avoiding harmful factors and getting plenty of wholesome nutrition is a fantastic way to feel better, fitter, and more youthful.

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Conclusion

Aging is a natural process that occurs in nearly every living organism. However, there are several factors that can accelerate this process and worsen the signs and symptoms of aging. Exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and enjoying a diet that is rich in vegetables is an excellent way to delay the symptoms of aging.

Several vegetables can help you feel more youthful and invigorated. Some of the best anti-aging vegetables include watercress, broccoli, bell peppers, and spinach. However, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and carrots are also fantastic options. The best anti-aging vegetables tend to be high in nutrients and low in fats and sugars.

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
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  2. National Institutes of Health: Selenium Fact Sheet for Consumers[]
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information: The health benefits of vitamin K[]
  4. National Institute on Aging: Leafy greens linked with slower age-related cognitive decline[]
  5. Harvard Health: Brussels sprouts[]
  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management?[]
  7. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Grafted Varieties of Bell Pepper[]
  8. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Dietary Nitrate from Beetroot Juice for Hypertension: A Systematic Review[]
  9. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Sweet potato – a valuable medicinal food: a review[]
  10. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions[]
  11. Harvard Health: Lycopene-rich tomatoes linked to lower stroke risk[]
  12. National Cancer Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention[]
  13. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of glycosylation patterns of Chinese eggplant Anthocyanins and other derivatives on antioxidant effectiveness in human colon cell lines[]
  14. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Phytochemical in Daucus carrot and Their Health Benefits -Review Article[]
  15. National Center for Biotechnology Information: A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery[]
  16. Blood Pressure Explained: Vegetables that Lower Blood Pressure[]
  17. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Green and White Asparagus: A source of Developmental, Chemical and Urinary Intrigue[]
  18. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Folate deficiency and folic acid supplementation[]
  19. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Broccoli By-Products from Different Cultivars and Maturity Stages at Harvest[]
  20. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Functional Properties of Spinach phytochemical and bioactive[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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