On Aug. 18, 2017, AARP updated its editorial policy. All AARP publications, online and in print, will no longer use the term “anti-aging.” AARP believes that growing older should be celebrated and embraced, and it will continue to challenge the outdated beliefs and stereotypes that foster negative associations around aging.
Everyone grows older, but there is a way you can add years to your life: Make smarter food choices. Helping you to do just that is the arrival of spring on March 20, which will usher in a crop of healthy foods we’ve come to associate with warmer months. Indeed, the following five fruits and vegetables are the best anti-aging edibles the season has to offer. They will not only make you feel better, but they may help you look better, as well. Happy spring!
Sworn beet haters take notice. This ruby gem boasts so many healthy benefits, it absolutely has to find a way into your shopping cart, whether or not you like its earthy flavor. A fiber-rich food, beets contain an animo acid called betaine that can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of inflammation, and help prevent and reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. Win-win-win. When it comes to aging, beets contain powerful antioxidants that help keep skin supple and youthful and carotenoids that can ward off the macular degeneration that occurs as you grow older.
Asparagus not only boosts heart health, thanks to its vitamin K (which prevents blood clots), but this succulent vegetable also contains a special antioxidant called glutathione that’s believed to help slow down the aging process. What’s more, the veggie’s other key vitamins, B9 and B12, may help ward off cognitive decline. Indeed, a study from Tufts University found that older adults with higher levels of folate and B12 — which is harder to absorb as you age — performed better on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. If that weren’t enough, asparagus is also rich in lycopene, which has been found to protect the prostate and help lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which actually gets its name from the classic vegetable. The body converts this beta-carotene into vitamin A, which in carrots is called retinol, an ingredient found in many anti-aging creams. Along with being good for your skin and hair, vitamin A helps support your immune system, preserves good vision and may help fight cancer.
This delicious fruit (especially in spring and early summer) is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is thought to help lower cancer risk. In addition, the alpha hydroxy acid in strawberries helps get rid of dead skin cells, making skin look more youthful. Indeed, a study by MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania found that treatments with alpha hydroxy acids might reverse the signs of aging. Strawberries also are high in fiber and help balance blood sugar, and the polyphenols they contain support immunity and healthy cell renewal.
Radishes don’t generally spring to mind when one thinks about healthy superfoods in the same way as kale might. But this root vegetable has a lot to brag about. Acting as a major detoxifier, it contains a long list of healthy nutrients — everything from folate to copper to potassium to magnesium. Studies have shown that radishes fight cancer while getting rid of all those nasty toxins in the liver. If that weren’t enough, they have vitamins A, C and K, which boost cell production and repair.