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Asparagus packs vitamins A and C -- antioxidants that hunt down and destroy free radicals, the oxygen molecules that can "rust" your insides, increasing the effects of aging. This superfood is also one of the best sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent heart disease and may lower your risk for colon cancer. Finally, asparagus is loaded with an amino acid called glutathione that fights premature aging by repairing damage to DNA and boosting immunity, according to Mao Shing Ni, PhD, author of Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100.
Boost the benefits: Quickly steam or stir-fry asparagus.
"The longer you cook it, the more nutrients you lose," Somer says. Boiling this vegetable can also cause it to lose vitamins. Folate is particularly fragile, she adds; it breaks down when exposed to air or extreme temperatures for too long.