Red peppers, oranges, pine nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, safflower oil: Vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C help prevent skin appearance changes related to aging. Nuts and oils with high amounts of linoleic acid provide similar defense. Regardless of age, sun exposure or other factors, women who eat more foods that are rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid have fewer wrinkles, less skin dryness and less atrophy—the gradual thinning of skin layers.
Cocoa: It’s not just for kids anymore! You may have switched to green tea for its antioxidant benefits, but cocoa is actually higher in the powerful phenolic phytochemicals that fight oxidative damage. Indeed, cocoa leads the list for antioxidant capacity—ahead of red wine, green tea and black tea. Make it with nonfat milk and you’ll help strengthen your bones as well.
Spinach, kale, collards: Here’s another reason to eat more vegetables: high vegetable consumption produces a slower rate of cognitive decline with age. People aged 65 or older and found that those who ate about three to four daily servings of vegetables—particularly leafy greens—had much less decline in memory, recall and other mental functions than did those who ate less than one serving of veggies per day.
Walnuts: These popular nuts enabled aged rats to improve motor performance (such as walking on a plank) and thinking skills. Because of these results, researchers believe walnuts look very promising for strengthening cognition.
Fish: It’s been called “brain food” for decades, but now there’s evidence that fish helps keep your mental abilities strong while you age. Compared with people who ate less than one fish meal per week, those who ate fish once weekly or more often showed a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline.