If you’re looking for a magical pill to stop the aging process, you won’t find one. But, you can at least slow things down with the foods you choose to eat. Look for foods that are rich in antioxidants because they fight the damage caused by free radicals. Next time you go shopping, be sure to include the following on your grocery list:
- Berries – Berry fruits are rich in antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that protect against the age-related deterioration of cognitive and motor functions. Eating about a cup of berries a day—fresh or frozen—reduces oxidative stress, lowers inflammation and improves brain cell signaling.
- Red peppers and Oranges – Vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C help prevent skin appearance changes related to aging. Regardless of age, sun exposure or other factors, people who eat more foods that are rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles, less skin dryness and thinning of the skin layers.
- Cocoa: Move over green tea! Cocoa is 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 skim milk and you’ll help strengthen your bones as well.
- Greens: High vegetable consumption produces a slower rate of cognitive decline with age. A study of more than 3,700 people aged 65 or older and found that those who ate about three to four daily servings of vegetables – particularly leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards – had much less decline in memory, recall and other mental functions than those who ate less than one serving of veggies per day.
- Walnuts: Scientists now believe that these nuts may be responsible for improving cognition after observing their ability to improve motor performance (such as walking on a plank) and thinking skills in aged rats.
- Fish: It’s long been touted as a powerful brain boosting food, but now there’s evidence that fish helps keep your mental abilities strong while you age. Compared with people who ate fish less than once per week, those who ate fish once weekly or more often showed a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline.