Dark green leafy vegetables such as collards, kale, and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. Leafy greens are also a rich source of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Leafy greens are a potent source of lutein and zeaxanthin—two carotenoids that may help to slow the cognitive decline associated with aging.
Studies show that eating one serving of leafy greens per day (1 cup fresh or ½ cup cooked) may be a simple way to improve brain health.
Soy foods are protein-rich, high-fiber foods. They are cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, high in polyunsaturated fat, and provide an omega-3 fatty acid. Soy foods like edamame (soybeans), tofu, and soy milk contain antioxidant plant compounds called isoflavones. Studies suggest that the isoflavones in soy can reduce wrinkles in young women and older women alike.
For example, a recent clinical study from Japan examined the potential benefit of soy for skin health in postmenopausal women who consumed about one cup of soymilk per day for eight weeks. The study found a general improvement in skin health based on both questionnaires and skin biopsy.
Drinking green tea at least three times a week is linked with a longer and healthier life, according to a study published n the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The study participants were classified into two groups: habitual tea drinkers (three or more times a week) and never or non-habitual tea drinkers (less than three times a week) and followed-up for an average of 7.3 years.
Habitual tea consumption was associated with more healthy years of life and longer life expectancy. For example, the analyses estimated that 50-year-old habitual tea drinkers would develop coronary heart disease and stroke 1.41 years later and live 1.26 years longer than those who never or seldom drank tea.
Whole grains are a rich source of dietary fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. Studies show eating whole grains is associated with a lower risk of age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
A plate with a rainbow of colors from berries, cruciferous vegetables, plus those dark leafy greens along with a variety of whole grains, legumes (beans), soy, and fish at least two times weekly. And pinkies up for green tea!