21. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of blueberries on your cereal. Studies find the tiny purple berries are loaded with valuable antioxidants that can slow brain aging and protect your memory. Not into cereal? Try baking blueberries into oatmeal to create your own oatmeal-blueberry granola bar, or mixing them into whole wheat pancake or waffle batter.
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22. Drink three cups of unsweetened orange juice every morning. The vitamin C in OJ not only boosts your immunity, but also improves your cholesterol levels. One study found that drinking three glasses of orange juice a day for four weeks raised levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, by 21 percent. If three cups is too much for you, substitute a couple of oranges. For the best effect, make it calcium-fortified juice.
23. Eat a bowl of sliced strawberries three times a week. Loaded with vitamin C, strawberries have numerous health benefits, one of them being protection for your eyes. One study of 247 women found that those taking vitamin C supplements were 75 percent less likely to get cataracts than those who didn’t take it. It’s better, though, to get your vitamin C from food. Other health benefits packed into berries: They’re rich in a wide variety of antioxidants, low in calories, and even have a low glycemic index (shown to better maintain steady blood sugar levels).
24. Slice two kiwifruits into your morning smoothie. You may have just reduced your risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent, since a British study found that every ounce of vitamin C-laden fruits you eat a day reduces your risk of premature death 10 percent. Want an even easier way to eat a kiwi? Just slice the top off and scoop out bitefuls with a teaspoon. It’s delicious, fun, and fast.
25. Get at least five grams of fiber during breakfast each morning. If you don’t get off to a good start with your daily fiber intake, you’ll never reach the recommended amount (15-25 grams per 1,000 calories). Plus, fiber is quite filling with no extra cost in calories. You can get those five grams in just a few bites with a large raw apple, 1/2 cup of the high-fiber cereals mentioned earlier, 1/2 cup of blackberries, or two slices of dark, whole grain rye bread.
26. Choose these toppers for your (whole wheat) bagel or toast:
- Two tablespoons nonfat cottage cheese sprinkled with flaxseed
- One slice low-fat cheese melted over a slice of mango
- Two tablespoons soy butter with a sliced banana
- One slice baked ham and one sliced tomato
27. Shave one ounce of dark chocolate over a cup of nonfat yogurt. Mix. The calcium-rich yogurt can actually help in your efforts to lose weight, while the antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate can help reduce the stickiness of “bad” LDL cholesterol and keep your arteries more pliable. Plus, who can resist starting the day with chocolate?
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