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How to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

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By EatingWell Editors

Improve cholesterol and overall health by adding more fruits and vegetables.

If you're looking for more ways to get all of your fruit and vegetable servings, here are some easy, healthy ideas to add more fruit servings and vegetable servings to your diet.

Next: Start Dinner With a Salad » [pagebreak]

Start Dinner With a Salad

Begin with a base of leafy greens, which supply plenty of folate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy cells. The darker the greens, the better. Then add some colorful vegetables—tomatoes, carrots, green peppers. The more colors you can include, the greater the variety of phytochemicals you’ll benefit from.

Next: Add Blueberries » [pagebreak]

Add Blueberries

Add blueberries to everything — cereal, yogurt, whole-wheat pancakes, even grain-based salads. Research shows that people who eat blue and purple fruits and vegetables, including blueberries but also plums, purple cabbage and purple grapes, have a reduced risk for high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind). Scientists believe that anthocyanins, the compounds that give purple and blue foods their color, are responsible for these boons.

Next: Go Frozen » [pagebreak]

Go frozen. Don’t let sky-high produce prices keep you from filling up on veggies and fruits in the off season. Make your selection from the freezer section. Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

Next: Eat the Whole Darn Thing » [pagebreak]

Eat the Whole Darn Thing

A cup of fruit juice offers vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, but if you’re watching your weight, whole fruits are a smarter choice. They contain more fiber, which helps you feel full, and fewer calories. For example, one medium orange has 62 calories and 3 grams of fiber, while an eight-ounce glass of OJ has about 120 calories and no fiber.

Next: Add Chocolate » [pagebreak]

Add Chocolate

Transform fruit into an extra-special treat with chocolate. Strawberries are naturally sweet and juicy—but you can elevate their appeal with chocolate. Melt a couple of tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave (on Medium power) and then… dip! The strawberries and the chocolate both provide heart-healthy antioxidants; plus, you’ll get fiber and vitamin C from the fruit. (If you prefer traditional chocolate-covered strawberries over strawberries dipped in melted chocolate, place the dipped berries on a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is firm.)

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