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Foods for Long Life and Well-Being

The time to start eating them is now.
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Antioxidant "Superfoods" to Protect Your Cells and Heart continued...

"I've definitely been adding berries to my diet throughout the year," says Clevidence.

You don't have to limit your berry intake to in-season either. Fresh, frozen (without sugar), or dried...the benefits are the same.

Got milk? If you want to keep your bones strong and lessen your chance of fractures as you get older, add calcium-rich foods such as low-fat cheese and milk to your diet. Calcium also keeps teeth strong, helps your muscles contract, and your heart beat. Recent studies have even shown that calcium may lower your risk of colon polyps, and help you lose weight. Researchers at Purdue University found that women who consume calcium from low-fat dairy products, or get at least 1,000 milligrams a day, showed an overall decrease in body weight.

As you get older, the amount of minerals in your bones decrease. Too little calcium increases your risk for osteoporosis and, with it, disabling or life-threatening fractures

Dairy products are the best source of calcium. Choose skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese to avoid saturated fats. A single serving can provide you with 30% of the 1,000 milligrams a day you need. You can also add calcium to your diet with calcium-enriched cereals and orange juice. Foods such as dark green vegetables, dried beans, and sardines also contain calcium.

Won't taking a calcium supplement do the trick? Sure, says William Hart, but calcium-rich foods are also high in protein needed for bone and muscle strength.

While you're adding calcium to your diet, don't forget to exercise. Your bones will thank you later. "Calcium alone isn't enough. Add weight-bearing exercise as well," says Hart. Take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk wherever you can. You'll help the calcium do its job."

Water for Energy and Your Skin

Most people don't drink enough water," says nutritionist Susan Ayersman. "We need water to flush out toxins, keep our tissues hydrated, keep our energy up."

Water is also essential if you're eating high-fiber foods, says Leslie Bonci at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Water helps fiber do its job.

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