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10 Heart-Friendly Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is a perfect time to get ahead on the nutrients you'll need all day. If you’re bored of the predictable bowl of boxed cereal, or if your PB and toast has gotten stale, so to speak, it’s time for a breakfast reboot.

These fast, heart-healthy dishes make hitting the snooze button less tempting.

Blueberry Yogurt Bowl

Velvety Greek yogurt is jam-packed with protein. A high-protein breakfast can help curb hunger throughout the morning, making it less likely you’ll visit the vending machine at work.

Antioxidants called polyphenols in blueberries can help your blood vessels widen, which is good for your blood pressure. Garnish with walnuts for heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Make it: Blend together 3/4 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Place in serving bowl and top with 1/3 cup low-sugar granola and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. Serves 1.

Salmon Rye Bites

Creamy avocado gives you monounsaturated fat, known to help shave cholesterol numbers. Take a cue from the Scandinavians and start your day off with some rye. The high-fiber whole grain helps you feel full, which could put the brakes on overeating later in the day. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.

Make it: Mash 1/2 small avocado with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Spread avocado on 4 rye crisps, and top with an equal amount of 2 ounces smoked salmon. Serves 1.

Nutty Waffles

It's smart to favor whole-grain waffles over the white-flour version.  Check that the first ingredient listed on the package includes the word “whole.”

Adding peanut butter gives you a winning mix of protein, good fats, and fiber, so your breakfast can help improve blood cholesterol and tame hunger throughout the day, say scientists in the British Journal of Nutrition. Look for jars with no added sugar, salt, or hydrogenated fats. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which is good for your blood pressure.

Make it: Toast 1 whole-grain frozen waffle, and top with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 1 cup sliced strawberries.

Carrot-Cake Oatmeal

Soaking hearty steel-cut oats overnight is a way to greatly shorten the cooking time and enjoy this chewy whole grain on busy weekday mornings. Oats are a leading source of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that can cut your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol level.

Make it: Place 1 cup steel-cut oats, a pinch of salt, and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Immediately turn off heat, and let oats soak overnight, covered. In the morning, stir in 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 1 shredded carrot, 1/3 cup raisins, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Heat over medium-low until warmed through. Serve topped with sliced pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup. Serves 4.

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