Many foods can help keep your heart at its best. Some help lower your blood pressure. Others keep your cholesterol in line.
12 foods that keep your heart healthy:
- Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
- A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.
- Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries in cereal or yogurt.
- Seeds. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestrogens to boost heart health. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the greatest benefit. Chia seeds also provide omega 3, fiber and protein and can be eaten whole.
- Oats are the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse. Try toasting oats to top yogurt, salads or to add into a trail mix if you are not a fan of them cooked.
- Legumes. Dried beans and lentils ― such as garbanzo, pinto, kidney or black beans, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff. Veggie chili, anyone?
- Red wine: A 4-ounce glass of red wine (up to two for men and one for women per day) can help improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
- Soy. Add edamame beans or marinated tofu in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.
- Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber and vitamins to help your heart.
- Leafy greens. Popeye was right ― spinach packs a punch! So does kale, Swiss chard, collard/mustard greens and bok choy. Use these sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce. Broccoli and asparagus are filled with mighty nutrients such as vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber.
- Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
- Dark chocolate is good for your heart health. The higher the percentage of cocoa the better! (The fiber and protein increase with higher cocoa and the sugar decreases). If you are a fan of milk chocolate. start with at least 70% cocoa.