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Healthy Foods That Are Good for Your Heart

Heart-Healthy Food Options

Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide. Diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease. In fact, certain foods can influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. 

Here are some foods that you should be eating to maximize your heart health:

  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale and collard greens)- high in vitamin K and nitrates, which can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function.
  • Whole grains (whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley and quinoa)- eating whole grains is associated with lower cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)- rich in antioxidants. 
  • Avocados- high in monounsaturated fats and potassium. They may help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Fatty fish and fish oil (salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna)- both are high in omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
  • Walnuts- can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Seeds (chia, flaxseed and hemp)- may improve several heart disease risk factors, including inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Garlic- its components have been shown to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. It may also help inhibit blood clot formation.
  • Olive oil- high in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. It has been associated with lower blood pressure and heart disease risk.
  • Green tea- high in polyphenols and catechins. It has been associated with lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

As new evidence emerges, the link between diet and heart disease grows stronger. What you eat can influence almost every aspect of heart health, from blood pressure and inflammation to cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Including these heart-healthy foods as part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet can help keep your heart in good shape and minimize your risk of heart disease.