Nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide are related to heart disease. By eating good foods for your heart you can improve your blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation.
Fruit and Vegetables
- Avocados: These are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
- Oranges: Oranges contain the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin. They also have potassium, which helps control blood pressure.
- Beans: These are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Beans contain resistant starch. This resists digestion and is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Resistant starch may improve heart health by decreasing blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Beans also contain folate, antioxidants, and magnesium which help lower blood pressure. The fiber in beans helps control cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Leafy green vegetables: Opt for spinach, kale and collard greens are good foods for your heart. These are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re a great source of vitamin K, which protects your arteries and helps proper blood clotting.
- Sweet Potatoes: These have a low glycemic index, which mean that they won’t cause the spike in blood sugar that white potatoes cause. They also have fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene.
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds: These contain plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. They may help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
- Flaxseed: These tiny seeds contain fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids. All three are great for your heart.
Whole grains include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, endosperm and bran. Compared to refined grains, whole grains are higher in fiber, which may help reduce “bad” cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Common types of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa. You can replace white rice in your diet with buckwheat or quinoa.
- Salmon: This fish is rich in omega-3s. These are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation.
- Tuna: Tuna also has omega-3s. Albacore (white tuna) has more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. You’ll find omega-3s in these fish also: mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies.
- Go for red wine if you drink alcohol. Red wine contains resveratrol and catechins. These are antioxidants that may protect artery walls. Alcohol can also boost you levels of good cholesterol.
- Green tea has a number of health benefits. Fans claim that green tea increases fat burning and improves insulin sensitivity. Green tea contains polyphenols and catechins. These are antioxidants that prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation.
Here are some other things that are good for your heart.