13 Heart Healthy Foods Best for You

It is important to have an active lifestyle to avoid cardiovascular problems, but it is equally important to ensure that your diet includes foods healthy for heart. Your plate should be a perfect mix of veggies and fruits that provide you with loads of fiber, magnesium, and healthy fats. It is important to limit your intake of unhealthy fats and salt. Let's find out more about some great food options to include in your diet.

Heart Healthy Foods

Everything you eat will have an impact on your overall health, and that is why you should be very careful about what you include in your diet. When it comes to finding the best foods for your heart, you can certainly find a few good options, such as the following:

1. Salmon

Your diet should include salmon because it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have an anti-clotting effect, which in turn ensures that there is nothing affecting your blood circulation. At the same time, you need omega-3s to help lower your triglycerides levels that lower your risk of heart disease. Be sure to have at least a couple of servings (3.5 ounce equals one serving) of salmon each week to promote cardiovascular health. You can also get the same benefits from other oil fish, such as trout, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

2. Berries

Raspberries, in particular, are packed with polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and help eliminate free radicals from your system. These polyphenols also lower inflammation and prevent oxidative damage. You also get a good dose of fiber from raspberries along with vitamin C. Other berries like blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are also good choices because of their nutrients and fiber content.

3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas and legumes have to be on the list of heart healthy foods because they provide you with loads of soluble fiber. Increasing your intake of fiber is not only good for your digestive system but it also helps lower "bad" LDL cholesterol. By lowering your cholesterol levels, you can protect yourself from developing cardiovascular complications. Keep in mind that you should avoid canned beans, but if you do not have other choices, go for no-salt-added varieties. Rinsing them before eating is also a good idea.

4. Broccoli

You can always include veggies in your diet to keep your heart healthy, and broccoli is one of the best options. Again, it is high in fiber that helps keep your blood cholesterol levels low. Moreover, broccoli provides you with a variety of antioxidants that help keep you healthy.

5. Brussels Sprouts

Many people do not know but Brussels sprouts are also good for your heart. It may look like mini cabbage heads, but it contains nutrients that can keep heart disease at bay. Regular consumption of Brussels sprouts may help reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of your blood vessels.

6. Whole Grains

You can also include whole grains, such as rice and oat bran in your diet. These are considered heart healthy foods because they help regulate cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that you should not go for processes, refined grains because they are steeped in glutens and may lead to problems like clogged arteries.

7. Dark Chocolate

When consumed in moderation, dark chocolate can actually help promote heart health. That is mainly because dark chocolate is made from cocoa, which is a great source of flavanols. These flavanols help lower blood pressure and also have an anti-clotting effect on your body. As antioxidants, these flavanols keep your arteries healthy by keeping "bad" cholesterol levels in check. Be sure to opt for dark chocolate that comes with 70% of cocoa or more. Avoid the ones that come with added sugar.

8. Apples

If you eat apples with its skin intact, you will be increasing your intake of fiber and antioxidants. The skin of apples also provides you with loads of polyphenols that help eliminate free radicals from your body and prevent oxidative damage to cells. Apples are also a good source of pectin that helps block absorption of cholesterol. This helps get rid of excess cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.

9. Potatoes

While many people think potatoes are 'bad' starch, this is certainly not the reason to eliminate them from your diet. They can be on your list of heart healthy foods so long as you do not deep-fry them. Potatoes provide you with a good amount of potassium that helps lower blood pressure. You also get fiber that lowers risk of cardiovascular disease. Just eat in moderation and you will be good.

10. Avocados

You can include avocados in your diet because they provide you with monounsaturated fats, which are actually good for your health because they lower "bad" cholesterol. By reducing inflammation in the body, they can protect you against inflammatory conditions, such as atherosclerosis that hardens your artery walls. You can simply replace butter with mashed avocado in your recipes and enjoy some amazing benefits. Just eat in moderation because avocados are high in calories.

11. Pomegranate

Pomegranates are good for your heart because they are laden with antioxidants, as well as heart-promoting anthocyanins and polyphenols. Regular consumption of pomegranates helps prevent hardening of the arteries. Some studies have found that drinking pomegranate juice may improve blood flow to the heart.

12. Grapefruit

Grapefruit are beneficial mainly because of their vitamin-C content. It helps keep blood cholesterol levels low and protect you against stroke as well. You may want to eat it in moderation though and be sure to ask your doctor in case you are already taking some medications because grapefruit can interact with some.

13. Red Grapes

You may want to include red grapes in your diet because they provide you with loads of resveratrol. This natural phenol has anti-clotting effect and keeps platelets from sticking together. Resveratrol is actually the reason why red wine is considered healthy for your heart – that is when you eat in moderation only. 

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