Heart disease is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It affects both men and women, but women tend to have more risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure. When it comes to heart, your diet matters. Common heart-healthy foods include fish, beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
You can incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet, including replacing saturated fats and red meats with heart-healthy proteins, eating more fish and seafood, increasing fruits and vegetables, lowering sodium, and decreasing sodium trans-fat.
Here Are the Ten Heart-Healthy Foods
Goji berries come from the Himalayan Mountains and have been used for generations in Asia for their healthy properties. They are packed with antioxidants and vitamins and are known to support healthy eyes, heart, lungs, and immune systems. They are an excellent addition to your diet because they are low in calories and cholesterol free. Goji berries can be eaten raw, dried, or cooked. They can be added to your favorite trail mix, fruit smoothie, yogurt, or sprinkled over oatmeal. You can also try them as a snack on your own.
It’s time to embrace cottage cheese again! This creamy, savory dairy food can be a healthy addition to your diet. It’s low in fat, high in protein and vitamin B12, and low in calories. It is also low in sodium and cholesterol and contains bioactive protein and probiotics. Plus, it’s packed with calcium to help strengthen bones and teeth and protect against osteoporosis. Remember these health benefits the next time you’re at the store.
Spinach is another leafy green full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains calcium, iron, vitamins A, B2, and B6, folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. It is also low in fat and calories.
Salmon is a heart-healthy fish that is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Though salmon is high in fat, it is considered a healthy fat.
Oatmeal is a healthy food packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Unfortunately, most oatmeal varieties come packaged with added sugar and (sulfated) sugar substitutes. When shopping for oatmeal, be sure to look for “whole” oats (not instant) and opt for plain, steel-cut oats over rolled oats. These contain more fiber and nutrients and won’t contain added sugar or salt.
Sweet potatoes have been a favorite in the diet world for several years. They contain many of the same nutrients as regular white potatoes—including potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber—but they also contain about 40 percent less sugar. They are also rich in beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant that converts inside the body to vitamin A, which is important for eye health as well as skin health. A cup of sweet potatoes contains only 70 calories, which makes them a good source of low-calorie vegetables.
Berries are mostly known for their delicious flavors and high nutrient content. And for a good reason, since berries are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But they are also excellent sources of fiber, folate, and potassium.
Tomatoes are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients, including potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. They’re also a good source of lycopene, which helps lower cholesterol, and phenols, which reduce blood pressure. They are also low in calories, fat-free, and contain no cholesterol. Add them to salads, pasta, or pizza for a tasty, heart-healthy addition to your diet.
Whole grains are good for you. Not only are they high in fiber and vitamins, but they also boost your metabolism and help fight heart disease. Eating more whole grains will help you to lose weight, lower your risk of heart problems, and decrease the risk of diabetes and cancer.
Beans are an ideal food to include in your diet. They are healthy, cheap, and a great source of fiber. Beans are especially great for heart health since they help lower cholesterol. They contain glycinolignan, which may help to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. (Oxidizing LDLs can raise the risk of plaque developing in your arteries.) In addition to beans, other heart-healthy foods include plant sterols, garlic, olive oil, nuts, and salmon.
Your doctor has probably told you not to eat more than one serving of red meat a day or that you should eat fish instead of red meat. However, most doctors also recommend eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. But, did you know that eating lots of vegetables and fruit also helps your heart? That’s because fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients that are good for your heart.
Eating right can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, improve your blood sugar level, maintain a healthy weight and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Adding superfoods to your diet is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. These foods are loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and essential nutrients.