10 foods to improve your heart health
When it comes to your heart health, what you eat matters.
Following a heart healthy diet can help reduce or eliminate risk factors of heart disease: lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, reducing body weight, and lowering blood sugar.
Foods that improve heart health:
Salmon and tuna
These fish are high in omega-3s–healthy fats that can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart rhythm disorders. If you’re a vegetarian, try tofu as an alternative.
This oil is rich in antioxidants that help protect your blood vessels. Replace saturated fats, like butter, with olive oil to lower your cholesterol.
Walnuts and almonds
A small handful of these nuts daily can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart’s arteries from inflammation. Walnuts are also packed with omega-3s.
This citrus fruit is filled with cholesterol-fighting fibers and potassium to help control or even lower your blood pressure.
Avocados provide a great source of heart healthy fats which lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Consuming dark chocolate in moderation can help boost your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Pick a dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to get the benefits.
Dairy not only helps your bones stay strong, but also helps control your blood pressure. Low-fat options help boost calcium intake and minimize fat.
Cherries contain an antioxidant that helps protect your blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
Dark leafy greens
Greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nitrates that help open blood vessels so oxygen-rich blood can reach your heart. Dark leafy greens include spinach, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, and mustard greens.
Black beans are filled with antioxidants, folate, and magnesium that can help lower your blood pressure. Don’t forget to rinse canned black beans to remove extra salt.
Other healthy foods to consider:
- Sweet potatoes
- Green tea
Next time you make a trip to the grocery store, consider adding some of these heart healthy items to your cart.
If you have a history of heart disease or are looking to make a positive impact on your health, schedule an appointment with your provider to discuss lifestyle changes.