A great source of vitamin K, spinach is super good for your overall health, but also your heart. Spinach also contains nitrates, which have been shown to improve blood pressure and arterial stiffness. According to the AHA, higher green intake is associated with lower heart disease risk.
Whole grains are protective of your heart. Quinoa is great for our health as it has been shown to lower the risks of many heart diseases and associated issues These include stroke, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Replace your white rice with quinoa to reap the benefits.
Delicious and good for you. Strawberries have a recognisable red color, which is actually where most of their benefits come from. The red color is made up of healthy plant compounds that act as antioxidants, which are really good at fighting diseases and helping the heart protect itself.
They are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which are very healthy for the heart. These healthy fats have been linked to the reduction of cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease. Have a serving of avocado everyday with your breakfast or as a snack.
Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This oily fish has so many health benefits, but most importantly, it helps to protect your heart. Omega-3s have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular diseases as well as high blood pressure. If you really don’t like fish, get some fish oil supplements.
They are a great source of fiber and magnesium. Food studies have shown that eating a balanced diet with walnuts introduced can help decrease LDL and total cholesterol levels. In turn, these effects can help prevent further heart diseases. Eat a serving of walnuts with your breakfast or supplements.
Eating blueberries may help with blood pressure control. These delicious berries are full of antioxidants, which help our bodies protect itself and fight off diseases. Antioxidants also can help with inflammation and metabolism. Add a handful of blueberries to your morning smoothie or oatmeal bowl for a boost of nutrients.
Having beans as a part of your balanced diet can help with reducing the risks of heart disease. Beans are full of fiber and resistant starch, which aids with digestion and gut health. Your gut can directly impact other parts of your body, so a healthy gut means a healthier heart.
Even a sweet treat can help your heart health. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help with the prevention of calcified plaque in the arteries. When grocery shopping, pick a chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa and stick to the serving size per day to not overbalance the good benefits with the bad.
Loaded with lycopene, tomatoes are super good for you. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties that can help with inflammation and the lowering of bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Some studies have even shown tomatoes could improve HDL levels, which are the good and healthy cholesterol our bodies need.
These nuts are incredibly nutrient dense. Not only are they tasty, they are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats that help our hearts fight against diseases. Food research suggests a serving of almonds a day can impact your cholesterol levels for the better by reducing the harmful LDL cholesterol.
These little seeds are a great source of Omega-3s. Chia seeds can help with reducing heart risk factors such as inflammation, blood pressure and cholesterol. Mix chia seeds into smoothies or make chia pudding by soaking the seeds in milk or water, for a delicious and super nutritious breakfast or dessert.
Garlic lovers rejoice. It contains a compound called allicin, which has been associated with health benefits in the body. Trials have shown that allicin can help with blood pressure as well as platelet build up, helping to reduce strokes. When cooking, crush it and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the allicin to form.
Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil has many health benefits. According to health studies, a higher intake of olive oil could potentially lower the risk of dying from heart disease by 48%. The oleic acid in the oil could also help prevent hypertension.
Like other soy products, edamame contains isoflavones compounds. This compound has been associated with the lowering of bad cholesterol levels and improving overall heart health. Edamame are super high in protein and fiber, so they make a great filling snack whilst keeping your heart healthy.
Ditch the coffee. Green tea has high levels of polyphenols and catechins, which are compounds that can help reduce inflammation as well as help to manage blood pressure. Food studies have also shown that green tea can help with appetite regulation and help prevent overeating.
The oil in this fish is basically liquid gold. Rich in Omega-3, mackerel is super good for heart health as the fatty acids help to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol in your body. The Omega-3s can help reduce the risk of CVD events too as well as arrhythmias.
Long lasting carbohydrates that keep you full and your heart healthy. The soluble fiber found in oats can help with digestion, lowers blood glucose levels and also lower cholesterol levels. Eating a bowl of oatmeal daily, paired with other nutritional dense foods, can help with your overall heart health.
The trendiest super food. Kale is packed full of nutrients and vitamins, but it’s levels of nitrates means it’s super good for your heart. Nitrates can help with the function of the cells that line the arteries, as well as lowering blood pressure. Blend kale into smoothies for the added nutrient but without the leafy taste.
Accessible and easy to cook with, tuna can be a great addition to your diet. Tinned tuna is just as good as steak varieties, so try out different recipes to see how you best enjoy it. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for heart health and the lowering of bad cholesterol.
A great protein source for vegetarians, but also good for everyone’s heart. Tofu is rich in fiber, polyunsaturated fats and heart healthy minerals. Polyunsaturated fats can help with reduction of heart disease risk, as well as preventing the build up of arteries. It’s versatile and can be cooked in many ways, so try it out with your favorite seasoning or sauces.
Swap out your white potatoes for these. These spuds won’t spike your blood sugar and they have high levels of fiber, vitamin A and lycopene. Lycopene helps with reducing bad and total cholesterol levels, and can help fight inflammation. Try sweet potatoes roasted or mashed, to make your dinner plate more balanced.
Fresh and tasty, oranges have a fiber called pectin. Pectin can help with inflammation and prevent bad cholesterol from building up. Oranges can also help with preventing oxidation of cholesterol, which means it begins to stick to the artery walls, this means oranges can help to prevent strokes or heart attacks.
Delicious with chicken or salmon, this veggie is also great for heart health. Asparagus is a great natural source for folate, which is a compound that can help the health of the arteries. It does this by preventing the build up of a hormone that is linked to other heart issues such as stroke or heart attack.
Try replacing rice with this nutty grain. This whole grain can help reduce blood sugar levels and help fight against heart disease. This is because barley contains beta-glucan which is recognized for lowering cholesterol fighting abilities and fighting inflammation. Add barley to stews or soups for added texture and nutrients.
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. This means they can help reduce blood pressure levels, as well as bad cholesterol. Fighting these health effects meaning eating flax seeds everyday could help to lower the risk of heart disease or heart attacks.
These bright and juicy fruits are packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants. Food studies suggest that the anthocyanins in cherries, which are plant compounds, can help with reducing inflammation and the proper function of cells in the arteries. Blend cherries in smoothies or make a fresh sorbet for a nutrient dense dessert.
Stir-fried with garlic and chilli, Bok Choy makes a delicious side dish, but it’s also super good for you. It contains folate and vitamin B6, which can help remove homocysteine from the blood. Homocysteine can damage your blood vessels and increase the risk of heart problems.
Chickpeas can significantly reduce levels of LDL as they are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They contain polyphenols, which have been associated with having beneficial effects on the heart, by helping to reduce symptoms and causations of heart disease. Mix chickpeas into salads, or roast them in your favorite seasoning to replace chips.
Everyone knows broccoli is good for you, but it’s on another level. Steamed broccoli can help reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. It does this by having high levels of soluble fiber and antioxidants that help with digestion and preventing inflammation and diseases. It’s nutrient dense and low in calories, so eat up.
One of the top sources of Omega-3 from the fish family. Sardines are really good for you, as their fatty acids help to lower cholesterol but also they tend to be lower in mercury than other fish varieties. Sardines in a tin or fresh are just as good, just be wary of how they are stored and cooked.
Amongst its leafy green relatives, Swiss chard usually comes out on top. It’s packed with potassium and fiber, which is great for heart health, as potassium is known for helping to reduce blood pressure levels. Also, Swiss chard has been associated with reducing blood sugar as well as inflammation.
Add these tasty berries to your oatmeal or smoothies. Rich in antioxidants, blackberries can help reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as overall total cholesterol levels. This in turn can lower blood pressure and help to regulate healthier arteries. Add a portion of blackberries to your diet daily to help support your heart health.
Don’t forget these on your cheeseboard. Grapes have a plant compound in their crunchy skin that can help with the regulation of blood pressure as well as fight inflammation. Both red and green grapes are good for you, so pick your favorite and snack away.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain a compound called procyanidins, which are antioxidants that can help reduce LDL cholesterol. However, if you want the best benefits from apples, choose red ones. The red pigment is made up of anthocyanin, which can help with inflammation and other risk factors surrounding heart disease.
Try sprinkling a handful of sunflower seeds on top of your oatmeal or veggie soups. These little seeds are packed with polyunsaturated fats which can help with the reduction of bad cholesterol, and aid with the absorption of better HDL cholesterol. Snack on these seeds instead of chips or candy.
The perfect little snack for when you’re craving sweets. Raspberries contain lots of fiber and heart healthy minerals. They also contain potassium, which is crucial for heart function, specifically the management of regular blood pressure. Add these berries to your desserts for a punch of nutrition and fiber.
Low fat yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of potassium and calcium, which is needed for the regulation of blood pressure and bone health. It’s best to choose unsweetened or plain yogurts, as flavored ones can contain too much sugar and can outweigh the good benefits. Pair your yogurt bowls with other nutrient foods like berries and nuts.
High in fiber, protein and easy to cook and add to dishes. Lentils are great for the heart as they contain folate and iron, which can help to support the regulation of the heart. They are often associated with lowering bad cholesterol levels and decreasing blood pressure. Add lentils to stews or chilis for extra fiber.
Small but mighty. Garden peas are packed full of vitamins and minerals that can help to support the health of your heart. Magnesium and potassium are known to help with blood pressure, and flavonols in peas are also great for cardiovascular function. Throw peas into many meals to bulk them up physically and nutritionally.