If you want to combat heart disease, there are plenty of foods you can incorporate into your diet to do so. We know you might think there will only be fruits and vegetables on this list, and while they are incredibly healthy for you, there are plenty more foods you should eat. To help you get started on your health journey, we’ve compiled a long list of fantastic foods you should eat!
Chickpeas might be small, though they are nonetheless packed with cardiovascular nutrition. Loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamins, chickpeas can bring down cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
Coffee fans rejoice! Apparently, this bitter beverage can do wonders for the heart. Moderate intake will lower the risk for coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Head over to your favorite café now!
This fruit is not only delicious, but it also comes with plenty of antioxidants and nutrients. It would not be here if it did not help lower your risk for heart disease. Apart from that, it also prevents UTI and lowers risk factors for gum disease, stomach ulcers, and cancer.
Figs are criminally underrated! They are a wonderful source of nutrition for your heart. The sweet fruit is full of calcium and fiber. Figs can even reverse the effects of cardiovascular disease!
If you don’t eat fish or nuts but need omega-3 fatty acids, go for flax seeds! Typically added as toppings, they come with loads of antioxidants, estrogen, and nutrition that promote the health of your heart.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Californication is a legendary album, though we would like you to focus on the real red hot chili peppers this time. Thanks to the capsaicin they contain, they help bring down blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is great news for your heart, though we do not recommend eating it whole!
Ginger fans, we have some great news! Regular consumption of the wonderful-smelling spice actually lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Did you know that grapefruit comes with loads of fiber, potassium, lycopene, and choline? It’s true! This is a great way to keep your heart health in check. It is even recommended in the DASH diet, a nutritional pattern meant to bring down blood pressure.
This refreshing drink comes with many antioxidants and helps prevent arterial plaque buildup. It also lowers LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides! Drink up if you wish to promote your heart health.
Rich in magnesium, protein, and folate, kidney beans are low in fat and high in fiber. This means they bring down homocysteine levels and effectively reduce risk for strokes, heart disease, and even cancer! Go ahead and add them to your soups and stews if you wish.
We all love oranges! The fruit can quench your thirst, but it can also help absorb the cholesterol in your food. It comes with fiber, nutrients, vitamin C, and potassium. These components are great if you wish to flush out sodium, bring down blood pressure, and neutralize unhealthy proteins.
This member of the cabbage family is extremely good for you. It comes with nutrients that ensure the health of your cardiovascular system and fight heart disease. Kale is full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber as well. It is a great addition to meals since it is low in both fat and calories.
Garlic is great at keeping vampires away, though you should also know that it can lower the plaque level in arteries, bring down blood pressure, and lower blood vessel-constricting enzymes. Feel free to consume it as a pill if you don’t like the taste!
You don’t have to give up all of your vices! Feel free to drink red wine (in moderation, of course). Experts revealed that doing so can lead to a boost in your HDL levels and prevention of cholesterol buildup. It comes with antioxidants that prevent unhealthy blood clots by keeping blood vessels flexible!
It is also fine to indulge in your favorite chocolate bar from time to time. This sweet treat will make you feel better instantly, not to mention that it brings down your risk of heart disease and stroke. A Harvard study said regularly consuming raw cocoa led to better blood pressure and no hypertension. Eat it in moderation, and you will see improved blood vessel flexibility, better blood pressure, and lower heart-related disease risk.
Lentils can do wonders for the dish you are making, though let us focus on the heart-healthy benefits that come with these legumes. In addition to being an excellent source of potassium, protein, and magnesium, they lower the risk of developing heart disease and strokes. Other benefits include lowering blood pressure, bring down cholesterol levels, and reducing the risk of plaque buildup.
We all know how tasty almonds are, though you should also remember that they can boost cognitive functions, combat heart disease, and reduce cholesterol! Thanks to the high level of plant sterols, it also helps prevent the absorption of LDL.
Add pomegranates to smoothies, salads, and shakes since they come with many antioxidants that protect your arteries from plaque oxidation and fight heart disease. Studies show it also helps prevent prostate cancer, diabetes, strokes, and Alzheimer’s. It is great for your teeth, skin, and joints as well!
Blueberries are tasty and full of antioxidants and nutrients. Apparently, three servings per week can do wonders for your health! It will prevent cholesterol build-up, improve blood pressure, and protect against arterial plaque buildup. Other benefits are the elimination of cancer and lower risk for heart disease.
Beets come with high levels of minerals, antioxidants, and minerals. These purple superstars can lower homocysteine levels, reduce risk for heart disease, strengthen various organs, and prevent cancer.
Also known as the ‘chicken of the sea,’ salmon comes with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that help lower triglyceride levels, loosen up blood vessels, prevent blood clots, and combat heart disease.
Turmeric has been found to contain the active compound curcumin that helps block heart enlargement. Other benefits include the prevention of obesity, high blood pressure, and dysfunctional blood vessels. It also helps lower the risk for heart disease.
Chia seeds have made a name for itself as a smoothie topping, though don’t forget it is also a great source of antioxidants, protein, nutrients, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. It helps bring down cholesterol, lower the risk for all sorts of diseases, and maintain cardiovascular health.
The common saying might actually be true! Apples are full of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that lower risk for heart disease and bring down blood pressure. There are endless options to choose from and you can sort them by colors, flavors, and health benefits!
Avocados have become so famous there are stores completely dedicated to the fruit! This is partly because of how healthy they are. Avocados are full of potassium, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats that help bring down cholesterol, improve heart health, and lower the risk for heart disease.
Eggplants taste wonderful, and they are loaded with vitamins, nasunin, antioxidants, minerals, and flavonoids. These purple beauties help improve circulation, lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and bring down risk for heart disease.
Don’t be scared of broccoli! They are excellent for your cardiovascular health as the vegetable brings down cholesterol and strengthens blood vessels. Thanks to its sulforaphane content, it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps the prevention of blood sugar-related chronic problems.
Carrots are excellent heart-healthy vegetables. We know they help improve vision, though they also fight against free radicals and heart disease. Carrots are full of nutrients and vitamins that help combat cancer, as well as improve bone and cardiovascular health.
Chicken is incredibly versatile, and we love it! This lean meat comes with lower saturated fat and cholesterol levels than red meat. There are many reasons why health fanatics use it as a protein source!
Don’t be intimidated by the fuzzy shell. Inside, there is a fruit loaded with vitamins waiting for you. It is also an excellent source of potassium, polyphenols, copper, and magnesium. It prevents blood clots, maintains your heart health, and protects your cardiovascular system!
Legumes, in general, are full of minerals and vitamins. Apparently, they contain even more potassium than bananas do! As a source of protein and energy, lentils are great in just about any dish. Along with grapefruit, it has been included in the DASH diet.
If you want to eat fish other than salmon and tuna, why not go with mackerel? It goes well in salads and other dishes. Moreover, it is loaded with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It is great at lowering the risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
We all love cashews so it is a relief to hear that it is full of monounsaturated fats that bring down LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL levels at the same time. Thanks to its antioxidants, cashews help prevent cellular damage as well.
Oatmeal is a great way to begin your way! It is flexible and tasty, not to mention that it is full of various nutrients and minerals. It is high in fiber and boasts of a low glycemic index so look no further if you wish to lose weight and control your diabetes. It also clears arteries for better heart health!
Beans, as a group, deserve its own spot. These small superstars are low in fat, rich in protein, and high in fiber. They also offer many phytochemicals which is great for the prevention of heart disease!
Like apples, pears are also rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. Ultimately, this means they can lower the risk for heart disease and reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol.
Asparagus is delicious, but it is also worth mentioning that it is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. It promotes the digestive health, improves insulin levels, protects against various diseases, and lowers the risk for high blood pressure.
Quinoa has recently made a name for itself as a nutritious grain, and it is actually true. It has nearly double the fiber amount of other grains. It is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, and essential amino acids. It is great for losing weight, improving blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and promoting cardiovascular health.
The creators of Popeye might have known what they were talking about! This leafy vegetable is the best source of vitamin K, ultimately helping the prevention of blood clots and development of stronger bones. It is also full of potassium, fiber, folate, and lutein that helps promote cardiovascular health.
Strawberries go great in just about any dish! The red fruits will satisfy any sweet tooth and health freak since they are full of minerals, nutrients, and vitamin C. They are low in calorie and good for burning fat. Studies have also revealed that they can loosen up arteries and prevent the buildup of plaque in the heart.
Sweet potatoes are yet another rising star in the culinary world. The super food makes for an excellent source of potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure by ensuring fluid balance in the body. Moreover, sweet potatoes help in the regulation of your heartbeat.
Walnuts are one of our favorite snacks! If you feel the same way, you will be glad to hear they are loaded with the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Basically, this translates to reduced blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and a healthier heart.
We daresay that watermelons are the best fruit for the summer! Since the fruit is made of about 96% water, this is a great way to hydrate. Watermelons are brimming with potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, and C. This means regular consumption will lead to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Bananas go great in your smoothies or breakfast bowls! Aside from the taste, it is also full of fiber, potassium, and protein. Bananas also help muscles contract and nerve cells respond. Though they get a bad rep in the dieting world, the yellow fruits are actually low energy density food with resistant starch and fiber. Basically, they are great for weight loss. Not to mention that they bring down blood pressure, keep heartbeat regular, and promote heart health in general!
Olive oil isn’t just the best oil to add to any salad, it is also really healthy! Used largely in the Mediterranean diet, it’s no surprise it’s so good for your health. If you’re looking to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol, fight blood clots and regulate blood sugar levels, then opt for the extra virgin strain.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed (although we’re sure that you have) but soy is taking major shelf space in most supermarkets these days. There’s good reason for that, and it’s not just because it’s a decent replacement for eating meat. Soy fights bad cholesterol while providing you with fiber, omega-3 fats and protein!
Apple Cider Vinegar
I know, I know, apple cider vinegar is infamously known for its awful smell. Beyonce is actually a firm believer in this vinegar’s healing and health powers. A recommended use of apple cider vinegar is to dilute it with water and drink it before meals. Apparently this helps promote weight loss, as well as lower blood pressure and fight off heart disease.
Beans beans, good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you f… ind out just how healthy they are! These guys are teeming with protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, phytonutrients and folate. It basically means that cholesterol and heart disease don’t stand a chance!
Reduced Fat Yogurt
According to a number of studies on the effects of eating healthy dairy foods, reduced-fat yogurt can be an excellent diet stabilizer. Among other things it has been proven that this yogurt can protect your body against certain cancers. It doesn’t hurt that it also helps you fight high blood pressure… calmly of course.
At then end of the day, we only have our own bodies to protect us against disease and illness. Having said that, it’s of paramount importance that we look after ourselves, and cabbage is on our side in this endeavor. Cabbage is packed with vitamin c, an array of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and a lot more. As a bonus, cabbage helps maintain healthy vision.
Rice has for many centuries been a staple food for many cultures around the world. The brown variety however is often less frequently spoken of, so we’re here to give it the good PR that it deserves. Aside from filling you up with vitamins and minerals, brown rice fights off heart disease and diabetes.
Here is another oil that is often overlooked – coconut oil. Coconut oil provides a solid source of good cholesterol and it can do wonders for the health of your heart. However, let it be said that coconut oil, when consumed heavily, can have negative results. Everything in proportion, people.
Maybe as a kid you had a hard time stomaching cauliflower, but now you’re all grown up! This white cousin of the broccoli has some excellent benefits for your overall health. It provides high amounts of fiber, yet low amounts of carbohydrates. It keeps your bones strong and helps detoxify your body. Bonus – it tastes delicious!
Listen, before you get all giddy thinking that this fruit comes from actual fire-breathing beasts, it doesn’t. However it does pack a fiery punch of phytonutrients, nutrients, iron, calcium, protein, antioxidants, carotene, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin C and B vitamins. Wowzers, get me some of that dragon fruit!
It’s green. Yeah, I just wanted to get that out of the way so that we’re on the same page. Pistachios are straight-up delicious! They’re high in nutrients and anti-oxidants, but they’re low in calories – what a win! Cholesterol isn’t a factor with these nuts, but promoting heart and gut health sure is! I don’t know why I haven’t been eating these my whole life.
Would you believe it if I told you that pumpkins aren’t ONLY used for carving scary Halloween faces into? These orange giants are actually a superfood of sorts. It could be their high levels of pro-vitamin beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and phytoestrogens. Or maybe it’s just that they’re great for losing weight, keeping blood pressure in check and fighting bad cholesterol.
Now don’t get the wrong idea – we’re not talking about ketchup that’s loaded with sugar. Nope. We’re talking about the pure version of tomato juice-turned-sauce that you use a base for pizza or cooking pasta. Research has found that tomato sauce can help strengthen your heart’s health as well as make your skin look younger. How great is that?
With the internet at our fingertips nowadays, it’s so easy to find amazing brussel sprout recipes. They’re delicious, we know, but they’re also worth a lot more than their taste. Brussel sprouts pack loads of glucosinolates, protein, potassium, and iron. They help your body get rid of toxins. Wow, why don’t I eat more of these?!
There’s darn good reason you get olives to snack on at the counter of a bar. They’re delicious, that’s why. Or maybe it’s because they’re healthy and they can work as a counter to the unhealthy beverages we consume on a night out. Olives have some very special properties, like monounsaturated fat, nutrients, and antioxidants. They can even help you to lose weight!
We’re talking about cinnamon, not synonyms. Speaking of synonyms, do you know what some synonyms for cinnamon are? How about these: calcium-enriched, fiber-full, glucose-and-cholesterol-level-lowering… Not bad, right? Cinnamon doesn’t just add a festive taste to most dishes, it’s super healthy and can even improve cognition.
What is it about edamame that has us snacking on it in the morning, at lunch and dinner, and in the middle of the night? Maybe that’s just me, but bear with me because I’ve got some reasons why. Edamame is a soy protein that fights heart disease and reduces cholesterol levels in the body.
Collard greens aren’t just a single vegetable, rather there are a number of veggies that make up this family. The best part is that those vegetables are all on this list, or should be – kale, bok choy, brussels sprouts, broccoli, rutabaga and cabbage. These greens are a powerful match against heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Water is healthy? Are you serious? Yeah yeah, we all know that water is better than any other drink on this planet… at least when it comes to health. There are a bunch of coffee addicts rolling their eyes right now. As basic at it may seem, keeping yourself hydrated is essential in keeping all the body’s systems running at 100%.
Tuna has somehow gotten the hilarious name “chicken of the sea”, and we can totally understand why. Putting mercury levels aside (just for now), tuna is loaded with some of the greatest nutrients on Earth. Tuna provides us with healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids. They’re tasty and good for heart health.
Nowadays you don’t have to travel all the way to Northern Europe to get your hands on raspberries, but you might need to dig a little deeper in your pocket. These wonderful berries ooze vitamin C and manganese. They’re also low in fat and pack a powerful punch of polyphenols. What’s that? The thing you need to fight against all kinds of heart disease.
All you need is a handful of these and you’re good to go. Brazil nuts have everything you need in a healthy snack. They’re filling, disease-fighting, packed with nutrients and antioxidants and they taste mighty fine. Put this all together and you’ve got yourself a tasty package of heart-protecting potency.
There are a number of different kinds of fatty fish that can be put into this category. Before you get put off because we said “fatty”, you need to understand that they provide the good kind of fat. Try eating fish like herring, sardines, trout, mackerel and salmon. These guys all give you a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Have you ever noticed how tomatoes look like hearts? That’s no coincidence, I say, nature was trying to tell us something. I’m assuming that nature’s message was that tomatoes are really good for cardiovascular health. Tomatoes are full of vitamin C and vitamin A, fiber, lycopene and potassium.
This berry might be the classiest of the lot… might be. Acai berries have become well-reputed for being a fashionista in the foodies sense. Not only do they look tantalizing in any dish (check out acai breakfast bowls), they also contain lots of healthy nutrients which fight against the most fierce opponents like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
If you need some fish, sardines would be a great choice! They come with heart-boosting nutrients like the healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, it raises good cholesterol levels, lowers inflammation, and decreases triglyceride levels. Translation? This cold fish is good for your heart!
Did you know that goji berries come packed with a crazy amount of vitamins in them? They are super rich in iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants. These powerful nutrients will help your body and heart stay in good shape!
Seaweed is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Not only this, but it also offers a lot of zinc, magnesium, iodine, iron, and potassium. All combined, they work hard to help keep your heart pumping and prevent heart attack and stroke.
On top of black tea being delicious and comforting on a cold day, it is also filled with antioxidants that are great for your heart. If you drink it regularly, it will help to lower your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
If you’re a fan of peanut butter, then we have some good news for you- peanut butter is actually pretty healthy! It has vitamins, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. While it can be high in calories, it is also rich in good fat, potassium, and protein. It will also help to improve your blood pressure.
Even though potatoes are pretty high in carbohydrate levels, they also offer a lot of health benefits to you. They have fiber, zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamins. All of these things work together to improve body functions and cholesterol levels.
This is one that you don’t hear about so often, but did you know barley offers a lot of vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium? That’s right, the high fiber content will lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. Take caution, however, if you have a gluten intolerance.
If you’re looking to regulate your digestive track, look no further than radishes, as they are chock-full of fiber. Other than that, they are also quite rich in vitamin C and potassium, which makes them beneficial if you want to regulate your blood pressure.
Green peas are another veggie that sometimes gets left in the dark, but deserves a round of applause for the nutritional value they bring to the table (literally). They are low in calories but super high in fiber and protein. They also boast iron and vitamins A, K, and C. These things help keep the immune and cardiovascular systems healthy!
Almond butter is becoming more popular by the day, and for good reason. Just like its food cousin peanut butter, almond butter is loaded with monounsaturated fats. It also contains a ton of nutrients that will ensure the health of your heart.
If you are someone that is worried about eating eggs due to their cholesterol content since it raises HDL, we’re here to say it’s nothing to stress about. They also have protein, vitamins, and more! We highly recommend eating them regularly.
Blackberries are so amazing for you, as they’re filled to the brim with good nutrients! If you are someone who loves fruits, make sure to keep blackberries in your diet. They will keep your body safe from heart attacks, keep your cardiovascular system in good shape, and keep your blood pressure at a normal level.
Spirulina has a ton of really positive health benefits attached to it, It has become super trendy recently. Because of its nutrients that will reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, it’s a great and healthy option for your overall health.
Since cucumbers are over 95% water, they don’t come stocked with a ton of calories. Though they’re mostly water, they are still packed with nutrients that make them really healthy to eat. They are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Cucumbers will help combat heart disease as well!
Since matcha is the purest form that green tea is available in, it has the best health benefits. Just one cup of matcha can provide 10 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. It provides chromium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C, which is how it helps to keep you healthy.
Onions, of course, are a vegetable, which already eludes to the fact that they are healthy. But did you know just how many health benefits onions can offer in your dishes? Aside from adding more flavor to your meals, they can also help to lower your blood pressure levels and heart attack risk.
On top of the amazing flavor that lemons add to a dish, they also offer incredible health benefits. Lemons offer fiber, vitamin C, and plant compounds. They are especially helpful if you want to boost your immunity and heart health.
Just like peanut butter, peanuts themselves are super heart-beneficial because they offer a high amount of monosaturated fats, and they even lower the risk for stroke and heart attack. On top of that, they offer antioxidants and copper too.
Wheatgrass is one of those things that can be consumed in many ways, therefore making it easy for anyone to use. You can consume it in tablets or juice form; the leaves are hard to digest, so most people stay away from that option. On the health side, it comes with vitamins A, C, and E. In addition, it will also give you iron, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Just be sure to stay away from this if you are allergic to wheat, grass, or gluten.
Some people get the misconception that sunflower seeds are not healthy because they are high in oil; however, it is natural plant oil, so it is not unhealthy at all. Actually, it is considered good for your body because it is full of polyunsaturated fats. Sunflower seeds also contain a lot of minerals and vitamins such as copper, magnesium, and vitamin E.
If you find yourself needing more protein in your diet, hemp seeds are a great, natural way to go. They are also packed with all of the amino acids your body needs to be healthy. Specifically, Arginine is good for the health of your cardiovascular system. Hemp seeds also offer omega-3 fatty acids that are extremely beneficial to your heart. They have unsaturated fats, which your body will thank you for. They also have fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E!
Mushrooms get a bad reputation sometimes, but there’s really only positive health benefits in them. For one thing, they are versatile and taste amazing in many different types of dishes. Mushrooms are fat-free and full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, on top of the fact that they offer a lot of copper, potassium, antioxidants, and B vitamins as well. This superfood should always be included in your diet!
Whole grains include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, endosperm, and bran. The most commonly consumed whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa. In comparison to some refined grains, whole grains are much higher in fiber, which could help lower LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Tofu is a great form of vegetarian soy protein with heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. It is almost like a sponge, as it can absorb the taste of any spices or sauces you use to cook it. Adding tofu to soups will provide protein with little added fat.
This dark green, leafy vegetable has a ton of health benefits and is filled with potassium and magnesium- minerals that help control your blood pressure. Swiss chard also comes filled with heart-healthy fiber, vitamin A, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. If you want to try it, a great way to do so is with grilled meats or as a bed for fish.
Cherries come in more forms than most people realize, which is great because any and all forms of the fruit are a healthy and delicious choice for a snack. Each type of cherry is jam-packed with an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which help to protect blood vessels. A great way to eat cherries is to sprinkle them into cereal, muffin batter, salads, and rice.