Top 12 Healthy Foods For Your Heart

Top 12 Healthy Foods For Your Heart





According to the WHO, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading death cause in the world. It takes almost 18 million lives every year.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
top 12 heart healthy foods

Worldwide heart diseases are responsible for almost one-third of all deaths.

According to the CDC, one heart attack happens every 40 seconds in the USA, it is the number one killer.

Nearly 5-6 million people are currently suffering from heart failure, and most of them will die in the next 5 years.

Then the question may arise, how can we keep our hearts healthy? How to prevent heart attacks?

We can do a lot of things that help to keep our hearts healthy, such as controlling blood pressure and diabetes, annual health check-ups, regular exercise, stress management, etc.

Diet plays a vital role in our cardiac health. Here is the importance of heart-healthy foods.

Certain foods can create a positive impact on blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol levels, inflammation and reduce the risk of heart diseases.


Read more: Top 10 Healthy Foods For Our Brain


Heart-Healthy Foods To Eat


Here is the top 12 healthy foods for heart problems should be eating to enhance your heart health.


1. Leafy Green Veggies

The common leafy green veggies, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are very popular for their nutritional profile.

They contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and more heart-healthy nutrients.

They are a potent source of vitamin K, and high in dietary nitrates.

According to some studies, those who consume adequate amounts of vitamin K through diet have up to a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dietary nitrates also play a vital role in vasodilation, improving blood flow and reducing the workload on your heart.

The vasodilating effects of green vegetables also lower blood pressure and enhance heart health.

In particular, spinach is rich in healthy omega 3 fats, maintains cardiac rhythm, and is closely related to heart attack prevention.

The antioxidants, such as lutein and β-carotene prevent oxidative stress and maximize heart health.


Read more: These 14 Health Benefits Of Spinach Will Surprise You


2. Berries

Other healthy foods for heart problems are berries.

Berries, such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry are significant sources of various nutrients.

They come fully loaded, not just with a wealth of vitamins and minerals, but also with plenty of antioxidants as well. They are the most antioxidant-rich foods.

The antioxidants of these superfoods protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, and both of these promote heart disease.

According to a study, a daily intake of 2 ounces (50 gm) of blueberries brings a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure and protects our hearts in various ways.

Another study found that regular consumption of blueberries may improve artery functions, reduce the hardening of arteries as well as prevent heart attack.

Dietary fiber found in berries may also help your body by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and keeping your heart healthy.


Read more: Top 14 Health Benefits Of Berries


3. Avocado

Another heart-healthy food is the exotic fruit avocado.

Avocados are a potent source of heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and also contain vitamins K, E, and C, dietary potassium, several antioxidants, etc.

The potassium in avocados depletes excess sodium in the body and plays a crucial role in controlling blood pressure.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
avocado for healthy heart

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), unsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels.

MUFAs in avocado help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, the plant compound β-sitosterol present in avocado reduces LDL, but cannot increase HDL.

According to studies, avocado significantly reduces total cholesterol levels, triglyceride by up to 20%, bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 22%, and increases good cholesterol (HDL) by 11%.

Vitamin E, C, and other antioxidants prevent oxidative stress as well as lowers heart cell damage.

So, the cardio-protective and lipid-lowering effects of avocados are well documented in various studies.


Read more: What Are The Benefits Of Avocados!


4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain natural plant pigments with strong antioxidant power.

They are rich in lycopene, β-carotene, naringenin, chlorogenic acid, etc.

All these antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, prevent oxidative damage, and inflammation of the heart.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
Heart Healthy Tomatoes

A study in middle-aged men found that a low level of lycopene, and β-carotene in the blood, increased the risk of heart disease.

The consumption of lycopene has positive effects on blood pressure, endothelial function, and lipid levels.

The dietary fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and choline of tomatoes are good for our hearts.


Read more: Top 11 Zinc-rich Foods For Our Health


5. Almonds

Almonds are also a good source of MUFAs, dietary magnesium, fiber, and vitamin B.

Magnesium deficiency is closely related to hypertension, which is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes as well as kidney failure.

The magnesium in almonds helps to reduce blood pressure and creates a positive impact on cardiac health.

Besides controlling blood pressure, almonds can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels effectively.

Studies show that the fiber of almonds also lowers both LDL and overall cholesterol levels.

It prevents diseases like stroke and atherosclerosis.

These heart-healthy foods also protect LDL from oxidation and prevent the development of heart diseases.

According to a study, daily consumption of 1.5 ounces of this nut lowered almost 5 mg/dl of bad cholesterol with maintaining HDL levels.

Another human study found that the consumption of almonds for 30 days lowered 14% of oxidized cholesterol levels.

Additionally, vitamin B of this dry fruit works with phosphorus to maintain a proper heart rate and prevent arrhythmia.

So, your heart-healthy food list cannot be completed without almonds.


Read more: Top 12 Health Benefits Of Almonds


6. Olive Oil

Olive oil is vital stuff of the Mediterranean diet, and its cardioprotective benefits are well documented.

The antioxidants of olive oil can relieve chronic inflammation in the body, and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

It is a potent source of heart-healthy MUFAs, which improve heart health.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
Olive Oil For Healthy Heart

A review of a large number of studies found that olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of cardiac issues, mainly heart stroke.

Oleic acid and antioxidants of this healthy oil protect bad cholesterol from oxidation, improve the inner lining of arteries, and prevent blood clotting.

Interestingly, olive oil also reduces blood pressure and improves heart health in various ways.

Higher consumption of olive oil is linked with a 48% lower risk of death by heart disease. This heart-healthy food may slow down the aging of our hearts.


Read more: Top 9 Foods For Your Better Health


7. Whole Grains

Other healthy foods for heart problems are whole grains, which provide a lot of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and enhance our cardiovascular health.

Refined carbs promote the risk of coronary heart disease, but whole grains are cardioprotective.

Multiple research suggests that whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, barley, rye, and whole wheat in the daily diet, improve heart health in several ways.

Studies also found that 3 more servings of these heart-healthy foods were linked with a 22% lower in cardiac issues.

Whole grains help to reduce blood pressure, total cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol.

According to the American Journal of Nutrition, oats are the most effective grain for lowering blood cholesterol.


Read more: Top 10 Breakfast Foods For Weight Loss


8. Fatty Fish

Another healthy food for our hearts is fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are loaded with cardioprotective omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3s play a significant role in the prevention of cardiovascular problems and arrhythmias.

A study of over 40,000 men in the USA found that those who regularly consumed oily fish every week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease.

Fatty fish is also linked to lower levels of blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure.

For those who do not eat fish or much seafood, fish oil supplements can be a great option for getting a daily dose of omega 3s.

Fish oil also decreases bad cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and improves good cholesterol in the body.

Even in a small dose, fish oil helps to reduce blood pressure and may prevent plaque formation in the arteries.


Read more: Top 12 Foods To Improve Your Digestion


9. Green Tea

Green tea provides several health benefits from weight loss to a healthy heart.

According to a study, taking green tea for 3 months can reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL levels.

On the other hand, the polyphenols and antioxidants of this healthy beverage prevent bad cholesterol from oxidation.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
Green Tea And Healthy Heart

Another study found that green tea extract effectively increases leptin, and decreases LDL in women suffering from obesity.

A review in 2014 concluded that green tea is linked with a reduction in high blood pressure.

So, your heart-healthy food list cannot be completed without green tea.

Read more: 8 Benefits Of Antioxidants


10. Dark Chocolate

Another cardio-friendly food is dark chocolate. It contains several nutrients and is a potent source of flavonoids.

Several studies suggest that regular consumption of this dessert food can lower the risk of heart disease.

Flavanols of dark chocolate trigger the endothelial lining of the arteries to produce nitric oxide (NO).

NO is a vasodilator, that relaxes blood vessels, causing the arteries to widen. Eventually, reduces the resistance to blood flow and lowers blood pressure.

A controlled study suggested that cocoa powder significantly reduced the oxidation of bad cholesterol, lowered total bad cholesterol levels as well as increased good cholesterol.

On the other hand, the antioxidants of this heart-healthy food prevent free radical damage.

Health experts believe that dark chocolate provides protective benefits against atherosclerosis, and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, etc.


Read more: Top 10 Antioxidant-rich Foods


11. Garlic

Since ancient times, garlic has been used to treat various health problems as a medicinal herb.

Nowadays, studies found that it has potent medicinal properties that can improve our cardiac health.

The low sodium and high potassium content of garlic may help to control blood pressure.

According to studies, regular consumption of 1-2 cloves of garlic can reduce hypertensive heart problems by up to 15%.

Another study found that 600-1500 mg of aged garlic extract (AGE), a supplement for 24 weeks was as effective as the prescription drug atenolol in lowering blood pressure.

On the other hand, the plant compound diallyl trisulfide (DAT) of this heart-healthy food reduces bad cholesterol and increases HDL levels.

DAT also helps to keep triglyceride levels normal and protects our heart from atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, etc.

Garlic also promotes NO production and maintains the elasticity of the blood vessels. The vasodilation effects of NO keep blood circulation normal.

 The anticoagulation nature of this medicinal herb prevents the breakdown of platelets inside the blood vessels and prevents blood clotting.

It acts as a blood thinner and ensures proper blood circulation throughout our body.


Read more: Health Benefits Of Garlic Will Surprise You


 12. Red Wine

Small amounts of red wine are associated with several heart-healthy benefits as compared to other alcoholic beverages.

According to research, those who consume approximately 150 ml of red wine a day are 32% less vulnerable to cardiac problems than non-drinkers.

However, excess red wine consumption triggers the risk of heart disease drastically.

Healthy Foods For Your Heart
red wine And Heart health

A healthy serving of this beverage helps to retain good cholesterol in the blood.

On the other hand, antioxidant resveratrol can reduce the oxidation of LDL by up to 50%.

Another study found that 2-3 glasses of dealcoholized red wine per day can reduce blood pressure.

So, health experts believe that 1-2 glasses of red wine per day and 2-3 days a week, may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and early death in middle-aged men.


Read more: Top 9 Probiotic Foods & Their Health Benefits


Now, The Conclusion


Cardiovascular problems are becoming more common in the world and heart-healthy foods are quite important for us.

From whole grains to leafy veggies, avocado to garlic, olive oil to red wine, all these healthy foods for heart problems produce positive impacts.

These foods contain antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals which are vital for our cardiac health.

Health experts and researchers always suggest that diet can influence blood pressure, cholesterol levels, oxidative damage, etc.

So, a healthy diet is very important to our health.

On the other hand, unhealthy junk foods promote the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, etc.

Too much salt in the diet increases blood pressure dramatically and can be dangerous.

Additionally, excess amounts of refined sugar can increase lipogenesis, promote triglyceride levels, and may increase the chance of death from heart disease.

Although heart-healthy foods play a vital role, a healthy daily routine is also important.

Regular exercise reduces hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular risk factors, and other metabolic issues.

Smoking and alcohol abuse are also very harmful to our health. Quitting smoking and avoiding excess alcohol intake has been proven to reduce heart disease.



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