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heart-shaped plate filled with heart-healthy foods
February 8, 2024

The American Heart Association tells us that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s reported that nearly half of adults in the U.S. have it. If you want to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease, a great place to start is your diet. Eating a heart-healthy diet can make a huge difference and help you live a healthier, longer life. Keep reading to find out more about the best foods for heart health that you should include in your regular diet.

1. Berries

If you want to improve your heart health, try adding berries to your diet. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries contain high amounts of fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help fight chronic diseases like heart disease. Berries are also great sources of vitamin C, which may be linked to a lower risk of stroke. You can incorporate more berries into your diet by adding them to cereal, salads, smoothies, yogurt, etc.

2. Fatty Fish

salmon

Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, and others are well-known as some of the best foods for heart health. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce inflammation, lower triglycerides, and reduce the risk of heart attack-causing plaque in your arteries. It’s typically recommended to eat fish twice per week to reap these benefits. Instead of grilling up a steak, choose grilled salmon as your protein.

3. Oatmeal

If you need to lower your cholesterol levels, try adding oatmeal to your diet. This food contains beta glucans, which are a type of soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol and support weight control. Other beneficial nutrients in oatmeal are potassium and magnesium, which are both great for heart health. For a balanced breakfast, add 25 mg of whey protein and nuts or seeds to your morning oatmeal so you can start your day with adequate protein and fiber.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

bowl of raw cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables that are members of the Brassica family and include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, and collards. These vegetables are rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, giving them antioxidant properties that help fight heart disease. Roast these veggies with a little olive oil and your favorite spices to add a tasty side dish to your meal that’s great for your heart health.

5. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are great foods for heart health. They contain protein, heart-healthy fats, and vitamin E. Enjoy a healthy afternoon snack of almonds or an apple with peanut butter. Add chopped walnuts and flaxseeds to your morning yogurt or oatmeal. Eating just a handful of nuts can satisfy your hunger and provide benefits for your heart. Just make sure you choose unsalted nuts to avoid consuming too much sodium.

6. Beans & Legumes

assorted bowls of legumes

Beans and legumes contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, and they also contain flavonoids. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating a serving of beans, peas, or lentils a day may help reduce bad cholesterol and keep you feeling full, which in turn can also help you control weight to maintain a healthy heart.

7. Red Wine

The most surprising food for heart health is red wine. Moderate alcohol consumption of 2 to 3 drinks per week may be good for the heart by improving levels of good cholesterol. Red wine provides additional heart benefits because it contains resveratrol. Resveratrol has antioxidant properties that may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease. Make sure you only drink in moderation, as too much alcohol will have negative health effects.

More Ways to Improve Heart Health

In addition to eating these great foods for heart health, you may also benefit from taking heart-healthy supplements. CoQ-10 is a lipid-soluble antioxidant that helps maintain cellular energy production and has also been shown to extend cell life and benefit high-energy systems such as the cardiovascular system. Another great supplement for heart health is Bergamot BPF, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, preserves arterial health and elasticity, and supports the cardiovascular system.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve your heart health, take a look at these heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

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