Heart Saver Foods.
When you add these to foods instead of salt and fat, you’re making a heart-healthy choice. They add flavor without the bad stuff. Spices and other foods are delicious ways to eat heart-smart.
Mild, tender black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
Red Wine and Resveratrol
If you drink alcohol, a little red wine may be a heart-healthy choice. Resveratrol and catechins, two antioxidants in red wine, may protect artery walls. Alcohol can also boost HDL, the good cholesterol.
Tip: Too much alcohol hurts the heart. Don’t have more than one drink a day for women or two drinks for men. It’s best to talk to your doctor first. Alcohol may cause problems for people taking aspirin and other medications.
Salmon & Tuna
A top food for heart health, it’s rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week. Tuna is often cheaper than salmon, tuna also has omega-3s. Albacore (white tuna) has more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. Try grilling tuna steak with dill and lemon. Reel in these other sources of omega-3s, too: mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies.
This oil is a healthy fat made from smashed olives. It’s rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. They may protect your blood vessels. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Try it on salads and cooked veggies, or with bread.
Walnuts & Almonds
A small handful of walnuts a day may lower your cholesterol. It may also protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies. Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, and desserts. They have plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Grab a small handful a day.
Sweet and juicy, oranges have the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin. They also have potassium, which helps control blood pressure. In one study, 2 cups of OJ a day boosted blood vessel health. It also lowered blood pressure in men.
A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time — making it useful for people with diabetes, too. Oats’ fiber can help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL).
This shiny, honey-colored seed has three things that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids.
When you think of dairy foods, you probably think, “Good for my bones!” These foods can help control high blood pressure, too. Yogurt is high in calcium and potassium. To really boost the calcium and minimize the fat, choose low-fat varieties.
Sweet cherries, sour cherries, dried cherries, and cherry juice — they’re all good. All are packed with an antioxidants called anthocyanins. They’re believed to help protect blood vessels.
Blueberries are simply brilliant when it comes to nutrition. They’ve got anthocyanins, those blood vessel-helping antioxidants. Those antioxidants give the berries their dark blue color. Blueberries also have fiber and more than a handful of other great nutrients. Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, pancakes, or yogurt.