10 best foods that help you keep your heart healthy

10 best foods that help you keep your heart healthy

Legumes help prevent lowering blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

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A healthy diet can benefit your waistline and support your heart. Cutting back on sodium, added sugars, saturated fat, and red meat can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Instead, integrating foods like fatty fish, berries, and whole grains into your diet can help keep your heart healthy.

10 best foods to keep your heart healthy

1. Fatty fish

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Fatty fish or oily fish is the largest source of marine omega-3s. Omega-3 fats help prevent heart disease and stroke. The Harvard Nutrition Source notes that these fats appear to help the heart beat at a steady rate and not at a dangerous or potentially fatal erratic rate.

Omega-3s also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and in high doses lower triglycerides and can ease inflammation. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests eating omega-3 source fish at least 2 servings per week. Fish rich in omega-3s are salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, lake trout, and albacore.

2. Berries

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Berries are good for your brain and so are your heart. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are packed with flavonoids, especially anthocyanins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, studies show that they can help dilate arteries, counteract plaque buildup, and provide other cardiovascular benefits.

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries a week can help women reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to a third, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

3. Legumes

Black beans
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Eating beans is good for your heart. Like lentils, chickpeas and other legumes are rich in fiber, provide protein, B vitamins and minerals. Legume consumption has been linked to a lower risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke (including heart attack).

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people who ate legumes 4 or more times a week had a 22% lower risk of heart disease and 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Oats

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Whole grains such as oats are a source of fiber, minerals and other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Eating whole grains is associated with lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of heart disease.

According to a study by researchers at Tufts University, eating whole grains is associated with aSmaller increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

5. Fruits and vegetables

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Eating 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables is ideal for a longer life. They help reduce the risk of various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, according to the journal Circulation of the American Heart Association.

Not all fruits and vegetables are so beneficial

The researchers’ analysis found that starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, as well as fruit juices are not associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes or specific chronic diseases.

The most beneficial fruits and vegetables

The fruits and vegetables that showed the greatest benefits are green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and kale; as well as those rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries and carrots.

6. Walnuts, almonds and peanuts

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Walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, protein, and other nutrients. They can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies have revealed that people who eat one ounce of walnuts, almonds and peanuts five per week have a lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary disease.

7. Seeds

Chia and berries
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Flax seeds contain heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestrogens; it is better to eat them ground to take better advantage of their benefits. Chia seeds are one of the foods richest in fiber, provide complete protein and are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Dark chocolate

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Cocoa is rich in flavonoids that can help protect the heart. Harvard explains that flavonoids promote the production of nitric oxide which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more cocoa solids and less sugar than milk chocolate. Choose dark chocolate 70% or more cocoa and consume in moderation.

9. Olive oil

Olive oil
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Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. It is the main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. Swapping saturated fats like butter for olive oil is a more heart-healthy option.

10. Green tea and coffee

Green Tea
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Coffee and tea provide antioxidant compounds recognized for their anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming both drinks has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Drinking green tea and coffee reduces the risk of death for stroke and heart attack survivors, reveals a study shared by the AHA.

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