Top 10 Heart-Healthy Foods

Help protect your heart with these superfoods.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

The best diet for a healthy heart is one that is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. It should also be low in saturated fats (mostly from animal sources) and trans fats (those found in many processed baked goods).

Besides eating a healthy diet, you can keep your risk factors to a minimum by getting plenty of rest, quitting smoking, keeping alcohol to a minimum, and getting some stress-reducing exercise each day.

Here are my nominations for the top 10 heart-healthy foods:

1. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (red grapes count, too)

2. Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna (have it twice a week)

3. Soy foods, such as soybeans, tofu, and soybean oil -- all are good sources of isoflavones

4. Whole grains, such as breads, cereals, and oatmeal

5. Nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts

6. Olive oil

7. Beans, such as pintos, garbanzos, lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas

8. Other fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and grapefruit

9. Margarines, such as those fortified with stanols or sterols

10. Teas, particularly green and black teas

Originally published Feb. 6, 2004
Medically updated Jan. 3, 2005.

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