What Are the Top 10 Heart-Healthy Foods?

Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021
what are the top 10 heart-healthy foods
When it comes to heart health, diet plays a huge role. Here are the top 10 heart-healthy foods to reduce your risk of heart disease

When it comes to heart health, diet plays a huge role in reducing your risk of heart disease. It’s important to make sure you are eating enough vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants to control your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation.

Here are the top 10 foods to work into your diet to keep your heart healthy and strong.

  1. Green leafy vegetables: Kale, collards, and spinach are great for your heart because they are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and minerals necessary for maintaining heart health. The alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) content in leafy vegetables like spinach help prevent excessive inflammation, especially in blood vessels.
  2. Carrots: Carrots and other vegetables with red and yellow pigments are rich in beta-carotene, which is a great antioxidant that reduces free radicals, which are highly detrimental to the proper functioning of heart muscles.
  3. Olive oil: Olive oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also a rich source of fatty acids that improve heart health.
  4. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has been found to prevent the buildup of plaque. Studies have shown that taking 600 to 1500 mg of garlic extract daily was as effective at reducing blood pressure as some prescription drugs.
  5. Berries: Blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich sources of antioxidants, which protect the heart by fighting against inflammation and oxidative stress.
  6. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants, such as lycopene, which help fight against free radicals and inflammation. Tomato also increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, or good cholesterol levels in the body.
  7. Almonds and walnuts: Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, such as copper, magnesium, and manganese. These are good for reducing bad cholesterol, inflammation, oxidative stress, and other dangers to heart health.
  8. Seeds: Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, amino acids, and vitamins that can reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  9. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a rich source of flavonoids that boosts heart health by limiting calcified plaque development in the arteries.
  10. Beans: Beans contain resistant starch, which decreases the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

What are common causes of heart disease?

The most common causes of heart disease include:

QUESTION

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021
References
AARP. Heart Health Super foods. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/heart-health-foods.html

The University of California. Eating Right for Your Heart. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/eating-right-for-your-heart

Robbins O. The Incredible Power of Diet in Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease. Food Revolution Network. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/heart-healthy-foods/