assortment of berries arranged in heart shape
May 22, 2024

When it comes to your heart health, the foods you eat matter. Eating a heart-healthy diet can help reduce or even eliminate risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, inflammation, blood sugar, body weight, etc. Here’s a list of some of the best foods for heart health that you should include in your daily diet.

1. Leafy Greens

colander full of leafy greens

One of the best foods for heart health is leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, bok choy, collard greens, arugula, and lettuce. These vegetables have an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nitrates. They are an especially great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper clotting. The nitrates in leafy greens may also help reduce blood pressure, improve the function of cells lining blood vessels, and decrease arterial stiffness.

2. Low-Fat and Fat-Free Dairy

You probably know that dairy helps keep your bones strong, but you may not know that dairy is also one of the best foods for heart health. Dairy products like yogurt are high in calcium, potassium, and vitamin D, and eating these foods can help control high blood pressure. To boost calcium intake and minimize fat, opt for low-fat and fat-free options.

3. Nuts and Seeds

hands holding an assortment of nuts in a heart shape

Nuts and seeds are some of the best foods for heart health because they contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Eating a small handful of nuts and seeds daily can help lower cholesterol and protect your arteries from inflammation. Some great nuts and seeds to add to your diet include walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and even coconuts.

4. Berries

Fruits in general are great for your heart, but berries are particularly excellent heart-healthy foods. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are full of nutrients that play important roles in heart health. They contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that may contribute to heart disease. Eating berries daily may also improve vascular function to help control blood pressure and clotting.

5. Whole Grains

assortment of whole grains

For grains to be considered whole, they need to include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, bran, and endosperm. While refined carbohydrates increase the risk of heart disease, whole grains can help protect against it. Consuming an extra one or two servings of whole grains daily may decrease your risk by 10 to 20 percent. Common types of whole grains include brown rice, wild rice, oats, whole wheat, buckwheat, barley, rye, and quinoa.

6. Healthy Fats

Some of the best foods for heart health are those that contain healthy fats like omega-3s. Healthy fats can help lower triglycerides, keep arteries from hardening, and regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Excellent sources of healthy fats include oily fish like salmon and tuna, olive oil, nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, and tofu.

7. Beans and Legumes

assortment of bowls filled with different types of beans and legumes

Studies have found that eating beans and legumes may reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure. Beans contain resistant starch, which is a nutrient that resists digestion and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Eating foods with resistant starch may have a healthy impact on the gut, which in turn can provide a number of health benefits for your heart.

8. Green Tea

It’s no secret that green tea has several health benefits. It’s known to increase fat burning, improve insulin sensitivity, and possibly even help prevent some cancers. The polyphenols and catechins in green tea make this one of the best foods for heart health. These substances act as antioxidants to reduce inflammation, prevent cell damage, and protect your heart. Green tea may also lower cholesterol and improve blood pressure.

Support Your Heart Health with Supplements

These are some of the best foods for heart health that you should include in your heart-healthy diet. To ensure your heart has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and function properly, you may also want to consider adding heart supplements to your routine. Heart Duo with CoQ10 contains omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 to provide dual-action support for cardiovascular health and function.