Diet plays a major role in heart health and the foods you choose can greatly impact your risk of heart disease. Foods can influence blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. While eating a healthy diet loaded with vegetables is a great way to combat disease, sometimes you need to just focus on adding in a few little food choices that can get you one step closer to a healthy heart.
Adding these foods will help maximize your heart health.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale, and collard greens are known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting
Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. Avocados are also rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s essential to heart health.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are loaded with important nutrients that play a central role in heart health. They are also rich in antioxidants that protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease.
Fatty Fish, Fish Oil
Fatty fish and fish oil are both high in omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce heart disease risk factors. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements have been shown to improve arterial function and decrease blood pressure.
Almonds contain a long list of vitamins and minerals that are crucial to heart health. They’re also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber which help protect against heart disease.
Walnuts are a great source of fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Walnuts help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They have also been known to increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
Chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds are all great sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which are heart-healthy nutrients. Adding these seeds to your diet can improve many heart disease risk factors.