June 5, 2024

Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body. It pumps blood throughout your body to provide oxygen and nutrients to cells and remove wastes. To keep this vital muscle healthy, it’s important to fuel it with heart-healthy foods. Here are some of the best foods for heart health that you should be eating daily.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

assortment of raw fruits and vegetables

Some of the best foods for heart health are fruits and vegetables. It’s typically recommended to eat at least five servings of these foods every day. Eat an assortment of colors to provide your cardiovascular system with a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet has been shown to help prevent heart disease. Examples of excellent fruits and vegetables include broccoli, spinach, apples, peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, and oranges.

2. Whole Grains

Whole grains are a great source of soluble fiber, making them some of the top foods for heart health. Fiber helps lower cholesterol, which can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Don’t be fooled by packages that claim to be “whole grain.” Instead, check the label to see if whole grains are listed as the first ingredients. Try to eat three servings of high-fiber whole grains each day to benefit your heart. Examples of whole grains to include in your diet are oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pastas, whole-grain breads, quinoa, and whole-grain cereals.

3. Healthy Fats

foods high in healthy fats and omega-3s

Some of the most beneficial foods for heart health are those that contain healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Eating foods that contain healthy fats may help manage cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure. You can get a healthy dose of omega-3s from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout. Other foods that are good sources of healthy fats include avocados, flaxseeds, plant seed oils, and nuts like almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. You can also take omega-3 supplements.

4. Plant-Based Proteins

Some sources of protein are better than others when it comes to choosing foods for heart health. The best options are plant-based proteins because these foods are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risks and contain heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. Excellent sources of plant-based proteins include beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame, tofu, nuts, and seeds. You can also get protein from seafood, eggs, and lean meats like poultry in moderation.

5. Fresh Herbs and Spices

bunches of fresh herbs

Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Many people eat too much salt and saturated fats in their daily diets because of the flavor they add to food. A lot of salt can be found in processed and pre-packed foods like deli meats, canned foods, and baked goods. However, you can enjoy a tasty, heart-healthy diet without excess salt and fats. Try using herbs and spices to flavor fresh, unprocessed foods instead. Making your healthy meals taste better with these ingredients will make it easier to stick to your heart-smart choices.

More Ways to Improve Heart Health

These are some of the best foods for heart health that you should include in your daily diet. However, it’s important to note that maintaining a healthy heart takes more than just altering your diet. Making additional healthy lifestyle changes can give your heart the boost it needs to function at its best. Check out these 4 ways to improve cardiovascular health to help you live a healthier, longer life.