Top 20 Foods That Keep Your Heart Healthy

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One of the most important organs in our body is the heart. Every part of the body functions due to the pumping action of the heart. All over the world, heart failure is one of the most common causes of death. Our hectic lives and unhealthy lifestyles have made it even more common. Eating foods that contain high levels of cholesterol and salt damage the heart. Earlier, it was believed that heart ailments only affected the older generation. But now, even teenagers are having heart failure and cardiac arrest. Your heart might be silently suffering without you even realizing it. So what exactly can we do to protect our hearts? Exercising daily and scheduling regular checkups with our doctor are ways to maintain our heart health. Even light exercising or brisk walking can greatly benefit your overall health, particularly heart health. But do you know that you can protect your heart from disease by making simple changes in your eating habits? Reducing cholesterol and salt, and increasing your intake of foods rich in antioxidants, can go a long way toward protecting your heart. We have compiled a list of 20 foods that will fortify your heart against diseases. 

1. Black Beans

Black beans are packed in nutrients. These nutrients keep your heart healthy. Rich in Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium, they lower blood pressure levels. They are also high in fiber, which holds a check on your cholesterol levels. But if you are eating canned beans, wash them before consumption to reduce extra salt.1. Black beans

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is the best alternative to all your cooking oils and fats. Due to its unsaturated nature, olive oil has lower cholesterol levels than butter or ghee. It is also high in antioxidants that reduce inflammation, thus protecting the heart. Olive oil can be used both as a cooking oil and as a salad dressing.

2. Olive oil

3. Walnut

If you frequently find yourself snacking on chips and crackers, consider replacing them with walnuts. A handful of walnuts contain fiber, plant sterols, and healthy fats that prevent inflammation in your blood vessels.

3. Walnut

4. Edamame

Edamame is nothing but soybeans. Japanese restaurants often serve it as a starter. It is a fiber-rich food that protects your heart. Soy proteins are also a source of antioxidants. Popping the soft and tasty edamame from the pod is very satisfying. 

4. Edamame

5. Sweet Potatoes

They are a suitable replacement for regular potatoes. They contain lycopene and Vitamin A. They are also fiber-rich vegetables having a much lower glycemic index. Roasted sweet potatoes are a delicious snack that most people enjoy. 

5. Sweet Potatoes

6. Barley

If you eat rice regularly, consider replacing it with barley. This fiber-rich grain will lower your blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Make sure to choose whole grain barley over pearl barley.

6. Barley

7. Cherries

Cherries contain anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and heart damage. They are an excellent snacking option. You can also add dried or candied cherries into muffins and salads. 

7. Cherries

8. Asparagus

High levels of homocysteines, an amino acid, increases the risk of strokes and heart failure. Asparagus have folate, which regulates blood homocysteine levels. Consider adding raw asparagus to your salads and pasta.

4. Edamame

9. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolates have flavonoids, an antioxidant that maintains heart health. Consuming sugar-free dark chocolate in moderation will be most beneficial. 

9. Dark Chocolate

10. Tuna

Fatty fishes like tuna and salmon are a source of omega-3 fatty acids. They lower blood cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.

10. Tuna

11. Green tea

There is credible research that shows green tea helps regulate blood cholesterol levels. Replace your regular tea with green tea. At least have two cups a day to reap maximum benefits. 

11. Green tea

12. Liver

The liver is nutrient-rich organ meat containing folic acid, iron, copper, chromium, and zinc. Consuming the liver increases hemoglobin levels in the body, which is key to preventing heart disease.

12. Liver

13. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant. Studies show that people with low levels of lycopene in their blood are at an increased risk of contracting heart diseases. A study showed that women who consumed raw tomatoes with their regular meals for a month had lower levels of cholesterol in their blood. 

13. Tomatoes

14. Avocados

Avocados contain potassium, a proven mineral that maintains heart health. They also contain monounsaturated fats that lower the body’s cholesterol levels. Avocado toast has become a trendy breakfast dish. Just slice and add them to toasted bread, and you have a nourishing breakfast. Avocados can also be eaten as salads.   

14. Avocados

15. Almonds

They are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamins and fibers that protect the heart from strokes and cardiac arrests. Keep them soaked overnight and consume them in the morning. You can add them to milkshakes, cakes, and cookies. Or keep them in your bag and snack on them throughout the day. 

15. Almonds

16. Seeds

Flax and chia seeds are rich in lignan, a phytochemical that keeps the heart healthy. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. You can sprinkle them on toast or grind them into a powder and add them to cereal. Dried pumpkin seeds can also be a great snack. You can easily replace a packet of salt-filled crackers with a packet of pumpkin seeds. 

16. Seeds

17. Garlic

Garlic has many medicinal properties and has long been used in ancient and alternative medicine. It contains allicin which lowers bad cholesterol in the blood. Garlic also prevents blood clots and platelet build-up in the blood. You can add garlic to your everyday recipes.

17. Garlic

18. Spinach

Green leafy vegetables like spinach are packed in multivitamins that keep your heart healthy. For that crunchy green salad, saute them lightly and sprinkle some sesame seeds. You have a bowl of a nutritious meal. 

18. Spinach

19. Legumes

These include chickpeas, beans, and other lentils. They are high in protein and fiber content and help to reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Legumes also have potent antioxidants that reduce inflammation.

19. Legumes

20. Oranges

These juicy fruits have a unique fiber called pectin. Pectin has cholesterol-fighting properties. Oranges are also a source of potassium which lower blood pressure. You can eat them whole, juice them, or even make cakes and puddings.

20. Oranges