September 26, 2023
Whether or not you have a family history of heart disease, eating well and prioritizing heart-healthy foods is a smart choice for overall wellness. Unsure where to start? We are here to help you on your journey to a healthier life with this simple grocery list of foods we recommend. Take a look at these 10 best foods for heart health:
Fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are high in antioxidants and other nutrients that are very beneficial for optimal heart health. Antioxidants fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which contributes to heart disease. Other fruits such as apples, oranges, pears, and bananas are high in fiber and a great option for snacking. Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits all have health benefits, but avoid canned fruits in heavy syrups due to the added sugar content. Look for labels that say “packed in 10% fruit juice or water” instead.
Another fruit with powerful heart-healthy properties is the tomato. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which has been linked to positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other important heart functions. Instead of buying premade tomato-based sauces with lots of added sodium, try making your own so that you can control the amount of sodium and any other ingredients not conducive to a heart-healthy diet.
Beans and legumes are not just gut-healthy but also one of the best foods for heart health! Beans contain something called resistant starch, which aids in digestion and blood sugar control, as well as reduces cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Adding beans to soups or salads is an easy way to add more of this beneficial food to your everyday lifestyle!
Any type of low-fat dairy product is considered a great food for heart health. Cottage cheese in particular can be used in a variety of recipes, topped with fruit as a snack, and blended into various dips and sauces to increase your daily protein intake.
Everyone knows whole grains such as brown rice, wheat bread, and quinoa are much healthier options when it comes to eating carbohydrates. Oats, both steel-cut and regular, are also fantastic options for starting your day right. These types of whole grains significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Walnuts and almonds are both highly beneficial nuts we recommend adding to your diet for maximum heart benefits. While nutrient-dense, nuts are also high in calories, so keep in mind that portion size definitely matters, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Pair a handful of walnuts or almonds with a fruit or vegetable for a heart-healthy snack that’s easy to grab on the go!
When it comes to healthy fats, avocadoes are one of the top foods to add to your plate. Avocados are not only a great source of monosaturated fats, but also potassium, which is a vital nutrient for heart health, specifically reducing blood pressure.
Lean protein options such as chicken and fish are definitely some of the best foods for heart health. Salmon, in particular, contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids known to lower harmful triglycerides and slow plaque buildup in the arteries.
Green tea is a superfood that benefits many body systems, such as protecting cells from damage, boosting the metabolism, fighting inflammation, and more. Green tea, as well as matcha (powdered whole green tea leaves), are known to promote optimal cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Dark, leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale are excellent sources of heart-healthy nutrients. For example, they contain high levels of Vitamin K, which helps blood clotting and artery protection. While not always a person’s favorite food to eat, spinach can easily be added to fruit smoothies or included in yummy recipes so that you hardly notice you’re eating it. Plus, fresh spinach is always a great addition to a salad mix!
Now you know some of the best foods for heart health! Visit our wellness shop for additional heart health support in the form of daily supplements, and as always, our team of pharmacists is ready to answer any questions you may have.