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6 Of The Best Foods for Your Heart

A lot of people try to eat a well-balanced diet and try to eat healthy to make sure they receive the best nutrients and their daily dose of vitamins.

With different foods helping in different ways, like carrots helping your vision and pomegranates reducing the effects of aging while boosting your immune system, it takes a variety of foods to boost your health.

If you’re looking to boost your heart, there are a number of foods you can eat to see improvement. Eating heart healthy foods can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help strengthen your heart.

Here are a few of the best foods for your heart:

Tomatoes

best foods for your heart

These small fruits are healthy on several levels. To start, they naturally are low calorie and low in sugar content, so you don’t have to feel like you are sacrificing other areas of your diet for this food.

Tomatoes are also high in potassium and help reduce blood pressure by reversing negative effects of sodium on blood vessels.

They are one of the best foods for your heart because they are rich in antioxidant lycopene which is known to help reduce heart heart attack risk by getting rid of “bad” cholesterol and keeping blood vessels open.

Learn More About Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Salmon

best foods for your heart

Salmon, when baked, broiled, or seared, is a filling and tasty heart healthy food. Fish are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, also known as “good” fat that lowers risk of plaque buildup in blood vessels and lowers levels of bad cholesterol.

Omega 3 fatty acid has been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including blood vessels, which may help reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

Salmon contains l-arginine, which produces nitric oxide in the body. L-arginine and nitric oxide help to dilate blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate

best foods for your heart

Yes, you read that right! Dark chocolate that contains at least 60%-70% cocoa has been found to lower blood pressure and likelihood of strokes in people that are more susceptible to them.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which have shown to reduce blood pressure, improve blood flow, and relax blood vessels.

Antioxidants found in dark chocolate also help prevent bad cholesterol from oxidation, while increasing good cholesterol to keep your blood vessels healthy.

Now, don’t go eat a pound of dark chocolate just yet. Dark chocolate in small amounts and in moderation is what makes it one of the best foods for your heart. Too much may lead to weight gain and negative affects to your heart.

Berries

best foods for your heart

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are full of antioxidants that help decrease blood pressure and open blood vessels.

A recent study showed that women ages 25 through 42 who ate three servings of blueberries and strawberries or more per week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack compared with women who consumed less.

However, berries are high in fructose sugar, so like chocolate, do not splurge too much on them, despite how delicious and sweet they may be.

Apples

best foods for your heart

Any type of apple will do since they all contain antioxidants, mostly polyphenol which protect cholesterol from free radicals, in the skin.

Apples also provide a good amount of pectin and fiber. Pectin blocks absorption of bad cholesterol in your blood and fiber helps to clean out extra cholesterol that may be in your blood vessels, keeping your blood vessels unobstructed for blood flow.

A recent study showed that eating an apple a day reduced bad cholesterol by 40%! Maybe it is true–an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Coffee

best foods for your heart

Yes, you can rejoice! About 83% of adults in the U.S. drink coffee daily. Most use it for the caffeine content that keeps them awake throughout the day, but what many don’t know is that coffee is one of the best foods (or drinks) for your heart.

Coffee in moderation, meaning about 2 cups a day, can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of coffee a day can decrease the risk of heart failure by 10%. So if you already drink coffee, no need to stop!

Resources

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20720182,00.html

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/best-foods-for-heart-health?slide=10

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/