Heart Healthy Foods

Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health PD

Adding some heart healthy foods to your low-fat, high fiber diet can help keep your heart healthy. Tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other fish that are rich in heart-healthy omega-3s include mackerel, anchovies, lake trout, sardines and herring. Try some grilled tuna or crumble some albacore tuna over a salad for a tasty, heart-healthy meal. Nuts are rich in omega-3s and may help reduce your cholesterol for a healthier heart and arteries. Walnuts help reduce inflammation in your arteries. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and heart-healthy fats. Almonds are also rich in heart-healthy nutrients. They also contain vitamin E, fiber and plant sterols that help reduce LDL cholesterol. Slivered almonds are delicious in fish, chicken and vegetable dishes. 
Fresh herbs not only add flavor and aroma to your food, they are good for your heart too. Use fresh herbs as a replacement for salt. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can help lower your blood pressure. Herbs, such as oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary contain important antioxidants, too. Cherries and blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant that may protect the blood vessels. Blueberries also contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber. 
One glass of red wine each day can help to boost your HDL, or good, cholesterol. Red wine contains two antioxidants called resveratrol and catechins that protect the walls of your arteries. Be sure to check with your doctor before drinking alcohol, especially if you are taking medications. Drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver, heart and other organs, so if you drink alcohol, proceed with caution and moderation. 
Mild black beans contain antioxidants and magnesium that helps to lower your blood pressure. The fiber in beans also helps to lower cholesterol and maintain blood sugar levels. If you eat canned beans, wash them thoroughly in cool water to remove added salt. Citrus fruits, especially oranges, contain pectin, a fiber that fights LDL cholesterol. You get lots of vitamin C and potassium which helps to lower your blood pressure. Carrots are rich in vitamins, including vitamin A, and are a great replacement for shredded cheese on salads. The vegetable fiber in carrots help to reduce cholesterol. Try some shredded carrots in muffins and breads. 

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