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12 Heart-Healthy Foods You Should Eat

12 Heart-Healthy Foods You Should Eat

It’s February, and you know what that means: It’s Heart Health Month. Thus, we’ve scoured our own database of published articles and links in order to compile a list of the foods we’ve deemed to be heart-healthy in order to help you stay informed during this heart-focused month.

Click here to see our 10 Heart-Healthy Foods slideshow.

As you’ll see, the list is full of foods that are generally labeled as “healthy” by many. It makes sense: The foods below help the heart by aiding in the regulation of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. If you want to keep your heart pumping healthily, keep reading to see the foods we recommend to keep your heart healthy.

Avocados
“Avocados are probably best known for their effect on heart health,” says The Daily Meal special contributor Elyse Cromer. “This is mostly due to a monounsaturated fatty acid, known as oleic acid, which has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease. The vitamin B6 and the high amounts of folate in avocados help regulate homocysteine levels, which if high, can be a sign of poor heart health.”

Beans
Lauren Gordon, another special contributor for The Daily Meal, says, “If you add a half cup of beans to your diet and slowly graduate to a daily cup, you can reduce your LDL cholesterol, increase your HDL cholesterol, and can even help… [regulate] blood sugar levels.”

Broccoli
Broccoli contains many heart-healthy nutrients, including, but not limited to, fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Cranberries
Emily Jacobs, also one of The Daily Meal’s contributors, says that cranberries, “contain high levels of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C as well as anthocyanin, a flavonoid that has been shown to promote circulation and prevent cardiovascular disease.”

Dark Chocolate
“The antioxidants in dark chocolate help prevent heart disease by improving blood flow and protecting against hardening of the arteries,” says The Daily Meal special contributor Julie Ruggirello. “Choose dark chocolate with high cocoa content for maximum antioxidants.”

Eggs
Eat your yolks! Eggs are full of heart-healthy omega-3s.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Daily Meal special contributor Anne Dolce says, “A [fairly] recent study shows that a diet rich in olive oil helps keep the heart healthy and functioning well, especially with the elderly, because of its large supply of healthy monounsaturated fats.”

Nuts
A handful of nuts can help you feel full and also keep your heart functioning properly.

Oats
There are so many ways to prepare oats. Plus, the World’s Healthiest Foods says, “Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels.”

Red Wine
Haven’t you heard? Drinking a glass of red wine can produce the same heart function as an hour at the gym.

Salmon
“The omega-3 fatty acids found in wild salmon, namely DHA and EPA, are readily absorbed by the body and used to lower triglycerides, raise HDL, help repair muscle damage, and strengthen the heart,” says Emily Jacobs. “Skip farmed salmon as it tends to be contaminated with chemicals, like mercury, which can impair brain function.”

Sweet Potatoes
Plant-based foods like sweet potatoes can inspire increased energy levels and, thus, healthier lifestyles in people. Try one of our sweet potato recipes to boost your next heart-healthy activity.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor Emily Jacobs.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.


Heart-Healthy Foods

Some foods will help with your heart health. You may be eating many of these foods now, but you will begin to understand why you are eating them and how they help your body and heart.

Some Do’s and Don’t

Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet. Look at your food labels. Trans-fat is in many processed foods like margarine, shortening, and many others. Saturated fats are in full-fat dairy foods and red meats.

Include two healthy oils: poly-unsaturated fatty acids and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are in foods like oily fish and walnuts, flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, and small leafy greens. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados.

Eat fresh whole foods instead of processed foods.

Reduce the amount of salt intake.

Get some movement in each day. Fitness is good for your heart and lungs as well as your whole body.

10 Healthy Heart Foods
You will want to keep these healthy foods around.

Walnuts – Helps cholesterol, blood pressure & inflammation.
Spinach – Helps brain function & improves blood pressure.
Salmon – Omega-3 in salmon helps prevent heart disease.
Kidney Beans – High in fiber & lowers cholesterol.
Oatmeal – Lowers the rise in blood sugar after meals.
Blueberries – Antioxidants/fiber helps prevent heart disease.
Broccoli – Can help lower cholesterol & help to facilitate digestion.
Carrots – Improves vision & helps prevent heart disease.
Tuna – Aids in the prevention of irregular heart rhythms.
Flaxseed – Prevents hardening of the arteries.