10 Heart-Healthy Foods

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness to the leading cause of death in American adults. Maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease and there are certain foods that can actually help your blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Here are 10 foods to incorporate into your diet to help keep your heart healthy:

  1. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. They are a great source of vitamin K and high in dietary nitrates, which may reduce blood pressure.
  2. Whole grains. Try adding one serving of brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, or quinoa to your meals. They are high in fiber so you’ll be fuller longer and may reduce cholesterol levels.
  3. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants, which helps control the inflammation that contributes to heart disease.
  4. Healthy fats like avocados and olive oil. Both may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure when consumed in small portions.
  5. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, and trout are all high in omega-3 fatty acids which can help improve heart health.
  6. Nuts are a perfect snack to keep you full and help keep your heart healthy – have a handful of almonds and walnuts in between meals.
  7. Legumes, which are beans and lentils, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to any meal to help keep blood pressure down.
  8. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants like flavonoids, which can help boost your heart health. Be sure to choose a high-quality dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa and moderate your intake to get the full benefits.
  9. Colorful veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and squash are full of carotenoids, fiber, and vitamins that help keep your heart healthy.
  10. Citrus fruits. Oranges and grapefruits have high amount flavonoids and vitamin C, helping lower risk of heart disease. Keep in mind though to only have them in their whole food form or fresh squeezed 100% citrus juice to get the health benefits.