Published Wednesday 16 May 2018 By David Railton Fact checked by Tim Newman
Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States. In this Spotlight, we outline 16 foods that, when consumed as part of a well-rounded diet, might help to keep your heart healthy.
Heart-shaped fruits, How can you improve your heart health with food. There are many things you can do to help keep your heart healthy and disease-free.
You can schedule an annual checkup, exercise daily, quit smoking, or take steps to reduce the level of stress in your life. All of these things can have a positive effect on heart health. But, one of the simplest lifestyle changes that will benefit your heart is watching what you eat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, or sodium can be very bad for the heart. So, when taking steps to minimize the risk of heart disease, diet is a good place to start. In this article, we examine some of the best foods for ensuring that you keep a robust and healthy heart. Asparagus is a natural source of folate, which helps to prevent an amino acid called homocysteine from building up in the body. High homocysteine levels have been linked with an increased risk of heart-related conditions, such as coronary artery disease and stroke. Beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils otherwise known as pulses or legumes — can all significantly reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol.” They are also packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidant polyphenols, all of which have beneficial effects on the heart and general health. Berries are also full of antioxidant polyphenols, which help to reduce heart disease risk. Berries are a great source of fiber, folate, iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and they are low in fat. Broccoli
Some studies suggest that regularly eating steamed broccoli can lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Chia seeds and flaxseeds. These seeds are a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid. Omega-3s have many beneficial effects, such as helping to lower levels of triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol. They also reduce blood pressure and minimize the buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries.