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A Review of 10 Fascinating Heart Healthy Foods in the Planet.

Updated on August 18, 2017
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Belinda loves writing about nutrition, travel, health, fitness, beauty, and sports.

Healthy Foods
Healthy Foods | Source

Introduction

A healthy diet and regular physical activity are your best weapons against cardiovascular diseases.

Adopting a lifestyle of healthy eating will not only be good for your heart but for your waistline too.

Discover which foods will help protect your heart and add them to your list when you go grocery shopping.

Fresh Fruits:

Fruits contain many nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber that protect the heart.

The following fruits are good for the heart:

1) Apple.

As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Different studies have linked apple intake to heart health.

The Iowa Women’s Health Study indicated that apples were associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

A study at the Ohio State University showed that eating an apple for 4 weeks lowered the type of cholesterol that triggers hardening of the arteries. This is because of the antioxidants that the fruit contains.

Apples are naturally healthy for the heart because they do not contain sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol.

The fruit also contains fluid and soluble fiber that keep you full. This helps you avoid overeating.

Assorted Apples
Assorted Apples | Source

2) Berries.

Berries are colorful and tasteful fruits with a long list of benefits to your heart’s health.

They contain high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols that help fight chronic illnesses.

There are so many types of berries in the market including cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and Brazilian Acai berries.

The best part about berries is the fact that there are numerous ways of enjoying the fruit. You can add a handful to sweeten a smoothie, eat them as they are or sprinkle some in your fruit salad.

Red bell pepper
Red bell pepper | Source

3) Grapes.

Grapes are rich in antioxidants and fiber. They may be tiny fruits but very heart-healthy. This is because of the classes of phytonutrients that they have namely polyphenols and phenolic acids.

Anthocyanin is a sub type of the polyphenol responsible for the deep purple and red color of grape skins.

Resveratrol is another polyphenol grapes contain that is usually associated with good heart health.

Grapes have been shown to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels, blood triglyceride levels and boost blood vessel function.

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Grapes grapes
Grapes
Grapes | Source
grapes
grapes | Source

4) Oranges.

Oranges are juicy and delicious. It is impressive that the citrus fruit carries plenty of nutrients.

Oranges contain potassium that helps the heart function. Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs when potassium levels get too low.

Oranges also have soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. This is good news for your cardiovascular system.


 Fresh orange juice
Fresh orange juice | Source

5) Pears.

This crunchy fruit contains fiber and antioxidants that make it one of the best fruits for the heart.

Pears have fiber that shields the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing LDL levels.

The vitamin C and potassium that pears contain are great for the heart as well.

Be sure to eat the skin of pears for they contain flavanols that have antioxidant effects.

Helpful tips:

  • To get value in fruits buy when the certain fruit of interest is in the season.
  • Avoid processed fruit products. If you have to take fruit juice, make it yourself.

Pears
Pears | Source

Fresh Vegetables:

Vegetables have high levels of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that reduce the risk of heart-related illnesses.

Heart-healthy vegetables include:

6) Red Bell Peppers.

Red Bell Peppers are an excellent choice for optimal heart health. They contain lycopene that helps lower blood pressure and prevents coronary heart disease.

They also have soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol as well as vitamin A and c, which are powerful antioxidants.

Potassium intake helps lower blood pressure. Red Bell Peppers contain 162 milligrams in one cup and that is great for your heart.

7) Broccoli.

I know people have some very interesting first-time experiences with broccoli.

Personally, it had to be forced into my mouth when I was 6 years old. My mom had to stay on guard and watch me swallow broccoli with a stern look on her face. It was my worst punishment. 19 years later, broccoli tops my list when I go grocery shopping.

Broccoli is a member of the brassica family. Other members include kale, cabbage and sprouts. An anti-cancer compound known as Sulforaphane that is found in all brassicas is more concentrated in broccoli.

Researchers from the Imperial College London found that sulforaphane can enhance a natural defense mechanism to protect arteries from diseases.

Broccoli contains soluble fiber that draws cholesterol from your body. Its vitamins and fatty acids regulate blood pressure.

Broccoli also helps protect blood vessels from damage.

For tasty results, steam broccoli just a little together with chopped carrots and onions. Overcooking broccoli makes it bitter.

Quick question:

How was your first experience with broccoli?

Broccoli
Broccoli | Source

8) Asparagus.

This spring veggie is loaded with health treasures. The fleshy spears contain minerals such as folate, potassium, iron and manganese. It also carries plenty of vitamins including vitamins A, K, E and C. all these nutrients play a vital role in keeping your heart healthy.

The vitamin B helps regulate an amino acid known as homocysteine that can accelerate heart disease when its levels are too high.

The fiber and folate in asparagus can help lower the risk of stroke, high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Asparagus
Asparagus | Source

9) Eggplant.

The nutrition value that eggplants bring has often been underestimated.

The eggplant has essential nutrients that are not only good for the heart but for the body.

They contain phyto nutrients that boost blood circulation and bring nourishment to the brain. This is why it is recommended to also eat the skin.

The vitamin K and bioflavonoids it contains strengthen blood capillaries preventing blood clots.

These bioflavonoids also control high blood pressure protecting the heart.

Research has proven that eggplants lower “bad” cholesterol when cooked right.

When fried, it soaks up too much fat and this makes them lose their health value. You should instead bake eggplants at 400 degrees

Eggplant
Eggplant | Source

10) Dark leafy greens.

Eating dark leafy greens is crucial to a healthy and balanced diet. The salad greens, spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K, A, E and C. They also contain high levels of potassium, iron, magnesium and fiber.

All these nutrients protect the heart and promote overall good health. There is a variety of ways to enjoy dark leafy greens. You could try them out in salads, soups, flavor turkey or have them steamed.

Watch a Video of the Top 10 Most Healthy Vegetables

Quick Poll

Which of the following fruits and vegetables do you find most healthy

See results

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