15 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet

A healthy diet can be good for your heart as well as your waistline.<>

<>“You can definitely reduce your risk of
developing cardiovascular disease by eating certain foods every day,”
says Julie Zumpano, RD, LD, a dietitian in the Preventive Cardiology and
Nutrition Program at Cleveland Clinic. “There is a great variety of
fruits and vegetables that are good for your heart.”<>

<>“Try to eat foods that are in their natural
form, as they come from the ground,” Ms. Zumpano says, recommending what
she calls the “whole-foods diet.”<>

<>That diet includes, of
course, heart-healthy foods such as fish, whole grains, vegetables and
fruits, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself occasionally with a glass
of red wine or a piece of dark chocolate, Ms. Zumpano says. <>

<>She suggests using this list as a guide to create
meals and snacks with a healthy focus. Just a few simple swaps could
make a big difference for your cardiovascular health.<>

15 foods that are good for your heart

  1. Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.<>
  2. A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.<>
  3. Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and
    soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries
    in cereal or yogurt.<>
  4. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens
    to boost heart health. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the
    greatest benefit.<>
  5. Oatmeal: the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse.<>
  6. Dark beans,such as kidney or black beans, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff. Veggie chili, anyone?<>
  7. A 4-ounce glass of red wine (up to two for men and one for women per day) can help improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.<>
  8. Try marinated tofu in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.<>
  9. Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet
    potatoes, red peppers and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids,
    fiber and vitamins to help your heart.<>
  10. Popeye was right – spinach packs a punch! Use it in sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce.<>
  11. Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.<>
  12. Tender, sweet asparagus is filled with mighty nutrients such
    as beta-carotene, folate and fiber, and only provide 25 calories per
    cup, or 5 calories per large spear.<>
  13. Tomatoes – even sun-dried varieties in winter months – provide lycopene, vitamin C and alpha- and beta-carotene.<>
  14. Dark chocolate is good for your heart health, but just be sure that it’s at least 70 percent cocoa.<>
  15. Crisp, fresh broccoli florets dipped in hummus are a terrific
    heart-healthy snack with a whopping list of nutrients, including
    vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber.<>

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