Top Heart-Healthy Foods: Boost Cardio Health Naturally

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  • Your diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease. Certain foods can influence risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation. Here are 12 foods you should eat to maximize your heart health.

Top 13 Heart-Healthy Foods

Leafy Green Vegetables

  • Leafy Green Vegetables Leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards are packed with vitamin K, which supports proper blood clotting. They also provide nitrates, which lower blood pressure and improve artery function. The American Heart Association says eating more leafy greens is tied to better heart health and lower disease risk.

Whole Grains

  • Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel and are linked with lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure. Eating at least 1-2 more servings daily may reduce heart disease risk by 10-20%. Good options are whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye and quinoa.

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating whole grains rather than refined grains daily. Their analysis shows doing so can reduce your risk for:

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Coronary heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Metabolic syndrome


  • Berries The antioxidants in strawberries, blueberries and other berries improve vascular function and lower inflammation and oxidative stress. One nutrient, anthocyanins, also protects arteries. Berries can support metabolic health too.


  • Avocados The monounsaturated fats in avocados can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They also contain potassium, which helps manage blood pressure. Eating avocados is tied to a 16-21% lower heart disease risk.

Fatty Fish and Fish Oil

  • Fatty Fish Salmon, tuna, mackerel and other fatty fish provide omega-3 fatty acids. These fats reduce risk factors like high triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation. Eating fish lowers risk of heart disease, stroke and death from heart disease.


  • Walnuts lower LDL cholesterol and contain nutrients like magnesium, copper and manganese. Regularly eating nuts shows a strong association with lower risk of developing heart disease.


  • Beans provide resistant starch that feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. This impact on gut health could also benefit your heart. Multiple studies show eating beans lowers LDL cholesterol and also helps manage blood pressure and sugar levels.

Dark Chocolate

  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate act as antioxidants and may lower heart disease risk. Eating moderate amounts (up to 6 servings per week) is tied to better heart health including lower blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease.


  • Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene which helps prevent oxidative damage and inflammation in the arteries. Research shows increasing tomato intake improves blood lipids, blood pressure, and endothelial function which regulates blood flow.

Olive Oil

  • Olive oil provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats plus antioxidants that fight inflammation. Higher olive oil intake correlates to a 35% lower risk of developing heart disease. Its components also help manage high blood pressure.

Nuts and Seeds

  • Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and almonds contain fiber, omega-3s, arginine, and other compounds. Studies show seeds can reduce inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, and more.


  • Garlic contains allicin and other compounds that have been associated with benefits for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and inhibiting platelet build-up, which can reduce the risk of blood clots.

Green Tea

  • Green tea called catechins lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Green tea helps regulate appetite, blood pressure and blood sugar as well. Regularly drinking green tea is tied to reductions in risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack.

  • Focusing your diet on these nutritious plant foods can go a long way in supporting heart health and longevity. Consider including a variety in your weekly meal plans to reap the benefits! Let me know if you need any more specifics on the research around these heart healthy picks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best foods for heart health?

  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends:

  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots

  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges

  • Whole grains: Oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain breads

  • Low fat dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt

  • Protein foods: Fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans

  • Oils with healthy fats: Canola, olive, sunflower, soybean

  • Foods with healthy fats: Nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado

What foods can prevent heart attacks?

  • The NHS advises following a Mediterranean diet to prevent heart attacks:

  • More whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish

  • Less meat, saturated fats

What fruits are best for the heart?

  • Top heart-healthy fruits per research:

  • Berries: Blueberries, grapes

  • Pomegranate

  • Apples, avocado, mango

  • Cherries, kiwi

How can I quickly improve heart health?

  • Per health agencies, top tips include:

  • Eating more heart-healthy foods

  • Being physically active

  • Reaching/maintaining a healthy weight

  • Quitting smoking

  • Controlling cholesterol and blood pressure

  • Drinking alcohol in moderation

  • Managing stress

  • The key is making diet and lifestyle changes to keep your heart healthy.


  • The content provided here is intended for general informational purposes only. It should not be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. Any reliance on this content is solely at your own risk.

  • Always consult with your doctor or other qualified health care professional for medical advice tailored to your situation.