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Top heart-healthy foods for a nutritious diet

heart-healthy foods

Heart health is a critical aspect of overall wellness. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s essential to focus on maintaining a healthy heart. A balanced diet plays a significant role in heart health, and incorporating certain foods into your meals can help lower the risk of heart-related illnesses.

Heart-healthy dietary guidelines

The American Heart Association’s updated guidelines emphasize the importance of what you eat and drink in maintaining heart health. Diets like the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet are often recommended to support heart health.

Top foods for your heart

Here are some of the best foods to include in your heart-healthy diet:

  • Wild salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, wild salmon is excellent for cardiovascular protection.
  • Sardines: These small fish are high in omega-3s and help increase good cholesterol levels.
  • Liver: Liver is high in heart-healthy fats and should be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
  • Nuts (walnuts and almonds): Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and Vitamin E, nuts are a heart-healthy snack.
  • Chia seeds: With plant-based omega-3s, chia seeds can help reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Oatmeal: A staple for reducing cholesterol; choose plain, non-processed oatmeal.
  • Blueberries: These berries are full of antioxidants that help prevent coronary disease.
  • Coffee: Up to three cups daily can lower your risk of heart disease and improve cognition.
  • Green tea: Known for reducing blood clots and hypertension, green tea is a heart-healthy beverage.
  • Soy milk: It’s cholesterol-free, low in fat, and high in isoflavones, which help reduce cholesterol.
  • Dark chocolate: Choose at least 70% cocoa for heart benefits.
  • Vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower): These are high in antioxidants and fiber, promoting heart health.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains like oat bran and rice regulate cholesterol and are gluten-free.
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits): Rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, these fruits support heart health.
  • Avocado and avocado oil: Loaded with monounsaturated fats, they help minimize blood cholesterol.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is high in good fat and antioxidants.

Remember, while these foods benefit heart health, they should be part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have existing health conditions.


Incorporating various heart-healthy foods into your diet can lead to a healthier you. By making conscious choices about what you eat, you can take a proactive step towards improving your heart health and overall well-being.