With heart disease as the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, paying attention to your heart health is more important than ever.
Although it may seem as if eating heart healthy foods means a bland diet of brown rice and no flavoring, there are actually many foods that are great for your heart and tasty, too.
Here is a list of ten incredibly tasting foods that are good for the heart.
Avocado is filled with heart healthy fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, and healthy fats. Plus, avocados are incredibly tasty and can be used in homemade guacamole or cut in slices on a salad.
Blueberries are a tasty fruit that contain a ton of antioxidants. They also contain similar compounds to grapes, another heart healthy fruit. Blueberries are also rich in fiber, and the combination helps control cholesterol levels as well as plaque.
Almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, and magnesium, all of which protect your heart. As with blueberries, you can eat them as an individual snack or mix them into yogurt and trail mix.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is probably the tastiest heart healthy food you can find. It contains flavanols, which are an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. In addition, dark chocolate will level out your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. You should choose a brand that has a cocoa content of 70% or more.
Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit with vitamins C and A. It also contains fiber, folic acid, and potassium. In addition, papaya can act as an anti-inflammatory. You can mix papaya into a healthy fruit salad or try creating papaya salsa.
6. Sweet Potato
Not everyone prefers sweet potatoes, but they are much more heart healthy than regular white potatoes. They contain vitamins A and C as well as fiber and potassium. Try delicious sweet potato fries for a healthier alternative to regular French fries.
7. Red Bell Peppers
While all bell peppers have vitamins A and C, red bell peppers contain the most. They also have vitamin B and capsaicin, which improves cholesterol and blood flow. You can use red bell peppers for grilling, stuffing, or in salads.
8. Red Wine
It’s not necessarily a food item, but red wine is very tasty as well as heart healthy. It is rich in resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that can help protect the lining of your heart’s blood vessels. Red wine should be used for heart health in moderation, as should any other alcoholic beverage.
Oranges are another tasty fruit with flavones, which can lower your bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol in your body. Oranges also have vitamin C and B as well as antioxidants. You can eat them individually or drink fresh orange juice.
Salmon is a fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart. You can grill the salmon for optimum healthy choices, and it can also be put in pasta or salad.
For more information about heart healthy foods as well as foods that are deadly to your heart, check out this helpful infographic.