If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small share of the revenue without any surcharge to you. Read how this works.
Today, nutrition is based on a proper balance between quantitative and qualitative needs. The right way of eating is recognized as the best method to prevent various diseases. Following a proper diet reduces the risk of heart disease. Below we present a list with 23 of the best foods for a strong heart.
Best Foods For a Strong Heart
- 1. Wine & Beer
- 2. Olive oil
- 3. Walnuts
- 4. Almonds
- 5. Oranges
- 6. Herbs
- 7. Salmon- Sardines
- 8. Tofu cheese
- 9. Carrots
- 10. Low-fat Sheep’s yogurt
- 11. Coffee
- 12. Hot peppers
- 13. Cherries
- 14. Broccoli
- 15. Oatmeal
- 16. Artichokes
- 17. Green leafy vegetables
- 18. Garlic
- 19. Sesame seeds
- 20. Green tea
- 21. Flaxseed Oil
- 22. Legumes
- 23. Functional foods with sterols
1. Wine & Beer
According to a number of studies, moderate wine consumption (2 glasses for men and 1 for women) is associated with a decrease in cardiovascular risk (source). The antioxidants contained in red wine, namely polyphenols, contribute to the increase of “good” HDL cholesterol and to reduced oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Also, the synthesis of a protein, endothelin-1, is inhibited, which contributes to the creation of atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels.
In addition to wine, moderate beer consumption contributes to the proper functioning of the heart, thanks to the flavonoids it contains, such as tyrosol and resveratrol.
However, what needs to be understood is that the beneficial effects of the above exist only when they are consumed in the appropriate measure and after consultation with your doctor if you follow any medication.
2. Olive oil
Olive oil is now considered internationally the best fat for adding to food. It is advisable to consume raw, but also as the main fatty substance for all cooking preparations. Replace corn oil, sesame, sunflower oil, etc with olive oil and you will make your cooking healthier.
The logical use of a quantity of olive oil in your food and salads daily is capable of creating a protective shield for the heart. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, mainly oleic acid, which reduces levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. It also contains valuable substances such as polyphenols and tocopherols, which protect against atheromatous.
READ ALSO: 9 Incredibly Tasty Heart Healthy Foods
The mere fact that just 25 grams of Walnuts a day give you 90% of the essential fatty acids omega-3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids) thus taking care of your heart, perhaps enough to convince you to incorporate them into your daily diet.
They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids and twice as many antioxidants as other nuts. A small handful a day (at our breakfast, in our meal, or in salads) can reduce total and ‘bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and protect vessels from thrombosis.
Pour a handful of unsalted almonds into your salad or cut fruit or in the morning in your cereals. Despite their small size, they contain many elements necessary for the body. Almonds help to form a healthy lipid profile and thus prevent many cardiovascular diseases.
Oranges – and subsequently orange juice – contain considerable amounts of flavonoids, mainly hesperidin. These flavonoids help to lower serum levels of LDL-cholesterol, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
The study investigated the hypothesis that long-term orange juice consumption (≥ 12 months) was associated with low-risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adult men and women with normal and moderately high cholesterol blood levels.
The sample consisted of 103 men (18–66 y) and 26 women (18–65 y); all were employees of an orange juice factory with daily access to free orange juice.
The results showed that 41% of the individuals consumed 2 cups (480 mL) of orange juice per day for at least twelve months, while 59% of the volunteers are non-consumers of orange juice (source).
Although the word ”herbs” is a bit vague we are listing them like this because if we were to included them all, this list would never end. There is a wide variety of herbs in the market with numerous beneficial properties.
7. Salmon- Sardines
These oily fish contain the known omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Clinical trials have shown that they reduce the concentration of triglycerides in the blood and in this sense reduce the risk of heart disease. They also reduce the chance of blood clotting and make the heart less prone to arrhythmias. Consume these oily fish at least 2 times a week to have the protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids.
8. Tofu cheese
Tofu cheese is particularly popular with vegetarians and is a soy derivative. The protein of tofu is considered to be of high biological value, thus largely replacing foods that are sources of animal protein, reducing the consumption of harmful fats contained in animal foods, but without lacking the necessary proteins.
According to scientific research, the soy protein contained in this cheese is more beneficial to our hearts than animal proteins (source). Goes better when added to salads, sandwiches, or soups.
Carrots can be used in many ways in our diet. They can be eaten raw or cooked. When consumed raw they offer more benefits to our health. Thanks to the soluble fibers they contain, they help lower cholesterol.
10. Low-fat Sheep’s yogurt
Sheep’s Yogurt is widely known for its high calcium content. It is worth noting, however, that due to its potassium content, it helps to regulate blood pressure.
💡 Avoid full yogurt that contains more saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol.
Moderate daily coffee consumption (2-4 cups) is capable of reducing the risk for cardiovascular, in people who do not suffer from high blood pressure. Its beneficial effects appear to be due to various phytochemicals it contains independently of caffeine.
12. Hot peppers
Hot peppers are capable of regulating blood pressure and lowering levels of total cholesterol, making it a lifeline for the heart. In cooking, hot peppers can be used raw but also dried powder to taste pulp and sauces, as well as meats, cheeses of various kinds, and cold cuts.
Today, hot pepper has become one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet and in many areas, it forms the basis for a range of local products.
Related to heart issues, Broccoli protects against coronary artery disease, regulates blood pressure, and plays an important role in balancing body fluids. It is a good source of soluble fiber, helping to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Oatmeal is a healthy and economical food that is unfortunately forgotten by many. It is considered a natural source of energy for the body and according to studies reduces “bad” cholesterol in the blood. There are many ways you can use it. In cooking in place of rice, making healthy pastries or even in burgers, in place of bread, with milk and tahini or honey.
💡 Most people prefer to eat the artichoke’s heart – although the leaf can be eaten too. Getting the artichoke’s heart from the actual plant can be a very time-consuming process, so you might consider purchasing ready-made cleaned artichoke hearts. If again, you don’t like artichokes you can still rip this plant’s benefits by getting an artichoke supplement.
17. Green leafy vegetables
It is not just excessive consumption of refined or animal food that causes diseases. Most people get diseased because their diet lacks plant foods.
Daily consumption of green vegetables is associated with strong protection against heart attacks. Leafy green vegetables, such as common lettuce, green cabbage, crusts, sweet chicory, spinach, etc. are the healthiest foods you can eat.
These vegetables contain fiber, vitamin E, and folic acid. The latter can help reduce the levels of homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Garlic’s beneficial effects on the human body have been confirmed all the time, for many years. Many studies associate frequent consumption of garlic with decreased levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and “bad” cholesterol and limited risk of cardiovascular events (source).
💡 If you want to avoid the unpleasant scent garlic leaves to your mouth and to your breath consider taking and odorless garlic herbal supplement.
19. Sesame seeds
Sesame and therefore tahini (product of sesame) is a food of high nutritional value and is particularly rich in certain amino acids in which other plant foods are lagging. The main characteristic of sesame is the lignans it contains, such as sesamin and sesamolin, which have antioxidant properties and prevent the oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the body.
It is worth noting a unique function of sesame in the dynamics of cholesterol: it stops at the same time, both the absorption and the synthesis of cholesterol. The antioxidants of sesame along with the polyunsaturated contain contribute to better protection of the heart.
20. Green tea
There are several studies that show that Green Tea protects against cardiovascular diseases because of flavonoids and other antioxidants it contains, which reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Consider consuming Matcha green tea for further health benefits.
21. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fats, which protect the cardiovascular system. The fiber it contains helps lower cholesterol. Finally, it is rich in magnesium, which protects against high blood pressure.
Legumes and mainly bean soup have been a staple food for many generations of Greeks and kept them strong in difficult conditions. Various research shows that dried beans are good food for the heart. The package of beans contains compounds found in many fruits and vegetables and make the heart strong. Also, legumes are rich in soluble fiber that contributes to lowering cholesterol.
23. Functional foods with sterols
Phytosterols were a food revolution when a few years ago they became known for their favorable action in the treatment of heart disease. More specific research shows that consuming 2-3 g of plant sterols per day can reduce blood cholesterol by up to 10% (source).
We hope you enjoyed our list with the 23 best foods for a strong heart. Consuming these foods on a regular basis combined with moderate exercise, will strengthen your heart and keep it running for years to come.
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
You’ll find 800+ beneficial plants and remedies in “The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies”. It includes recipes of tinctures, teas, decoctions, essential oils, syrups, salves, poultices, infusions and many other natural remedies that our grandparents used for centuries. What’s also special about this book is that it has between 2 and 4 high definition, color pictures for each plant and detailed identification guidelines to make sure you’ve got the right plant.