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17 Foods For Heart’s Health


Heart health is of primary importance in the health sector. The smooth functioning of the heart is vital for survival.

Sadly, one-third of the world’s population is suffering from one or the other heart ailments.

Stroke is among the leading causes of death. Taking care of the heart becomes crucial in such a situation.

Changing lifestyles have increased the load on the heart. Oily unhealthy food, stress, and obesity increase the risk of heart problems.

Diet is one way to prevent or improve heart health. Certain foods like dark leafy vegetables and whole grains contain heart-healthy compounds.

This article will discuss some foods you should include in your diet to improve your heart health.

Foods For Heart

What you eat may pose a huge impact on your overall health and if that is not optimum, cardiovascular health issues could develop with age.

Thus, the following foods could be included in your daily life for better heart health-

  1. Tofu

    Tofu is an excellent soya-based source[1] of nutrition. It is not just a protein source but a vegan boon for heart health.

    Isoflavones present in tofu are an anti-inflammatory agent. It is also an antioxidant that aids in preventing free radical damage.

    Tofu consumption is linked[1] with reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Isoflavones also boost[2] the growth of anti-inflammatory microbes in the gut.

    Tofu contains fewer calories in comparison to other protein sources. Tofu is rich[3] in zinc, magnesium, fiber, calcium, and folate. 

    Furthermore, it has monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are heart friendly.

  2. Almonds

    Almonds are high-fat nuts but still heart-healthy as they contain unsaturated fats which are good for cardiovascular health.

    These fats reduce[4] low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), also called bad cholesterol.

    Not just this, unsaturated fats also increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, better known as good cholesterol.

    Almonds contain[5] a good amount of vitamin D which could improve bone strength. Almonds also have Vitamin E which could help[6] in improving immunity.

    The antioxidant property of almonds reduces the risk of inflammation.

  3. Spinach

    One of the best options available in leafy greens is spinach. It is rich in potassium, associated[7] with better heart health.

    Additionally, it benefits cardiac health by reducing[8] the secretion of inflammatory cytokines.

    Spinach also reduces bad cholesterol levels as it is fiber rich. It also contains nitrates, improving[9] blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

  4. Walnuts

    Walnuts are an ideal nut to consider for a healthy heart. They are rich in fiber, magnesium, manganese, and many more macronutrients.

    It is also enriched[10] with hearty healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

    It is said that eating walnuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems. It lowers[4] low-density lipoprotein cholesterol( LDL-C).

    You should limit walnuts to a serving of one ounce per day as they have a high-fat content.

  5. Dark chocolate

    Unlike other unhealthy sugar candies, dark chocolate contains[11] health benefits besides taste.

    It contains antioxidants called flavonoids which promote better heart function. It might help keep stroke, cardiovascular disease, and associated risk of diabetes at bay.

    To choose the best chocolate for this purpose, check for cocoa content on the label. Only opt for chocolate with 70% or above cocoa content.

    This step ensures you are not eating just sugar and calories. You can go up to a maximum of 5 servings a week.

  6. Pinto Beans

    Beans are highly nutritious legumes that contribute a large share to a balanced diet. Pinto beans are a prime example of heart-healthy beans.

    They prevent[12] inflammation, control LDL and reduce triglyceride levels.

    They also include[13] resistant starch which slows down digestion. Moreover, their consumption is linked with reduced blood pressure.

  7. Salmon

    Fats are advertised as unhealthy and hazardous for the heart. But in reality, unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for a sound cardiovascular system.

    Salmon is an oily fish that is a leading source[10] of omega-3s. These fats act as a protective barrier and may eliminate the risk of heart problems.

    Fatty fish like salmon, when consumed, are also linked with a significant drop in triglyceride levels, bad cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and may also reduce[14] blood pressure.

  8. Chickpeas

    Chickpeas contain a soluble fiber called raffinose which helps[15] lower cholesterol levels in the body.

    Moreover, other nutrients[16] like vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and iron work together to benefit the heart.

    Also, chickpeas contain fewer sodium levels. It is a bonus for the heart as high sodium is a threat[17] to cardiovascular health.

    You can also keep your weight controlled by consuming chickpeas. Thus, eliminating the chances of obesity, which can otherwise be a huge problem.

  9. Berries

    Berries are a colorful feast of nutrition. Several berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are associated with heart benefits.

    Almost all varieties are rich in antioxidants. These anthocyanins protect[18] against inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.

    Moreover, berries reduce bad cholesterol and blood pressure. A study[19] suggests that blueberries effectively reduce blood clotting.

    Another study[20] documented that strawberries improve insulin resistance. Berries may also help control body weight eliminating the risk of obesity.

  10. Avocados

    Avocados are slightly high in fat but these fats are healthy. Moreover, as they are low in carbohydrate content, adding them to the daily diet plan could be easier.

    One avocado per day is enough to counter LDL cholesterol and inflammation.

    They also contain potassium which plays a crucial role in heart health and potassium also helps[21] in maintaining fluid levels in our cells.

    One avocado serving provided[22] 28% percent of the daily required potassium value.

    The monounsaturated fats in the fruit help[23] lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

  11. Chia Seeds

    Recently, seeds have gained a reputable spot in nutrition. Chia seeds are one such variety with ample dietary fiber present in them.

    Fiber slows down digestion and also keeps you full. Alongside this, they keep blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and calorie count in control.

    A study conducted on rats fed with chia seeds concluded[24] that the seeds reduce triglyceride levels and boost good cholesterol.

  12. Flax Seeds

    Just like chia seeds, flax seeds are also a good source of fiber. Moreover, they are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

    It also contains alpha-linolenic acid(ALA) which may improve[25] heart health. You can also opt for flaxseed oil for the same.

  13. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes contain[26] a compound called lycopene which is the main reason for its appealing bright red appearance.

    However, lycopene is not just a color pigment but a healthy compound. It is associated with reduced oxidative stress and blood pressure.

    They are also rich in beta carotene and flavonoids. Therefore, eating tomatoes may help bring down[27] inflammation and bad cholesterol.

  14. Quinoa

    Quinoa is a widely used whole grain and it may help assist in enhancing cardiac health.

    Quinoa is antioxidant-rich and incorporates[28] a good amount of fiber. Thus, you might expect results like improved blood flow, reduced blood pressure, and inflammation.

    Also, it is jam-packed with nutrients, providing enough nutrition in limited amounts.

  15. Oats

    Oats are on top of the charts as a quick and healthy breakfast. These fiber-rich grains have antioxidants.

    According to a study[29], obese individuals are prone to heart problems. Keeping your body weight in control sustains the cardiovascular system.

    Eating oats might be a great way to do so. Topping it with nuts like walnuts and almonds adds up to the benefits.

  16. Sweet Potatoes

    Potatoes have the magical ability to blend in with almost every dish. But the starchy white potatoes have too many carbs.

    Luckily, you do not have to give up completely on potatoes, just replace the white regular potatoes with sweet ones.

    Sweet potatoes have a[30] lower glycemic index. So, they won’t shoot up your blood glucose levels. Therefore, they are safer for your heart.

  17. Edamame

    Edamame is a variety of beans low in calories and gluten-free. They may also improve blood lipid profile.

    These beans are full of[31] antioxidants and fiber. It may also control triglyceride levels and bad cholesterol.


Diet plays a vital role in determining your health. Along with exercises and medication, monitoring your food habits help improve the status of your heart health.

Vegetables with low glycemic index and full of fiber help relieve pressure on your heart. Some veggies to consider are spinach, kale, and broccoli.

Similarly, other fiber-rich grains and legumes like quinoa, oats, and beans help in improving nutrition profiles.

To enhance the chances of a heart-healthy balanced diet, oils and nuts are also efficient.

Replacing processed foods and saturated fats with healthier alternatives may keep your health in the long run.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Tofu may help your heart. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/tofu-may-help-your-heart
  2. Jie Yu, Xiaojuan Bi, Bing Yu, and Daiwen Chen. Isoflavones: Anti-Inflammatory Benefit and Possible Caveats. Nutrients. 2016 Jun; 8(6): 361. Published online 2016 Jun 10. doi: 10.3390/nu8060361
  3. Tofu, raw, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172475/nutrients
  4. LDL and HDL Cholesterol: “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm
  5. Vitamin D. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/
  6. Vitamin E. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-e/
  7. Katarzyna Maresz. Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Feb; 14(1): 34–39.
  8. Huihui Li, Chen Chen, and Dao Wen Wang. Inflammatory Cytokines, Immune Cells, and Organ Interactions in Heart Failure. Front Physiol. 2021; 12: 695047. Published online 2021 Jul 1. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.695047
  9. Vikas Kapil, Rayomand S Khambata, Amy Robertson, et al. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015 Feb; 65(2): 320–327. Published online 2014 Nov 24. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04675
  10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/
  11. Sheng Yuan, Xia Li , Yalei Jin, et al. Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Meta-Analysis Nutrients. 2017 Jul 2;9(7):688. doi: 10.3390/nu9070688. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28671591/
  12. Donna M Winham , Andrea M Hutchins, Carol S Johnston. Pinto bean consumption reduces biomarkers for heart disease risk. Randomized Controlled Trial J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Jun;26(3):243-9. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2007.10719607. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17634169/
  13. Peter DeMartino , Darrell W Cockburn. Resistant starch: impact on the gut microbiome and health. Review Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2020 Feb;61:66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2019.10.008. Epub 2019 Nov 22. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31765963/
  14. Afsoon Emami Naini, Nooshin Keyvandarian, Mojgan Mortazavi, et al. Effect of Omega-3 fatty acids on blood pressure and serum lipids in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients. J Res Pharm Pract. 2015 Jul-Sep; 4(3): 135–141.doi: 10.4103/2279-042X.162356
  15. Taylor C. Wallace, Robert Murray, and Kathleen M. Zelman3. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016 Dec; 8(12): 766.Published online 2016 Nov 29. doi: 10.3390/nu8120766
  16. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans). Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans/
  17. Yee Wen Kong, Sara Baqar, George Jerums, et al. Sodium and Its Role in Cardiovascular Disease – The Debate Continues. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2016; 7: 164. Published online 2016 Dec 23. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2016.00164
  18. Shirley Zafra-Stone , Taharat Yasmin, Manashi Bagchi, et al. Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention. Review Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):675-83. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700002. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17533652/
  19. April J Stull , Katherine C Cash , Catherine M Champagne , et al. Blueberries improve endothelial function, but not blood pressure, in adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Randomized Controlled Trial Nutrients. 2015 May 27;7(6):4107-23. doi: 10.3390/nu7064107. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26024297/
  20. Arpita Basu , Kenneth Izuora , Nancy M Betts , et al. Dietary Strawberries Improve Cardiometabolic Risks in Adults with Obesity and Elevated Serum LDL Cholesterol in a Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial. Randomized Controlled Trial Nutrients. 2021 Apr 23;13(5):1421. doi: 10.3390/nu13051421. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33922576/
  21. Potassium. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
  22. Avocados, raw, California. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171706/nutrients
  23. Leah G Gillingham, Sydney Harris-Janz, Peter J H Jones. Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids are protective against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Review Lipids. 2011 Mar;46(3):209-28. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3524-y. Epub 2011 Feb 10. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21308420/
  24. Bárbara Pereira da Silva , Desirrê Morais Dias , Maria Eliza de Castro Moreira, et al. Chia Seed Shows Good Protein Quality, Hypoglycemic Effect and Improves the Lipid Profile and Liver and Intestinal Morphology of Wistar Rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2016 Sep;71(3):225-30. doi: 10.1007/s11130-016-0543-8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27193017/
  25. Mihir Parikh, Thane G. Maddaford, J. Alejandro Austria,et al. Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1171. Published online 2019 May 25. doi: 10.3390/nu11051171
  26. Joanna Fiedor and Květoslava Burda. Potential Role of Carotenoids as Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2014 Feb; 6(2): 466–488. Published online 2014 Jan 27. doi: 10.3390/nu6020466
  27. K Mahdy Ali, A Wonnerth, K Huber, J Wojta. Cardiovascular disease risk reduction by raising HDL cholesterol–current therapies and future opportunities. Review Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Nov;167(6):1177-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02081.x. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22725625/
  28. Brittany L. Graf, Patricio Rojas-Silva, Leonel E. Rojo, et al. Innovations in Health Value and Functional Food Development of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2015 Jul; 14(4): 431–445.Published online 2015 Apr 10. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12135
  29. Luma Akil and H. Anwar Ahmad. Relationships between Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases in Four Southern States and Colorado. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011; 22(4 Suppl): 61–72. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2011.0166
  30. Sweet Potatoes. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/sweet-potatoes/
  31. Edamame, frozen, prepared. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168411/nutrients

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