8 Foods Everyone Should Eat for a Healthy Heart

fruits in a bowl with vegetables placed around it

Looking after your heart is a great way to remain fit and avoid lifestyle diseases. And food is a critical aspect of your fitness and health. This article will discuss eight varieties of foods for a healthy heart that help you reduce your blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol levels. At the end of this read, you will be able to identify the foods you should include in your daily diet to get a balanced intake of nutrients through foods good for the heart.

What are Heart Healthy Foods?

Following a heart-healthy diet means choosing your food wisely to get the essential nutrients and improve cardiovascular health. Heart-healthy foods include minimally processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Apart from minimally processed foods, the American Heart Association or AHA recommends daily exercise, using plant-based oils such as olive oil, eating a healthy number of fruits and vegetables daily, consuming only healthy protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, and lentils, minimizing your consumption of salt, sugar, and alcohol.

Heart Healthy Foods

Vegetables & Fruits

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

    Leafy vegetables are essential to healthy and balanced diets. Leafy greens like collard, spinach, kale, and fenugreek leaves are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Those who have diabetes should eat leafy greens every day for better heart health, protect the arteries, and improve blood clotting.
  2. Cherries

    A little fruit packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can do wonders for your heart. Cherries contain anthocyanins, a critical antioxidant to clean and protect blood vessels. To improve cardiovascular health, eat fresh cherries, sprinkle dried cherries on cereal, or drink cherry juice daily.

  3. Blueberries

    Another tiny fruit power-packed with essential nutrition. Eating blueberries improves the functioning of cells that line the blood vessels to control blood pressure and improve blood clotting. They reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which may develop heart disease.

  4. Oranges

    Eating oranges and drinking orange juice helps control blood pressure and protect the heart. Oranges are rich in fiber pectin, which reduces cholesterol in the human body. They also contain potassium, which controls blood pressure.

  5. Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular white potatoes. They have significantly lower glycemic index and higher fiber content, vitamin A, and lycopene. Replace spuds with sweet potatoes in curries and baked dishes, or have boiled sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of lemon.

  6. Avocados

    If you need a source of monounsaturated fats to reduce cholesterol levels, eat two servings of avocados weekly. Avocados are rich in potassium and are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart diseases.

  7. Garlic

    Garlic has several therapeutic effects on the human body due to the presence of complex compounds like allicin. Eating garlic regularly or taking garlic supplements can reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.

Nuts and Seeds

  1. Walnuts

    Walnuts contain fiber and minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Eating small portions of walnuts daily to protect your heart against cardiovascular diseases. Walnuts also help control cholesterol levels in the body.
  2. Almonds

    Almonds are rich in many vitamins and minerals essential to control cholesterol and reduce belly fat. They are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, good foods for heart health.
  3. Flaxseed

    Add some flax seeds to cereal, baked goods, yogurt, or a sandwich you like. Flaxseeds contain fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids. Adding flaxseeds to your daily diet can improve metabolism and heart health within a few weeks.

Dairy Alternatives

  1. Low Fat Yogurt

    Everyone knows dairy products are rich in calcium and protein. Therefore, eating yogurt is great for your bones and muscles. But yogurt is also rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, leading to a healthy heart. If you are trying to lose weight, choose a low-fat variety of yogurt daily.

Whole Grains

  1. Whole Grains

    Refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of coronary heart disease; it is best to consume whole grains. Whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa contain germ, endosperm, and bran, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
  2. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal is a whole grain packed with nutrition and fiber. It helps you feel full for longer, prevents cravings, and helps maintain a low blood sugar. Oats also help reduce cholesterol levels in the human body. For best results, use steel-cut or slow-cooked oats.
  3. Barley

    Hulled or whole grain barley is rich in fiber and essential minerals. It can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. You can use barley instead of rice or simmer it in soups and stews. Barley tastes good toasted, ground, as cereal, or as a side dish with meat.


  1. Black Beans

    Tender black beans have a mild taste and have many heart-healthy nutrients. Black beans contain proteins, antioxidants, folate, and magnesium. They are the best food for heart health as they can reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add them to your soups and salads to increase the nutritional content on your plate.
  2. Edamame

    Edamame beans are immature soybeans filled with nutrition and flavor. Like other soy products, edamame is rich in isoflavones, which lowers cholesterol levels. Soy protein is essential to your diet if you have high cholesterol or need to lose weight.

Fatty Fish

  1. Salmon (Super Food)

    Fresh salmon fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats lower the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. For those with high cholesterol levels, it is essential to have two servings of salmon fish or other oily fish every week.
  2. Tuna (Super Food)

    Try tuna if you cannot have salmon often. It is a more economical source of protein, and it is equally nutritious. Tuna has many omega-3 fatty acids and essential minerals for the human body. Choose tuna packed in water and not oil to ensure it is heart-healthy.

Healthy Fats and Oils

  1. Olive Oil

    Rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids essential for heart health. Olive oil contains oleic acid that prevent and treat hypertension. The antioxidants in olive oil help reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.


  1. Green Tea

    Green tea has numerous health benefits. It has polyphenols and catechins, which act like antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and protect your heart health. Green tea also increases the production of leptin hormone, which reduces appetite and LDL cholesterol in the blood.
  2. Red Wine and Resveratrol

    If you drink alcohol, red wine is a good beverage for the heart. Red wine has antioxidants like resveratrol and catechins that protect the artery walls and boost HDL cholesterol. Do not have more than one or two drinks per day, as excessive alcohol is bad for the heart.

Other Options

  1. Dark Chocolate

    Eating chocolate is always a treat, and dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids. Flavonoids boost heart health and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. However, chocolates can contain high amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats. Therefore, they should be eaten in moderation.
  2. Tofu

    Tofu is a vegetarian soy-based protein. It contains several heart-healthy minerals and polyunsaturated fats. It is a great replacement for cottage cheese in many Indian curries. It contains more nutrients than cottage cheese and also works for lactose-intolerant people.

Foods to Limit

  1. Limit Sodium

    Sodium harms heart health by raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease. Adults and children should have less than 2300mg of sodium per day. Children younger than 14 years should have even less sodium per day. Processed, preserved, and packaged foods usually have high sodium content. Read labels carefully and avoid buying food with high sodium content.
  2. Limit Saturated Fats

    Animal fats like butter, cheese, and fatty meats are saturated fats. Instead of consuming saturated fats, choose unsaturated fats from plant sources like olive or vegetable oil-also, lean meats like poultry or fish instead of red meat.
  3. Limit Added Sugars

    Some foods, like fruits, contain natural sugars, which are good for the body. But packaged foods like cookies, chocolates, and candies contain added sugars, not heart-healthy foods. Drink fresh fruit juices without added sugars and eat fruit for dessert.
  4. Limit Alcohol

    Discuss with your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to consume. Excessive alcohol adds unnecessary calories to your diet and raises blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Living a healthy life is a conscious decision and requires serious effort. If you have a lifestyle disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or cardiovascular problems-start working on your health today. Design a balanced diet and follow it daily to ensure you get the essential nutrients and avoid harmful foods. Live active and take care of your heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Foods Prevent Heart Attacks?

    Use the guide above to design a list of good foods for heart health. An ideal heart-healthy diet has many fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils. It includes alcohol in moderation or not at all. These foods can help reduce the risk of heart attacks. If you are allergic to one or more foods mentioned above, talk to your doctor to find the best alternatives.

  2. How Can I Make My Heart Stronger?

    Building a healthy lifestyle with good habits and a balanced diet can help you make your heart stronger. Here is a look at some steps you can take for a healthy heart

    • Eat heart-healthy foods
    • Get active and exercise every day
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Quit smoking and avoid places where you may be exposed to second-hand smoke.
    • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
    • Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all
    • Reduce stress and build a positive mindset