10 Best Foods for Your Heart

CarbonNYC via Flickr
By Alana Brager,

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States? Scary! Luckily, we have tasty ways you can keep that heart of yours pumping longer!

1. Oatmeal contains a certain element of fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also contains a special antioxidant called avenanthramides, which prevents free radicals from attacking good cholesterol and helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Oatmeal also helps keep your arteries clear and contains calcium, omega-3's and fiber, which have been proven to stabilize blood sugar. Just skip the instant oats, since they're loaded with hidden sugars and sodium!

2. Salmon is the premiere source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that the human body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3's are known to minimize symptoms of inflammatory diseases and reduce blood pressure. Salmon is very high in protein, low in cholesterol and also contains astaxanthin, a very powerful antioxidant that's converted to vitamin A in the body.

3. Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help lower bad cholesterol. They're high in potassium, which can help ward off high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. They also contain a heart healthy fat that contains lycopene, a potential cancer-fighting agent.

4. Olive Oil oil is full of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your risk of heart disease and help normalize blood clotting. The antioxidants found in olive oil can also help protect against some cancers while boosting your HDL (good) cholesterol.

5. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, are full of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, a fat that's mostly found in plant based foods and oils. They are also full of protein and omega-3's, which are great for the heart. About a handful a day is enough to do the trick.

Check out even more heart healthy foods here!

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Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Flickr