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25 of the Best Foods to Stop the #1 Killer in America
You might think cancer or AIDS is the number one killer in America today but the truth is the biggest killer is, by far, heart disease. Did you know that many cases of heart disease can be stopped before they ever begin by simply eating a healthier diet?
There are tons of natural foods that can help stop heart disease. Everything from asparagus to tea, every single food or drink on this list can deliver a potent punch of phytonutrients that can both prevent and repair existing damage to cells.
You can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease by eating more of these foods every day. Fresh, organic produce should be the cornerstone of your diet. These help to wipe out the free radicals that cause so much damage to our cells, including the cells of our blood vessels. Beans, nuts, fish, tea, and whole grains also have plenty of benefits to offer us when it comes to fighting heart disease. There is no one magic food that will erase heart disease, but by eating a wide variety of all that Mother Nature has to offer us, we can stop this killer in its tracks.
Keep reading for the top 25 foods you should be including in your diet to avoid becoming a victim of heart disease.
Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, wild-caught salmon is one of the best choices to avoid heart disease.
Black beans and kidney beans are some of the best choices and are filled with niacin, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and soluble fiber. All beans are good choices, however, and can be added to most meals, salads, and soups.
Filled with heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, phytosterols, plant-based omega-3, magnesium, folate, and vitamin E; you only need a handful (about seven) of these each day to get all the heart healthy benefits.
4. Tuna Fish
Is there a better tasting lunch than tuna fish? This fish favorite has niacin, folates, and more of those heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a good source of fiber, niacin, magnesium and B complex vitamins. Cook your rice and during the last five minutes of cooking time, stir in some chopped vegetables for a quick and easy dinner.
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Baby carrots are sweet and easy to munch on anytime. They are also a good source of fiber and heart healthy alpha-carotene.
You knew this one would make the list, didn’t you? Broccoli is loaded with beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, fiber, folate, and vitamins C and E. Add broccoli to your soups and salads!
8. Red Bell Peppers
These sweet vegetables, which look spicy but really aren’t, have lutein, beta-carotene, B complex vitamins, potassium, folates, and fiber. Try adding them to sandwiches, salads, or simply rub with olive oil and grill or roast in the oven until tender.
Orange juice is an American staple at the breakfast table, but be sure that you are either squeezing the oranges yourself or that you are purchasing pure orange juice, as most juices contain tons of sugar. Peel some oranges and keep them in the fridge so they are ready for snacking.
10. Acorn Squash
Baked squash is one of the best comfort foods on cold, chilly days. They are also a super food for your heart, as they have B complex and vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, lutein, potassium, and fiber galore.
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Can you say papaya salsa?! Super yummy and full of beta-carotene, lutein, folates, magnesium, potassium, along with vitamins C and E!
Green and black teas are especially heart healthy as they are loaded with flavonols and catechins, but almost any herbal tea is a good choice!
Olive oil and coconut oil are two of the best choices when it comes to your heart. Avocado oil is also another good choice. Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats that can lower cholesterol levels.
14. Dark Chocolate
Talk about a heart healthy treat! Dark chocolate is the king of flavonoids and resveratrol. Just one ounce is all it takes to get all the healthy benefits for your heart. Just be certain that your dark chocolate contains at least 70 percent cocoa.
A fragrant, sweet cantaloupe is perfect as a snack, or lunch or breakfast treat. Cantaloupe is full of lutein, alpha and beta-carotene, vitamin C, B complex, and potassium. Simply cut and eat!
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This popular garden vegetable has so many health benefits, we couldn’t list them all. As far as your heart goes, however, it has lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, potassium, folate, beta and alpha carotene. Try some sundried or oil-packed tomatoes in your next sandwich, salad, or pasta dish.
Who doesn’t love asparagus? Your heart loves it as well since it contains lutein, beta-carotene, folates, fiber, and B complex vitamins.
18. Sweet Potatoes
Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to serve up some sweet potatoes. They have plenty of vitamins E, C, and A, along with beta-carotene and fiber. Try taking one to lunch!
Spinach is King of the Greens! Choose spinach rather than lettuce for your next soup, salad, or sandwich, and you will get a heap of fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B complex vitamins, and lutein.
SEE ALSO: 15 of the Best Herbs and Spices for a Healthy Heart (#10 is Little Weird)
Actually, almost any berry is a good choice: Cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, calcium, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Keep some in your freezer for an easy, anytime, heart healthy snack.
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Think tofu is hard to use? Simply slice some “firm” tofu, marinate in your favorite sauce, and then grill. Tofu is full of calcium, potassium, magnesium, folates, and niacin.
22. Red Wine
Just a glass — not the whole bottle — gives you resveratrol and catechins that will make your mouth and your heart happy.
Like walnuts, all you need is a handful of almonds each day to get your fill of heart healthy plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, fiber, mono and polyunsaturated fats, phytosterols, and vitamin E.
A favorite at the breakfast table, oatmeal is loaded with niacin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Put some nuts or blueberries in your bowl, and you have a super hearty, super heart healthy breakfast!
25. Lean Meats
Lean meats, such as chicken and turkey, can be super heart healthy choices and can give you much needed protein without all the saturated fats. Grill or broil for best health.