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What to Eat for a Healthy Heart
Posted On 4/9/2013 4:16:57 PM By-jagat
When it comes to heart healthy foods, more and more products that can positively affect blood pressure, cholesterol, or overall cardiovascular health are hitting grocery store shelves. In a recent issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr compiles a comprehensive list of whole foods as well as food ingredients in which recent research has uncovered cardiovascular benefits.

Fruits and Vegetables
• Apples — a study showed that dried apple can lower cholesterol levels in postmenopausal women
• Potatoes—contain high concentrations of antioxidants that help to decrease blood pressure
• Grapes—supports cardiovascular heath
• Raisins—deliver dietary fiber and beneficial nutrients like potassium and antioxidants associated with cardioprotective benefits

Nuts
• Almonds—naturally cholesterol free, deliver protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin, all of which contribute to heart health
• Walnuts—a study showed that eating two ounces of walnuts daily may improve cardiovascular health in people with type 2 diabetes
• Pistachios—may lower LDL cholesterol levels
• Pecans—contain very little saturated fat, have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol

Betaglucans (sugars that are found in the cell walls of plants)
• Barley and Oats—when used as an ingredientsoluble fiber, it makes you feel full longer research shows it may lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
Oils
• Canola oil—high in essential fatty acids, and authorized by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fats
• Olive oil—a study showed that olive oil can significantly improve cardiovascular functions
• Krill oil—source of omega3 fatty acids and naturally occurring antioxidants

Extracts
• Tomato concentrate—in several studies tomato concentrate helped with blood clotting and improved blood flow
• Olive extract— protects blood lipids from oxidative damage
• Cocoa extract—can help keep blood vessels healthy and supports healthy circulation

Proteins
• Soy—multiple benefits to cardiovascular health
• Dairy— can reduce systolic blood pressure
 
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