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10 Foods that Promote Heart Health: A Delicious Path to a Stronger Heart

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Heart disease is a common plight in the United States. Genetics, lifestyle choices, and underlying health conditions can all contribute to the occurrence of heart disease in individuals. Thankfully, there are some steps to take to help prevent heart disease, with diet being one of the most important. Here are 10 foods that promote heart health, forging a delicious path to a stronger heart. 

At the Heart of Your Diet 

A healthy diet isn’t just a fad – it’s a lifestyle choice. Different ways of eating have garnered attention over the years, with new diets constantly fighting for popularity. But when it comes to heart health, some foods are a clear choice in promoting or improving cardiovascular function. Rather than following the latest diet trend to combat or prevent heart disease, keeping these foods as dietary staples will help your heart perform its best. 


Tuna, salmon, and mackerel are fatty-fish packed with omega-3s, which support lower blood pressure and healthy total cholesterol. Omega-3s also help with inflammation throughout the body. Choose low-mercury options, and aim to incorporate two 4 ounce servings of these heart-friendly fish each week. 

Whole Grains 

Rich in fiber, whole grains help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Healthy whole grains include: oats, brown or wild rice, and quinoa. Swap cereal, white bread and pasta for whole wheat and whole grain offerings to help incorporate more of these into your daily diet. 


Berries are full of phytonutrients and fiber to help promote heart health. In fact, the anthocyanins responsible for a berry’s red or blue coloring are antioxidants that promote heart and overall health. Berries not in season? Opt for frozen berries. Because they hold their nutritional value when moved quickly from field to freezer, frozen berries are still a healthy option when fresh berries aren’t in season. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all readily available in both the produce and freezer aisles. 

Dark Chocolate 

As the cocoa percentage increases, so do the health benefits of chocolate. Enjoying a small portion of dark chocolate is a delicious way to incorporate more fiber and protein to your diet. Try to choose the highest percentage of cocoa that’s palatable to you, with the most benefit being in chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa.

Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, and bok choy are some leafy greens that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. They’re also rich in nitrates, which have been shown to relax and widen blood vessels. Leafy greens and other low-starch vegetables are filling, nutritious, and highly versatile. 


Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas contain fiber, antioxidants, and B-vitamins, which are helpful in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Beans especially are an excellent alternative to meat in individuals looking for a more plant-based diet. 


Tomatoes contain potassium and lycopene – an antioxidant associated with lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Vitamins B, C, and E are also found in tomatoes, along with flavonoid antioxidants. Eating tomatoes with a healthy fat source like olive oil or avocados aids in the absorption of these antioxidants. 


Not all nuts are created equally, but the best options for heart health are: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. Delicious on their own, in a recipe, or as a salad topper, nuts are high in essential nutrients that promote a healthy heart. Nuts are also high in fat, so they should be enjoyed in moderation. 

Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. It can be used as a substitute for butter in sautéed dishes, or used as a dipping sauce base for whole grain bread. Pair olive oil with nutritious additives like garlic and herbs for even more health-boosting benefits. 


Fat has been used in a negative connotation for years, but not all fat is unhealthy. Like olive oil, avocados are mainly made up of monounsaturated fat, which is far better for your heart than saturated fats. They’re also rich in fiber and micronutrients that help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. 

Heart Health with Xpress Wellness

Xpress Wellness Urgent Care also provides primary care services to establish lasting patient-to-provider relationships. Through virtual visits across Kansas and Oklahoma or in-person visits in select locations, patients can discuss heart healthy habits with their provider and determine what lifestyle changes can be made. Along with a diet that supports a healthy heart, providers can recommend exercise, stress reduction methods, and discuss other preventative measures to help prevent heart disease. Schedule a visit today to get started on your path to overall wellness. 


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