Foods for a healthy heart


How to prevent heart attacks?

DIET plays a key role in monitoring heart health by helping to prevent the causes and factors that predispose to its occurrence.

Heart health and obesity

Alcohol and heart health

Smoking and heart health

We would have to take into account the following dietary advice:

Minimizing food containing saturated fats

We should avoid to the maximum consumption of fatty foods of animal origin, rich in saturated fats because they increase the levels of low density cholesterol (LDL) and promote obesity.

Fatty meat, butter, whole milk and dairy products (cheese, cream, yogurt, whole curds) should be replaced by other protein sources, such as legumes and dried fruits or nuts. Vegetal oils, as olive oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oils will replace the animal fat in the kitchen. Eggs are high in cholesterol and should be consumed as little as possible.

If you do not want to eliminate the meat completely, it is best to eat lean meat such as chicken, or consume the oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna, etc.).

This type of food is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL), so, they thin the blood.

We recommend three meals a week of oily fish for those people presenting some type of heart disease. (See more information on cholesterol)

Choose foods that promote body weight reduction

So, besides avoiding greasy food animals as mentioned above, we have to minimize bakery foods, that are rich in refined sugars and animal fats, and also raise cholesterol and contribute to weight gain.

In its place, it is best to eat other more satiating foods because, in addition to providing calories, they offer us vitamins, minerals and other components necessary for good health.

Among these we mention the carbohydrates obtained from cereals or their derivatives (rice, oats, wheat, bread, pasta, oatmeal, etc.) and legumes (beans, etc.)

We must not forget the importance of vegetables, that contain very little calories, and fruit that provides easily assimilated sugars and a high water content that promotes its lightness, and all the wealth of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals highly needed to prevent the occurrence of many diseases
(See complete study on this food group)

Choose foods rich in soluble fiber

Soluble fiber hinders the absorption of cholesterol through the intestinal wall, so that a diet rich in vegetables containing fiber will help reduce and prevent all those related.

Among the foods rich in soluble fiber there are: oats, string beans, pears or apples.

Eat foods rich in potassium and low in sodium

This type of foods would help to eliminate the excess of corporal water, reducing the sodium level which will contribute to diminish the arterial tension, another one of the factors that can trigger angina pectoris.

Between the richest potassium foods we have: potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, peaches or grapes.

Tinned food will have to be avoided, either of vegetal or animal origin, due to its high sodium content.

Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium

Foods rich in Vitamin C

There has been established that the intake of this vitamin helps lower blood pressure and prevents the risk of vascular disease.

The frequent occurrence of bruising may be due to small capillaries breaking. It is not clear if it reduces cholesterol levels.

There are studies that show that while others have shown it can even increase it. (See more information on this vitamin and the plants that contain it)

Foods rich in folate

Folate is thought to help fight atherosclerosis by reducing homocysteine, a factor which damages the walls of the arteries.

Folate facilitates the movement preventing the development of thrombi that are responsible for many heart attacks and other heart problems.

Eating foods high in folate is a good way for the health of this body. These include the group of cabbage (cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) and other vegetables such as beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, asparagus, beans or chickpeas.

Antioxidant-rich foods

These foods prevent the negative effects free radicals can have on the heart and arteries.

Foods with antioxidant properties are particularly interesting for preventing heart disease carrots, apples, parsley and cabbage. (More information on antioxidants)

Avoid the excessive consumption of spirits

A moderate alcohol consumption can improve circulation, but a high consumption increases to the heart rate and blood pressure.

Avoid the excessive consumption of fruits and fruit juices

Fruits are highly recommended because, as well as carbohydrates, they contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential for health. However, a too high and continued use of this group of foods can cause increased cholesterol and triglycerides with the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Avoid the consumption of stimulating substances

Caffeine should be limited to the fullest because it can cause arrhythmias due to its stimulating effects. Therefore, people with heart problems should avoid drinking coffee, tea, colas or other carbonated beverages containing it.

- Table of recommended food for heart health

- Table of not suitable food for heart health.


  • Tobacco is extremely detrimental to heart health. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases the thickness of the arteries and coronary vessels, increases heart rate and blood pressure. Moreover, carbon monoxide prevents proper oxygenation of the cells and alters the walls of the arteries. Tobacco is responsible for many cases of heart attacks, or angina pectoris. Heart failure is more frequent in smokers. The habit of smoking is one of the main causes of circulatory system diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, cardiac insufficiency, etc.

  • Stress influences negatively in the health of the heart. Avoiding situations that bring about stress and applying relaxation techniques is a good way to take care of this organ. (More information on how to reduce stress)

punto rojo More information on the heart and its natural treatment in the listing above

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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