the best foods to keep your heart healthy is one way to control your risks for heart disease.

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. If it’s weak, you’re weak. There are a few things you can do to provide your heart with what it needs to be at its best. The first is to get plenty of exercise. Your heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked. Second, avoid toxins that damage your cardiovascular system don’t smoke, avoid high fat foods, and limit (eliminate?) your refined sugar intake. Here are the best foods you can add to your diet to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants necessary to maintain a healthy heart.

Simple food choices go a long way when it comes to your heart’s health. Focusing on fresh foods full of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants can decrease your risk of developing heart disease and cut your chances of a heart attack.

superfoods that are good for your heart

superfoods that are good for your heart

Best Foods For A Healthy Heart

Chia seeds

Just a spoonful of this plant-based omega-3 powerhouse contains only 60 calories and helps reduce bad cholesterol and plaque buildup. Mix them with yogurt, soup, or sprinkle on a salad. (Curious about the nutritional oomph of chia seeds?

Flaxseed

Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy food.

Sardines

These spiny little creatures are also loaded with omega-3s in the form of fish oil, which increases “good” cholestrol levels and reduces the risk of sudden heart attacks in people who have experienced previous attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stick to fresh ones to avoid the canned variety’s high salt content.

Soy milk

It’s high in the organic compound isoflavones, which has been shown to help reduce cholesterol. Unlike animal milk, this beverage contains no cholesterol and is naturally low in fat. In also contains niacin, which helps boost circulation.

Nuts

Go ahead and get a little nutty. Eating nuts every day decreases the risk of dying from heart disease by 29 percent (as compared to people who didn’t eat them over a period of 30 years). How do such little things have such a huge effect? They contain unsaturated fats, which improve cholesterol by lowering “bad” cholesterol and raising the good kind. Walnuts, in particular, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent blood clots and the development of irregular heart rhythms. Nuts also contain an amino acid that helps ease blood flow—proof that something small can be mighty. Find out how your favorite nuts stack up nutritionally—just take a look at this guide.

heart healthy foods

heart healthy foods

Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study showed broccoli and similar veggies lowered the risk of cardiac associated death more than other fruits and vegetables. Researchers have taken specific interest recently in the potential of a compound found in broccoli, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), for heart health. A study based on mouse models found I3C provided cardiac protection as it counteracted aspects of heart failure.

Whole grains

These healthy grains lower heart risk, according to EatingWell. Along with antioxidants and other heart-healthy components, whole grains have fiber, and high-fiber diets have been linked to lower cardiovascular risk. Soluble fibers also affect cholesterol in a good way.

Leafy greens

Spinach, kale, dandelion greens, turnip tops, and Swiss chard they’re all amazing foods that provide iron plus lots of vitamin C, both good for strong bones, teeth, and hair, and vitamin A and magnesium, both of which are excellent at helping you maintain calm. Sauté one or more type of greens with lemon or orange juice and garlic, or purée with a little low-sodium chicken or veggie broth and white beans for a satisfying soup.