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6 Fruits and Vegetables for Optimal Heart Health

By HERWriter
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6 Fruits and Vegetables for Your Optimal Heart Health kazoka303030/Fotolia

Heart disease kills more people in the United States than anything else, according to Health.com. However, you can fight back. Prevention Magazine wrote that “studies show that up to 70 percent of heart disease can be averted with the right regimen.”

Part of the right regimen is including healthy produce in your diet. Here are six fruits and vegetables to start incorporating into your diet for optimal heart health.

1) Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and the like contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help blood flow to the heart, and protect against plaque buildup, said LiveStrong.com. Harvard University researchers discovered that women who had at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries a week ran lower risks of having a heart attack.

2) Avocados

The creaminess of an avocado’s flesh comes from its healthy monounsaturated fats, which are responsible for lowering bad cholesterol. Avocados are high in antioxidants and potassium.

Researchers believe avocados help fight against chronic inflammation which can worsen atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of artery walls, explained WebMD.

3) Leafy Green and Cruciferous Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables include collard, mustard, salad and turnip greens, spinach and Swiss chard. These vegetables are high in fiber and contain numerous vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants, expelling any potentially harmful compounds.

Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables could be related to a reduced risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.

A cruciferous powerhouse, kale has heart-healthy antioxidants, fiber, folate, omega-3 essential fatty acids, potassium and vitamin E. It's also rich in lutein. All work to keep the heart healthy.

4) Tomatoes

"Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods." - EatingWell. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Gardner, Amanda. "18 Superfoods For Your Heart." Health.com. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Jennings, MS, RD, Kerri-Ann. "Top Heart-Healthy Foods: Best Foods for Cardiovascular Health." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Kaplan Corwin, Alexandra. "The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Your Heart." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 2014. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

Underwood, Anne. "9 Superfoods For Your Heart." Prevention. Web. 06 Feb. 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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