Heart-Healthy Superfoods: Fueling Your Heart for a Lifetime

Are there foods considered heart-healthy? And what does heart healthy even mean?  Does it mean that there is a list of foods that will save you a ton of heart problems? Or foods even when eaten in excess would not cause any danger or risk to your heart?

To even think a certain type of food can be heart healthy are you thinking in the line of fats and sodium/salt, especially saturated fat?

Fat is important in your diet as it helps in;

  • Absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K which are fat soluble.
  • Giving your body organs a protective layer even the heart included.

Sodium is important as it helps to maintain fluid balance in the body.

However, certain types of foods contain too much saturated fat like most processed meats, fatty meat cuts, snacks, and fatty foods. 

Taking too much of this saturated fat increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (heart disease, heart attacks, stroke), diabetes, and even certain types of cancers.

Here’s a list of foods that are proven to be heart-healthy;

  1. Fruits and vegetables.
  2. Whole grains.
  3. Healthy proteins.

Which fruits and vegetables are good for the heart?

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is one way of achieving a healthy lifestyle.

In the management of diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers, more intake of fruits and vegetables is highly encouraged.

Most fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, like vitamins C, A, and enough dietary fiber, they are also low in calories and low in saturated fat.

What is the importance of fruits and vegetables for heart health?

Vitamin C and A from fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, sukuma wiki, and even avocados are important, as they help to prevent a build-up of plaques.


Plaques are deposits of fat, especially inside the blood vessels, that prevent the normal flow of blood.

When the flow of blood to the heart and even the brain is interfered with, then there’s a high risk of heart disease and stroke.

Fruits and vegetables are also quite important in weight management, as they contain enough dietary fibre.

The dietary fibre provides satiety, hence less snacking, and eventually weight management.

Obesity and being overweight are top risk factors for heart disease. Too much fat gets stored around organs, even the heart, and some deposits inside blood vessels. Which is very risky.

You can start to learn very easy ways to prevent obesity, as a way to prevent heart issues.

A diet full of fruits and vegetables is therefore going to help well in weight management.

To get most of the dietary fibre out of these fruits, eat them whole as opposed to refined fruit juices.

Are whole grains good for your heart?

Whole grains from brown rice, bread, whole wheat products, oatmeal, and so on are very important foods to consider.

Whole grains are important to keep your heart healthy as they help in;

  • Weight management – Whole grains too contain substantial amounts of dietary fibre important in weight management. The dietary fiber gives you a feeling of fullness. Getting from obesity and being overweight to having a healthy weight will help keep your heart healthy.
  • Controlling blood pressure – To keep your heart healthy, your blood pressure must also be controlled. The DASH diet for hypertension has shown a great positive impact in helping keep blood pressure under control. The DASH diet encourages more intake of whole grains and also more fruits and vegetables.
  • Controlling diabetes – keep your blood glucose levels under control. When blood glucose levels remain uncontrolled, so many diabetes complications may come in, and an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke is also among these complications. Hyperglycemia basically destroys most blood vessels, affecting the normal flow of blood, affecting the heart as well. Whole grains are a good choice when you are looking to manage your sugars, they contain complex sugars which get absorbed slowly therefore reducing the risk of sudden spikes in blood glucose levels. When your blood glucose level is in check, the risk of heart disease reduces as well.

How do proteins affect your heart health?

Proteins are a food group that is very important for building and repairing body tissues.

Healthy sources of protein are highly recommended, from plant sources, nuts, and seeds, fish, and poultry.

For heart health, red meat is cautioned as it may contain too much saturated fat that can be a risk to your heart.

Processed meats are the worst choice because they contain too much sodium in addition to saturated fat.

Both sodium and Saturated fat are to look out for because they affect your blood pressure and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancers.

Proteins from plant sources are the best choice as they also provide additional dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

For heart health;

  • Increase your intake of plant-sourced proteins as opposed to animal-source proteins.
  • Remove the skin from your chicken before eating. The skin contains so much saturated fat.
  • Eat fish.
  • Eat more nuts and seeds, they contain substantial amounts of dietary fibre.
  • Stop eating processed meats like sausage and bacon.

Aside from a healthy diet, physical activity is also highly recommended, for weight management, fitness, and keeping your blood flowing Normally.

This in turn reduces your risk of developing heart problems.

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