10 Best Foods To Avoid A Heart Attack Or Stroke

#1 Oats and barley

The cell walls of oats and barley contain a special type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has a host of benefits for human health. Studies show that it blunts the body’s insulin response and boosts immunity, and it may be protective during radiation and chemotherapy. But its role in cholesterol reduction is what counts for heart health.

#2 Salmon and other fatty fish

Fish oils, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are critical for maintaining a healthy heart. That means fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring, lake trout and sardines and crustaceans such as lobster, oysters and squid are the protein staples of a heart-healthy diet.

#3 Dark leafy greens

Salad greens, spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard and mustard greens are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K and contain antioxidants that help rid toxins from the body. But it’s their abundance of calcium, magnesium and potassium that puts them on the top 10 list for heart health.

#4 Nuts and seeds

Unsalted seeds and nuts are also high in potassium, magnesium and other minerals known to reduce blood pressure.

#5 Beets

Beets turn out to be chock full of nitric oxide, which studies show can help open blood vessels and therefore lower your blood pressure. In fact, a small study of Australian men and women found that drinking 500 grams (about 2½ cups) of beet juice significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) within six hours.

#6 Avocados

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that replacing saturated fat with one nutrient-packed avocado a day could lead to up to a 13.5 milligrams-per-deciliter reduction in blood pressure. That could be enough to keep some people off blood pressure meds, researchers say.

#7 Olive oil

Monounsaturated fatty acids are a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to improve heart health and brain health, lower risk for breast cancer and increase longevity.

#8 Legumes

No heart-healthy list would be complete without legumes, which include all kinds of beans, lentils, chickpeas and black-eyed peas.

#9 Low-fat dairy

In a study by Boston University, researchers followed the eating habits of 75,000 people for up to 30 years and found that women who ate yogurt at least five times a week had a 20{7bffeda5342ac81ce8ce9597ed6eb91e7337560331e73e737396bca8e065c71f} reduction in their risk of developing high blood pressure.

#10 A low-sodium, balanced diet

No. 10 on the heart healthy list may seem odd, but it’s important. Experts say that rather than focusing on just one or two of the heart healthy foods, you would be better served to eat a well-rounded diet that focuses on healthy foods of all types and colors.