Did You Know | Health

10 Foods You Need To Start Eating To Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Heart disease is a pretty scary thing, and while you should always follow your doctor's orders and take the medication they prescribe, sometimes you want to supplement that treatment with healthier food choices.

We all know it's smart to eat well, but when your heart health is at risk, it becomes extra important. Luckily, there are certain foods that have been shown to help clear out the bad cholesterol in your body, which allows your heart to run more effectively.

Try to add these 10 foods into your diet if you want to keep your heart happy, healthy, and strong.

1. Broccoli

There is a chemical inside broccoli called sulforaphane that actually helps to activate a protein in your body. This protein helps your body fight against clogged arteries.

2. Watermelon

Watermelon is kind of an interesting one, because while it's not technically removing plaque buildup, it does lower your blood pressure, which helps your blood vessels stay strong.

You need those blood vessels to stay relaxed so your artery linings work properly, and the citrulline amino acid that the watermelon is full of is the perfect way to accomplish this.

3. Whole Grains

Even though it seems like everyone is always telling you that carbs are bad for you, whole grains are capable of reducing your risk of heart diease by 14%.

Not only that, but those who eat whole grains are 25% less likely to die from a heart attack. It's suspected that the fiber found in whole grains helps to remove cholesterol from the body, making it safer for your heart.

4. Potatoes

Another type food that a lot of people seem to say is unhealthy is potatoes. While eating french fries every day isn't going to help you in any way, eating a baked potato every now and then is great because of all of the potassium inside.

There's actually more than twice the amount of potassium than what you find in a banana! Not only that, but they actually have a good amount of fiber in them, so treat yourself to some roasted or baked potatoes, just try to ease up on the butter.

5. Olive Oil

While you may not think that fatty oils like olive oil would be ideal, they are actually one of those high fat foods that are the "good" cholesterol.

It's rich in monounsaturated oleic acid, which can actually reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your blood while it delivers antioxidants to your body.

6. Turmeric

Add this perfect spice to your meals to help prevent the deposits of fat that form in your arteries.

The curcumin in the popular spice acts as an anti-inflammatory, and has been known to prevent plaque build up, and stop blood clots from happening.

7. Spinach

Switch out your regular lettuce for spinach and you might notice that your blood pressure lowers significantly. It has been found to lower homocysteine levels, which are known to cause heart disease.

8. Garlic

Finally, an excuse for garlic bread! Garlic is capable of lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, and even reduce the risk of blood clots. Garlic provides a solid source of sulfur, which can help maintain the levels of antioxidants.

9. Eggs

So, remember when doctors used to tell us eggs were bad for our hearts? Well, that's actually no longer thought to be true. Eggs actually seem to boost the good cholesterol in your blood that help get rid of the plaque build up in your artery walls.

Eating eggs every day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by up to 11%.

10. Chocolate

Any valid reason to eat chocolate is a good one in my opinion, but at least this one is backed by science. Researchers found that people who regularly eat what they call a "moderate" amount of chocolate are less likely to have heart failure.

Personally, I don't know that there is such a thing as a moderate amount of chocolate, it's all or nothing, but at least now my snacking is for a good cause!

Source - Reader's Digest / HuffingtonPost / Fisher Titus Medical Center / Healthline / Medical News Today / Web MD

Just make sure to check with your doctor, because diet alone isn't enough to cure heart issues.

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com