• En

Around one-third of the deaths worldwide occur due to heart diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consuming foods high in fat, cholesterol or sodium can be bad for heart health.

Diet plays an important role in heart health and is effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. In fact, there are certain foods that can significantly affect heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation. The heart can be strengthened by consuming a diet with calories and fat in the right amount.

In this article, you will learn what to eat to strengthen the heart.

(Read more: Foods to reduce and control high cholesterol)

  1. Foods that strengthen the heart
  2. Other foods to strengthen the heart
  3. Harmful foods for heart health
  4. Other ways to strengthen your heart
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for What to eat and avoid for a stronger heart

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and nuts to strengthen the heart. Apart from this, you can consume many other foods to keep your heart strong, healthy and disease-free, such as:

Beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils

Beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are foods that have the ability to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body. They are rich in fiber, protein and antioxidant polyphenols that have a positive effect on heart health.

(Read more: Balanced diet)

Jamuns

Jamun is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that help protect against the risk of heart diseases. Nutrients like fiber, folate, iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C are found in jamun, which work to strengthen the heart.

Broccoli

It has been proven in many research studies that eating boiled broccoli regularly can reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent heart diseases.

(Read more: Heart failure)

Chia and flax seeds

Chia and flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid. Consuming both these foods helps in reducing the levels of triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol and they also reduce high blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the risk of a heart attack.

(Read more: Foods to reduce and control blood pressure)

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein with less saturated fat strengthens the heart. People who have or are at risk of developing heart disease are advised to consume foods rich in omega-3 as it slows down the abnormal heartbeat and the development of plaque in the arteries. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), around 100 grams of salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, or albacore tuna fish should be consumed at least twice per week.

(Read more: Causes of Arrhythmia)

Nuts

Almonds, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts are all the best foods to strengthen the heart. These nuts are rich in protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Walnuts are also an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen the heart.

Tomato

Tomatoes contain many nutrients that can help keep the heart strong. Small red tomatoes are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate and choline, which are great for the heart.

Green leafy vegetables

Vitamins, minerals like magnesium and antioxidants are found in high amounts in leafy green vegetables, like spinach and kale. Regular consumption of magnesium-rich foods can keep the heart healthy and strong. Such foods help in maintaining the heart rate as well. Vitamin K present in these leafy vegetables helps in protecting the arteries. In some research, it has been revealed that consuming leafy green vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease.

There are some other foods that work to strengthen and keep the heart healthy like:

(Read more: Home remedies for high cholesterol)

There are many foods that can harm the health of your heart and weaken it over time. Following are some such foods to avoid:

  • Sugar, salt, fat: Consuming salt, sugar, saturated fat in excess can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Red meat: It contains high amounts of saturated fat which can increase bad cholesterol.
  • Soda: The amount of sugar in it is very high, which can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart diseases.
  • Other foods: Canned food, baked food, processed food, pastries, fried foods, white bread, pasta, rice, alcohol, butter, french fries, fried chicken, mayonnaise, ketchup, junk food such as potato chips, cookies and ice cream can all harm heart health. Sodium is found in high amounts in these foods which can cause heart disease.

(Read more: Congestive heart failure)

Heart diseases cause the highest number of deaths worldwide. As such, you can keep the heart strong by making changes in your lifestyle. Some things you can do:

  • To strengthen the heart muscle, do an exercise that you can do for a long time while enjoying it.
  • Smoking is a major cause of heart disease. Quitting smoking can help strengthen your heart. 
  • Losing weight will also have a positive effect on heart health. Weight can be easily reduced by diet and exercise.
  • Do not consume too much food at a time. Instead, have a higher number of smaller meals.
  • Stress leads to high blood pressure and a faster heartbeat, which are dangerous for heart health.

(Read more: High cholesterol in children)

What you eat on a diet can affect heart health in all sorts of ways, from blood pressure and inflammation to cholesterol levels and triglycerides. By including all the necessary nutrients in the diet, you can make the heart strong and healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease.

(Read more: Heart attack in young adults)

Dr. Abhishek Sharma

Dr. Abhishek Sharma

Cardiology
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Abid S

Dr. Abid S

Cardiology
7 Years of Experience

Dr. Ravi Shanker Dalmia

Dr. Ravi Shanker Dalmia

Cardiology
20 Years of Experience

Dr. Upendra Divakar Bhalerao

Dr. Upendra Divakar Bhalerao

Cardiology
15 Years of Experience

Read on app
cross
Ask your health query now and get connected with a doctor within 10 minutes!