5 amazing foods for healthy arteries

From whittling down your cholesterol to keeping your heart healthy, these five foods should be in everybody's kitchen, and on their plates.

5 amazing foods for healthy arteries

1. Roasted almonds with the skins

  • A single fistful of almonds packs a whopping nine grams of monounsaturated fat. These fats help slash bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol.
  • Simply choosing almonds instead of a doughnut, chips, or pretzels for two snacks a day could cut "bad" cholesterol by nearly 10 percent.
  • Natural vitamin E in the almond's "meat," plus flavonoids in its papery skin, help halt the development of artery-clogging plaque.

2. Avocados

  • In one study, participants who ate one avocado per day for a week had a reduction in total cholesterol of 17 percent.
  • While their levels of unhealthy LDL and triglycerides fell, good HDL levels actually rose.
  • Avocados have high levels of "good" monounsaturated fat and are full of cholesterol-cutting beta-sitosterol.

3. Tomatoes

  • Whether they're fresh, sun-dried or in sauce, eating seven or more servings per week of tomatoes cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent.
  • Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene and stellar levels of vitamin C, potassium and andfibre.
  • Cooking tomatoes for 30 minutes or longer raises levels of available lycopene.
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) of sun-dried tomatoes have more blood pressure–lowering potassium than a medium banana.

4. Canned salmon

  • Among omega-3–rich fatty fish, salmon is king.
  • One serving contains about 1.8 grams of the two most important omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • Omega-3s help cut your risk of out-of-rhythm heartbeats, reduce bad cholesterol, cool inflammation, discourage atherosclerosis and reduce the formation of blood clots.

5. Old-fashioned oatmeal

  • Betaglucan, the soluble fibre found in oats, acts like a sponge, trapping cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestines and eliminating them.
  • The result is lower "bad" LDL because there's less cholesterol being absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • A big bowl of oatmeal per day — about 350 grams (1 1/2 cups) — could cut cholesterol an extra two to three percent.

Eating right can help you gain control of your health. Watch what you put in your body and, if you include these foods, you could see all kinds of benefits.

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