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25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

These 25 foods are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system.

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods continued...

Catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids).

Toast your good health! A glass of red wine could improve "good" HDL cholesterol.

  1. Tuna

Omega-3 fatty acids; folate; niacin.

Here's lunch: Salad greens, fresh fruit, canned tuna. Keep "Salad Spritzer" - a light dressing -- in your office fridge.

  1. Tofu

Niacin; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.

Tasty tofu is easy: Thinly slice "firm" tofu, marinate several hours, grill or stir-fry.

  1. Brown rice

B-complex vitamins; fiber; niacin; magnesium, fiber.

Microwavable brown rice makes a quick lunch. Stir in a few chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, spinach).

  1. Soy milk

Isoflavones (a flavonoid); B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate, calcium; magnesium; potassium; phytoestrogens.

Soy milk is great over oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. Or, make a smoothie with soy milk.

  1. Blueberries

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); anthocyanin (a flavonoid); ellagic acid (a polyphenol); vitamin C; folate; calcium, magnesium; potassium; fiber.

Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries are potent, too -- for trail mixes, muffins, salads!

  1. Carrots

Alpha-carotene (a carotenoid); fiber.

Baby carrots are sweet for lunch. Sneak shredded carrots into spaghetti sauce or muffin batter.

  1. Spinach

Lutein (a carotenoid); B-complex vitamins; folate; magnesium; potassium; calcium; fiber.

Pick spinach (not lettuce) for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.

  1. Broccoli

Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); Vitamins C and E; potassium; folate; calcium; fiber.

Chop fresh broccoli into store-bought soup. For a veggie dip, try hummus (chickpeas).

  1. Sweet potato

Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); vitamins A, C, E; fiber.

Microwave in a zip-lock baggie for lunch. Eat au naturale, or with pineapple bits.

  1. Red bell peppers

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.

Rub with olive oil, and grill or oven-roast until tender. Delicious in wraps, salads, sandwiches.

  1. Asparagus

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; fiber.

Grill or steam slightly, then dress with olive oil and lemon. It's a pretty side dish.

  1. Oranges

Beta-cryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene, lutein (carotenoids) and flavones (flavonoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.

Got orange juice? Check out the new nutrient-packed blends.

  1. Tomatoes

Beta- and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein (carotenoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.

For a flavor twist, try oil-packed tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas.

  1. Acorn squash

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium; fiber.

Baked squash is comfort food on a chilly day. Serve with sautéed spinach, pine nuts, raisins.

  1. Cantaloupe

Alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.

A fragrant ripe cantaloupe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, potluck dinners. Simply cut and enjoy!

  1. Papaya

Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein (carotenoids); Vitamins C and E; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.

Serve papaya salsa with salmon: Mix papaya, pineapple, scallions, garlic, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper.

  1. Dark chocolate

Reservatrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids).

A truffle a day lowers blood pressure, but choose 70% or higher cocoa content.

  1. Tea

Catechins and flavonols (flavonoids).

Make sun tea: Combine a clear glass jar, several tea bags, and hours of sunshine.

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