It’s important to love your heart and make sure your diet includes a variety of heart healthy foods. When you think of foods that support a healthy heart options like Salmon, skinless chicken, assorted fruits and vegetables may come to mind but there are less common foods that support heart health too. Here are five of the more unusual foods that are good for your heart.
Heart Healthy Foods
Eggplant is an excellent addition to your menu if you’re looking to support a healthy heart. It’s a low calorie source of soluble fiber and contains chlorogenic acid which has been shown to be beneficial as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective compound. Eggplant is a staple of the popular Mediterranean diet and is ready to absorb the flavors of anything you cook with it.
Lentils, like other beans, are rich in dietary fiber which works to remove cholesterol from the body through your digestive tract. Lentils do this so well that in a long term international study, conducted over 25 years, researchers found that legumes were associated with an 82% reduction in risk for coronary artery disease. 
Sardines have among the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids of any cold-water fish. As you may already know, omega-3 fatty acids help lower triglycerides, increase HDL levels,…
“..reduce potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, and tamp down inflammation. It’s inflammation that ultimately destabilizes plaque, causing it to rupture and produce a heart-attack-inducing clot.” 
Sardines are such an effective heart healthy food that a Danish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a…
“…38% reduction in ischemic heart disease among women who consumed the most.” 
Concord Grape Juice
You’ve heard about the heart healthy benefits of wine but did you know Concord Grape Juice may be just as beneficial? When Concord grapes are pressed to make juice the skin and seeds release polyphenols which may provide many of the same heart health benefits as wine. Additionally, research indicates that Concord grape juice may help support flexible arteries to promote healthy blood flow, which is important for a healthy heart.
Dried Tart Cherries
Montmorency tart cherries have been studied for their numerous health benefits including heart health. The cherries contain anthocyanins which studies have shown may…
“…help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce inflammation and improve belly fat – all factors specifically linked to heart disease risk.” – http://www.choosecherries.com/health-and-nutrition/heart-health/
More research has linked Montmorency tart cherries to a reduced risk of stroke, lower triglyceride levels, decreased cholesterol levels and improved cardiovascular health.
With so many options to choose from it’s possible to include a variety of foods in your diet that help support a healthy heart. What are your favorite heart healthy foods? Leave a comment below!
- Gramazio, P. (2014, December 19). Breeding for Chlorogenic Acid Content in Eggplant: Interest and Prospects. Retrieved June 14, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269708853_Breeding_for_Chlorogenic_Acid_Content_in_Eggplant_Interest_and_Prospects
- Mateljan, G. (n.d.). Lentils. Retrieved June 13, 2016, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52
- Sardines – Rx Effect: Lower triglycerides, raise HDL – Nutratec Life Sciences Inc. (2012, March 22). Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://nutratecls.com/blogs/news/14153217-sardines-rx-effect-lower-triglycerides-raise-hdl Excerpt from prevention Magazine February 2012
- Grape Science Center. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://www.grapescience.com/concord-grapes-and-health/
- Heart Health | Choose Cherries. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://www.choosecherries.com/health-and-nutrition/heart-health/