10 Heart-Healthy Foods That Actually Taste Good

Eating for your heart doesn't have to be boring.

Each year in February it's American Heart Month, a month dedicated to preventing heart disease, the number one killer of Americans. According to the American Heart Association's 2020 data, someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds in the United States. The silver lining in this glum news? Heart disease is preventable in many cases. Abstaining from smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, monitoring cholesterol, and choosing heart-healthy foods are all attainable steps to a healthier heart.

Heart Shape of Fresh Salmon
cierra45 / Getty Images

But what foods qualify as heart healthy? And does it mean settling for flavorless dishes? Here are 10 delicious options for heart-healthy foods that actually taste good:

01 of 10


Overnight Steel-Cut Oats with Yogurt and Blueberries

Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are berry good for the heart. Because they are rich in antioxidants, they help to fight cell damage and the abundance of phytonutrients provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Try it: Overnight Steel-Cut Oats with Yogurt and Blueberries

02 of 10


stack of sliced oatmeal breakfast bars on parchment paper

In addition to helping lower blood sugar levels, oatmeal also reduces the risk of heart disease. The whole grain, rich in soluble fiber, is known to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, sometimes referred to as LDL or the "bad" cholesterol.

Try it: Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

03 of 10

Dark Chocolate

Homemade Melt-In-Your-Mouth Dark Chocolate (Paleo)
Linda (LMT)

In moderation, dark chocolate can be a heart-healthy treat. Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate is also full of flavonols, a type of flavonoid, which are often associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Try it: Healthy Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Truffles

04 of 10


Tangy Cucumber and Avocado Salad
Holiday Baker

Certain types of fat can actually be good for your heart! Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat, known to lower LDL cholesterol, while raising the good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Try it: Tangy Cucumber and Avocado Salad

05 of 10


Roasted Garlic

While garlic on its own isn't recommended, what recipe doesn't taste better with this flavorful addition? Studies have shown that adding antioxidant-rich garlic to recipes can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and combat hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.

Try it: Roasted Garlic

06 of 10

Leafy Greens

Easy Bok Choy

Dark, leafy greens — like kale, spinach, and bok choy — are considered superfoods, because they are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Consider adding these to your diet for folate, a B Vitamin that supports healthy cell growth and is instrumental in heart disease prevention.

Try it: Easy Bok Choy

07 of 10


Close-Up Of Almonds In Bowl On Table
Ekapat Suwanmanee / EyeEm / Getty Images

Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids found in almonds, pecans, and walnuts are critical for heart health. The good fats lower bad cholesterol levels and can help to prevent irregular rhythms, which can lead to heart attacks. Nuts are also rich in Vitamin E, which stops the development of arterial plaque, as well as fiber.

Try it: Asparagus with Sliced Almonds and Parmesan Cheese

08 of 10


instant pot chickpeas

Grab some legumes to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Beans and lentils, as well as other legumes, help to combat heart disease because they are full of fiber, which can control blood sugar levels.

Try it: Chickpea Buddha Bowl

09 of 10


Soy-Honey Glazed Salmon with Asparagus on a white background
France C

Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is frequently recommended by the American Heart Association as one of the top foods to eat for optimal heart health. Fatty acids work to decrease triglycerides and lower blood pressure, which lead to decreasing the risk of strokes and heart failure.

Try it: Soy-Honey Glazed Salmon with Asparagus

10 of 10

Sweet Potatoes

a round white ceramic dish of bright orange mashed sweet potatoes
France C

Not only are sweet potatoes a delicious side dish, they're packed with potassium. This mineral plays a critical role in a person's health by triggering the heart to squeeze blood through the body each and every time it beats.

Try it: Instant Pot® Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

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