Recent Blog Articles
Using weight loss or sports supplements? Exercise caution
Not yet ready for cataract surgery? Try these tips
Back to the future: Psychedelic drugs in psychiatry
Children not yet vaccinated against COVID-19? What to do
HIV rates rising: Could new forms of PrEP help?
Careful! Scary health news can be harmful to your health
Post-pandemic weight loss: There’s an app for that
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia by telemedicine: Is it as good as in-person treatment?
Prediabetes diagnosis as an older adult: What does it really mean?
Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
5 foods to eat to help your heart
Choosing to add certain types of food to your diet can benefit your cardiovascular health.
Looking to keep your heart in top shape? You need to feed it well, by choosing nutritious foods that help keep your arteries clear and protect against damage. Researchers have consistently found that opting for a Mediterranean-style diet — rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and healthy fats — is best for cardiovascular health, says Teresa Fung, adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With this in mind, she recommends aiming to put some specific heart-healthy options on your plate each day. Here are five foods you can add to your diet to benefit your heart.
1. Extra-virgin olive oil
Drizzle it over a salad, or use it to sauté an assortment of colorful vegetables; either way, this oil has a proven track record when it comes to your heart health. Olive oil is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol. Extra-virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which work in your body to prevent damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals that can harm cells, including those that make up the walls of your arteries. When the arterial walls are damaged, it's easier for fatty deposits to stick and form blood-blocking plaques, says Fung. So, keeping them healthy should be a priority.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.