4 Foods That Protect Your Heart and What to Avoid

Green living is not just about keeping the Earth healthy, but it is about keeping humanity healthy as well. Just as we want to reduce air pollution to protect your lungs, we want to encourage healthy eating habits to protect your heart. Plastic is a synthetic material and dangerous for the environment, just like overly processed foods are dangerous for your body. Green living is about living the healthiest lives we can and helping others to do the same. The following foods will protect your heart, as well as advise you which foods you should avoid.


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Legumes include foods like lentils, beans, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas. They are rich in fiber and protein, which lowers blood pressure and throws out bad cholesterol as waste. Legumes contain no cholesterol unless they are cooked in fatty substances of course. If you are buying legumes canned though, they will be packed with salt to preserve it—and salt can raise blood pressure. If you choose to eat canned, make sure to thoroughly rinse them to get rid of the excess salt.

Leafy Greens

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This includes kale, collard greens, spinach, and swiss chard. They are chock-full of fiber, vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, but they have very few calories. All of these work together to flush toxins out of the body and lower blood pressure, so eat as much as you want. Leafy greens also help to maintain a healthy weight, which also helps maintain heart health.


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The best nuts to choose from are pistachios, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts. They are high in magnesium and potassium, making them effective at lowering cholesterol, heart rate, and blood pressure. Keep in mind though that nuts are high in calories, so the suggesting serving is going to seem small compared to your greens. You should also avoid added salt, sugar, and chocolate.

Fatty Fish

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Fish that have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Crustaceans such as lobster, squid, and oysters are also great choices. Omega-3 fatty acids help the heart maintain its rhythm and prevent heart attacks. To keep the health benefits though, do not fry the fish. If fish is not your thing, opt for a supplement.  

What to Avoid to Protect Your Heart

There are more foods to help protect your heart, but it really just comes down eating a well-balanced, low-sodium diet. If you are eating healthy, odds are you will be just fine. Those that have a history of heart conditions will need to take additional measures though.

We are all encouraged to stay away from processed foods. Do not add additional salt to the meals you cook, but look to other herbs and spices to add flavor. Some foods that can contain high levels of sodium include bread, cold cuts, sandwiches (especially from fast food locations), pizza, canned soup, and chicken. Just make sure you prepare your meals thoughtfully and be aware of what is in the foods you eat. With a healthy heart, you can help others live green lives too.

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Lacey Jolley

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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