6 Foods That Could Save Your Life

Treat your heart well by eating...chocolate? Yep, it’s true -- as long as it’s dark. Here are some more delicious ideas to keep you (and your heart) happy and healthy.
  1. Salmon

    Photo by Mark Lund / The Nest

    Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with heart health by lowering triglyceride levels (fat deposits), slowing the growth rate of your atherosclerotic plaque (the buildup in your arteries) and lowering blood pressure. Omega-3s also decreases your risk of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).

    Maple Salmon Over Nutty Couscous >

    Grilled Salmon With Thyme and Parsley Sauce >

  2. Tofu and Soy

    Research has shown that soy and soy protein (found in tofu) can lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30 percent and can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels anywhere from 35 to 40 percent. It also can reduce triglyceride levels. And like salmon, tofu is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Seasoned Tofu >

    Simply Soy Stir-Fry >

  3. Avocado

    One cup of avocado has 23 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate, which has been shown to lower the incidence of heart disease. It’s also full of monounsaturated fat and can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, while raising the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in your body. Just one more reason to order the guacamole (not that you needed one!).

    Guacamole >

    Avocado Salad >

  4. Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar levels, and they’re a good source of fiber too -- which helps fight heart disease. Translation: These guys are great any time of the year (not just on holidays).

    Spiced Sweet Potato Fries >

    Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes >

  5. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal is full of omega-3 fatty acids and folate. Go for steel-cut if you can (it’ll say on the box), because it has more fiber and can help lower cholesterol.

    Rich and Creamy Oatmeal With Blueberries and Walnuts

    Golden Raisin-Oatmeal Fitness Bars >

  6. Dark Chocolate

    Dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) has a ton of antioxidants that help deter increases in LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce plaque formation on artery walls. It also can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. We’re really appreciating science right now.

    Dark Chocolate Cake With Lime >

    Dark Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches >