Top 10 Foods For a Healthy Heart

As lifespans increase, proactively keeping your heart healthy becomes a bigger priority. According to Medical News Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Data from the Health Indicators Warehouse shows a consistent decline in heart disease deaths from 2008 to 2012, but 2013 saw a slight increase.
Cardiovascular diseases are often caused by high-cholesterol, which contributes to the buildup of plaque on the walls of blood vessels. However, exercising regularly and eating a diet full of cholesterol-fighting foods can help keep heart diseases at bay.

Using data from the ESHA nutritional database, the analysts found the top 10 most heart-healthy foods by ranking them on their Heart Healthy Index scores. This index looks at the ratio of “good” nutrients (those that treat high cholesterol) to “bad” nutrients (those that contribute to poor heart health). To calculate the index score for each food, HealthGrove divided the percent daily values of selenium, vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium (“good” nutrients) by the percent daily value of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol (“bad” nutrients). Foods with scores closest to 100 are the most heart-healthy. Though you’ll recognize many foods on this list, some might surprise you.

10. BROWN RICE

Heart Healthy Index: 78.8
Calories: 171
Serving Size: 0.25 cup
Good Source of: Magnesium: 35.8% DV Selenium: 33.4% DV

9. SUNDRIED TOMATOES

Heart Healthy Index: 80.2
Calories: 52
Serving Size: 10.0 piece
Good Source of: Magnesium: 48.5% DV Vitamin B3: 45.3% DV

8. SWISS CHEESE

Heart Healthy Index: 81
Calories: 27
Serving Size: 1.0 slice
Good Source of: Calcium: 96.1% DV Selenium: 18.1% DV

7. CINNEMON

Heart Healthy Index: 81.2
Calories: 6
Serving Size: 1.0 teaspoon
Good Source of: Calcium: 100.2% DV Magnesium: 15% DV

6. CHIA SEEDS

Heart Healthy Index: 81.3
Calories: 204
Serving Size: 0.25 cup
Good Source of: Magnesium: 83.8% DV Selenium: 78.9% DV

5. EUROPEAN ANCHOVIES

Heart Healthy Index: 82.5
Calories: 95
Serving Size: 1.0 can
Good Source of: Vitamin B3: 99.5% DV Selenium: 97.3% DV

4. SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

Heart Healthy Index: 83.9
Calories: 44
Serving Size: 4.0 each
Good Source of: Vitamin B3: 70.5Selenium: 65.9% DV

3. EGG WHITES

Heart Healthy Index: 85.8
Calories: 26
Serving Size: 1.0 tablespoon
Good Source of: Selenium: 178.7% DV Magnesium: 18% DV

2. POPPY SEEDS

Heart Healthy Index: 87.6
Calories: 15
Serving Size: 1.0 teaspoon
Good Source of: Calcium: 143.8% DV Magnesium: 86.8% DV

1. AGAR SEAWEED

Heart Healthy Index: 88
Calories: 43
Serving Size: 0.5 ounces
Good Source of: Magnesium: 192.5% DV Calcium: 62.5% DV

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