The soluble fiber in oatmeal is great for lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Whole oats are rich in antioxidants that offer heart-protective benefits. When choosing oatmeal, avoid the instant oats that are highly processed and result in a less nutritious, mushier meal. Enjoy your morning oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and a dash of real maple syrup for a great heart-healthy start to the day.
Quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, and iron. It contains antioxidants for cell repair and heart-healthy unsaturated fats that increase your high-density lipoprotein, the “good cholesterol.” Cooked quinoa can be added to soups and stews. Serve warm mixed with apples and cinnamon for a sweet dessert. Combine cooked quinoa with cucumber, spinach, chopped red pepper, onions, and red wine vinegar for a tasty salad.
9. Leafy Greens
Lush green vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in antioxidants. Furthermore, the vitamin K1 found in these leafy greens may also protect against heart disease. Enjoy these nutrient-packed veggies as a salad, in green smoothies, or sautéed with garlic as a side dish. Drizzle kale with olive oil and bake in the oven for crispy kale chips.