Kathy B. Glazer, RD, director of nutrition for the George Washington University Weight Management Program, and the editors of FITNESS share a few of our favorite ingredients for a heart-healthy kitchen
Some foods simply work harder than others to protect your health. The following foods can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and generally reduce your risk of heart disease.
Antioxidants in these berries help fight inflammation and lower bad LDL cholesterol, blood fats, and blood sugar.
Olive and Canola Oil
High in heart-smart monounsaturated fats; lower in saturated fat than other oils
One teaspoon of ground cinnamon has the equivalent level of antioxidants as a half cup of blueberries or one cup of pomegranate juice. Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
A great source of soluble fiber and full of heart-friendly B vitamins
Puree 2 tablespoons fresh mint with 1/2 cup yogurt or ricotta cheese. Serve with berries.
Packed with heart helpers, like omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, potassium, and vitamin E.
Omega-3s help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol and make blood flow smoothly, lessening the chance of clotting
Because angina is caused by cholesterol -rich deposits called plaque causing the coronary arteries to narrow limiting blood flow to the heart and the resulting pain, ginger is effective in helping to relieve this health problem.
Toss 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and 1/2 cup 100 percent pineapple juice for a zesty marinade
Crushed Red Pepper
This herb is showing promise for enhancing metabolism, increasing satiety and potentially stimulating fat burning.
Dust 1/8 teaspoon on hummus for a kick, or saute 1/4 teaspoon with 1/2 cup light coconut milk for a shrimp-and-broccoli stir-fry.
Red Wine and Grape Juice
Contain high levels of antioxidants that help protect the vascular system.
The antioxidants in red wines have been shown to provide certain health benefits. Antioxidants act like warriors, preventing the oxidation process in which reactive particles known as "free radicals" cause damage to healthy cells. For the moderate drinker, drinking one to two glasses of wine daily, the antioxidants in red wine offer some protection against heart disease.
Dip a whole-grain roll in olive oil instead of butter, with a sprinkle of sage and black pepper.
B vitamins and antioxidants fight heart disease; magnesium can help lower blood pressure.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon on cooked cauliflower, or add to chicken salad.
Rich in ALA, a fatty acid that may help regulate blood pressure, blood fat, and inflammation.
Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and can help improve insulin resistance.
Replace meat in your meal with soy-based foods, such as tofu, to help lower cholesterol.
Oregano is among the highest in antioxidants of the dried herbs