You don’t have to sacrifice taste to keep your heart healthy. There are some good-for- your-heart foods that just might surprise you.
- Cheese: In moderation, cheese can be a good thing. It contains calcium that can keep your blood pressure under control. Cheese often contains saturated fats, so you may want to go for low-fat or part-skim types. Try not to eat more than an ounce or two a day.
- Garlic: The cloves contain a chemical called allicin that has been shown to relax blood vessels, which means your blood can flow smoothly. To get the biggest bang, crush — don’t chop — cloves before cooking.
- Grape Juice: The purple kind from your childhood has the same heart-healthy compounds as red wine to help increase HDL (good) cholesterol, reduce your risk of developing blood clots, and relax your blood vessels.
- Beans: These fiber-rich legumes help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Red kidney beans are one of the best sources of fiber, with a whopping 13 grams per cup — about half the amount of fiber you need in a day.