7 Foods to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Beets

Drinking a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours, according to a Queen Mary University of London study published last year in the journal Hypertension. Researchers found, that the nitrate in the beet juice dilated blood vessels as well as a nitrate tablet. Other nitrate-rich foods include spinach, lettuce, cabbage and carrots.

More: Can Beet Juice Instantly Improve Your Endurance?

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts are high in phytosterols. Plant sterols are the cholesterol found in plants. Numerous clinical trials have found that daily consumption of foods containing elevated amounts of plant sterols lowers concentrations of serum total and LDL cholesterol. Phytosterols do this by stopping or slowing the absorption of dietary cholesterol and cholesterol made by the liver.

More: Cholesterol Confusion Uncovered

Black Tea

A study reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association stated that black tea is rich in antioxidants. Regular ingestion of polyphenol-rich black tea can lower blood pressure, supporting vascular health. The study also found that the flavonoids in black tea improve the function of the vascular endothelium, the inner most cells lining the blood vessels.

Black Beans

Much of the heart healthy research on beans and the lowering of cardiovascular disease has focused on the fiber content. Yet, more impressive research has focused on the variety of phytonutrients found in black beans. The phytonutrients make beans antioxidant-rich and provide an anti-inflammatory benefit. Black beans are high in folic acid, B6 and B12—which are all known for their ability to lower homocysteine—an amino acid in the blood which at overly high levels—may pave the road for atherosclerosis. One cup of black beans provides nearly two thirds of the Daily Value of folate.

More: Learn How Beans Can Help You Lose Weight and Side Step Cancer, Too

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