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The best heart-healthy foods

Posted on September 06 2019

The best heart-healthy foods


When it comes to heart health, chances are you already have an idea of what not to eat. We’ve all been told sugar and fatty foods are bad for our health. But what about foods to stay topped up on? Along with ditching the salt and keeping processed foods to a minimum, there are other ways to stay heart-healthy. Eating certain foods can support your ticker and even lower your chances of problems like high cholesterol further along the line. If you’re looking to help your heart, here are five foods to consider.



These antioxidant rich berries pack a punch for their size. Along with other berries such as strawberries and goji berries, they’re jam-packed with nutrients that play a central role in heart health. Blueberries outdo the rest with their levels of antioxidant anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease.

The high level of flavonoids in these sweet little berries also help lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels, helping with circulation. Not to mention, they’re low in sugar and high in vitamins C and K, which can protect against high cholesterol and actually reduce the risk of heart disease. Try making them a regular snack, work them into your breakfast, or even make a blueberry dessert.



Chia seeds

Chia seeds are chock-full of omega 3 fatty acids. Good news for your heart then, as these healthy fats help raise HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind) and protect against heart disease. They also lower triglycerides in the blood, and reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms. Not only are chia seeds loaded with omega-3s, they also pack plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, calcium and iron. These tiny seeds are easy enough to mix into most meals. You can add them to smoothies or juice, mix into porridge, or even sprinkle on a salad.



This delicious fish is a nutrient powerhouse for heart heath. It’s another great source of omega-3s, along with vitamins A, D and selenium. Those heart-healthy fatty acids you hear so much about can help to decrease inflammation, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and your risk of stroke. In addition, salmon contains unique protein molecules called bioactive peptides which have various powerful health benefits, including protecting your body from inflammation and disease. To get the most health benefits from your salmon, go for wild-caught if you can. This tends to contain less fat than the farmed stuff, as well as being free of chemicals.




If you need another reason to love avocados, you’ll be pleased to know they’re packed with healthy monounsaturated fats. These are known for reducing inflammation throughout your body, particularly in your heart. A good helping of these healthy fats doesn’t just lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your body, but also raises the good HDL kind.

Avocados are also loaded with vitamins and phytochemicals that work as antioxidants to help protect your heart. The potassium content can help control blood pressure, and the magnesium in this green superfood has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in men. Avocados allow for the absorption of other carotenoids (especially beta-carotene and lycopene) which act as a type of antioxidant and are essential for heart health.

While they can be eaten on their own, there are plenty of ways to dress up this creamy green berry. (Yep, that’s right. It really is a fruit!). You can throw it in everything from salads to wraps, smoothies and even brownies.





Pretty much all nuts are great sources of the vitamins, minerals, and good fats that keep your heart ticking over nicely. But walnuts in particular have an edge over the rest, thanks to their high levels of anti-inflammatory ALA, the type of omega-3 found in plant foods. They also contain plenty of high-quality antioxidants, which are crucial for a healthy heart. Like with all nuts, there are loads of ways to work walnuts into your diet. Use as a topper for salads, breakfast bowls, or simply snack on a small handful alone.


What to remember

What you put on your plate can influence every aspect of your health, including your heart. There are plenty of ways to incorporate heart-healthy snacks and ingredients into your diet in order to keep you in the best health possible. So, swap out the processed stuff for a natural, well-balanced diet to keep your heart in tip top condition.

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