Can what you eat affect your risk of developing cardiovascular disease?

What you eat has a powerful impact on your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. "Power Foods" are foods packed with high levels of heart disease-fighting nutrients and the fewest number of calories. Including the following Power Foods in your diet can help you reduce your risk of heart disease.

Vegetables

  • Beets
    • Nutrients supplied: Folate, fiber, copper, magnesium, potassium
  • Bell peppers
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, fiber, folate
  • Green vegetables, such as dark green, leafy lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, K, folate, calcium, copper, fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc
  • Squash: Acorn, butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, pumpkin
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins A, B1, B6, C, calcium, carotenoids, copper, fiber, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium

What's a phytonutrient?

A phytonutrient is a compound made by plants that has health benefits. Fruits, vegetables, grains and beans are all rich in phytonutrients.

What's a carotenoid?

A carotenoid is a type of phytochemical that has a strong antioxidant effect. You may be familiar with beta-carotene, one of the 600 known carotenoids. A diet rich in carotenoids helps improve your immune system, vision, and skin and bone health.

Protein foods

  • Wild salmon or tuna: Fresh or canned in water
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B12, D3, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium
  • Organic poultry (skinless)
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B3, B6, B12, choline, phosphorus, protein
  • Tofu
    • Nutrients supplied: Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, selenium, zinc
  • Quinoa (4 grams of protein per half cup)
    • Nutrients supplied: Manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) are a type of fat found in some fish, grains and legumes. Certain amounts of omega-3s in the diet can help lower triglyceride levels, limit blood clots and arrhythmias, reduce the risk of a heart attack and may help boost the immune system.

Why organic?

Organic eggs, salmon and tuna contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than nonorganic types. This is because of the diet and environment of fish and chickens. Organic versions are produced using methods to preserve the environment and avoid most man-made materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/NOPOrganicStandards to learn more about organic farming.

Fruits

  • Apples and pears
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids
  • Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium, fiber
  • Citrus, such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruits
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B1, C, folate, potassium, fiber
  • Mangoes
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, fiber

What's a flavonoid?

A flavonoid is a type of phytochemical found in fruits, vegetables, teas and wine. Flavonoids have strong antioxidant properties, which are thought to protect against heart disease.

Grains

  • Barley
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins A, B2, Protein, fiber, niacin, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc
  • Brown rice
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B1, B6, fiber, niacin, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc
  • Bulgur
    • Nutrients supplied: Fiber, niacin, manganese, selenium, magnesium
  • Flaxseed
    • Nutrients supplied: Fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids
  • Oatmeal
    • Nutrients supplied: Soluble fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
  • Wheat germ
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B1, E, niacin, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
  • Chia seeds
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus

Legumes

  • Black beans
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamin B1, protein, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium
  • Black-eyed peas
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B1, B6, niacin, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
  • Garbanzo beans
    • Nutrients supplied: Manganese, folate, fiber, protein, tryptophan, phosphorus and iron
  • Lentils
    • Nutrients supplied: Vitamins B1, B6, protein, fiber, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc

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