8 Surprising Foods for Heart Health | Fitbie

Heart Healthy Meals

8 Surprising Foods for Heart Health

Choosing one of these antioxidant- and nutrient-rich foods is a bite in the right direction for a stronger heart

2 of 9
8 Surprising Foods for Heart Health // spoonful of chia seeds c Mitch Mandel

Mitch Mandel

Chia Seeds

It might be hard to distinguish chia seeds from bird feed, but your soon-to-be stronger heart will thank you. “Chia seeds are a nutrition powerhouse,” says Robin Barrie Kaiden, RD. “They offer maximum nutrition and minimal calories. They’re filling, energizing, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.” One tablespoon of chia seeds contains just 60 calories, as well as 3 g of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure and triglycerides, and aids in the reduction of plaque buildup. The whopping 6 g of fiber a teaspoon of chia seeds packs (a slice of 100% whole grain bread contains only 3 g) also promotes a healthy heart. Soluble fiber binds around bile, which is partially composed of bad cholesterol, in the gut and helps eliminate it with the body’s waste, says Julie Zumpano, RD, LD, of the Preventative Cardiology and Women’s Cardiovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic. Chia can be eaten by the spoonful, blended into smoothies, or stirred into soups, and it also makes a great salad or yogurt topper. To get benefits on the go, try 100-calorie Health Warrior Chia Bars. (Video: Tasty Post-Workout Snacks)

23 Ways to Eat Smarter

2 of 9

More From Our Authors