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Top Six Heart Healthy Foods

Food Fitness. Nourish your body.

Annual death tolls from sudden cardiac episodes among young women have risen nearly 30-percent since 1989, according to a recent study. Here are six foods that can lower your risk of heart disease.

1. Fish

Fish NuggetsCan cut risk in half.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. Research now shows that eating at least one serving of fish each week can cut your risk of dying from a heart-related disease in half. Don't care for fish? Take an omega 3 supplement.

2. Apples

Can cut risk up to 50-percent. Fresh Apple

An apple or two a day really may help keep doctor visits at bay. Research has shown that drinking 12 ounces of apple juice or eating two whole apples a day can reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Another study done in the Netherlands found that the phytochemicals in apples could help cut the risk of death from heart disease or stroke in half.

3. Walnuts

Walnut Can cut risk up to 45-percent.

Walnuts contain a type of fat called linolenic acid, which lowers cholesterol and prevents blood clots. In fact, a study found that eating walnuts could decrease your total cholesterol level by 12 percent and LDL cholesterol level by 16 percent.

Walnuts also alleviate symptoms of fatigue. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that alphalinolenic acid found in walnuts can boost energy and relieve depression symptoms.

4. Olive Oil

Can cut risk up to 40-percent.

Olive Oil Of all cooking oils, olive oil contains the largest proportion (77-percent) of monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL levels. In cardiology-speak, that is called "improving your cholesterol ratio". Olive oil is obtained from the whole fruit, making it high in plant phenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

5. Legumes

Legumes Can cut risk up to 30-percent.

One serving of dried beans a day can reduce cholesterol by up to 10-percent. The fiber is the primary protector. Beans also contain compounds that may reduce clotting and improve blood-vessel function. They are also a great source of folate, which keeps homocysteine levels (an indicator of heart trouble), in check. See also: Using the "Ol Bean.

6. Oats

Oats Can cut risk up to 29-percent.

According to more than 40 studies, eating about one-cup of cooked oatmeal a day significantly decreases blood cholesterol levels, thanks to beta-glucans, a soluble fiber.

The key is to maintain a consistent intake. Regular consumption of oatmeal cuts your overall heart-disease risk by as much as 20-percent.

Heart Healthy Freebie

Download, for free (no strings), a 6-page PDF document on how to practice a heart healthy meal plan: Heart Healthy Meal Plan.

Top Six Heart Healthy Foods

Top Six Heart Healthy Foods

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