When you think about heart healthy foods, the usual suspects probably spring to mind: salmon, olive oil and maybe nuts.
Salmon is rich in omega-3s — healthy fats that can lower blood pressure and triglycerides (a type of fat in blood). Olive oil has lots of antioxidants that can help lower cholesterol. Nuts — especially walnuts and almonds — are packed with omega-3s and fiber. So they can help with cholesterol.
But there are some foods on the heart healthy list that may surprise you.
Peas and tofu deliver an extra fiber punch
Those little peas in a pod — also known as edamame — are soybeans. Eat a cup of those and you’ll get as much fiber as you would from four slices of whole wheat bread for only a fraction of the calories! Tofu’s another soy protein full of fiber. It can take on the taste of whatever you cook it in. Throw some in a stir-fry dish or soups.
Eat your sweets and be healthy, too
Juicy, sweet oranges and pomegranates are on the nice, not naughty, list. The potassium in oranges can lower your blood pressure. And antioxidants in those fruits are ready to go to work, helping your blood vessels.
Go for the grains
Whole-grain barley — high in fiber — is the go-to grain for helping lower cholesterol. And flaxseed is small but mighty. Add it to cereals or yogurt to help pump you up!
Read more about these and other heart-healthy super foods.
©2017 Aetna Inc.