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25 foods to keep your heart healthy

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As lifespans increase, proactively keeping your heart healthy becomes a bigger priority.

According to Medical News Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Data from the Health Indicators Warehouse shows a consistent decline in heart disease deaths from 2008 to 2012, but 2013 saw a slight increase.

Cardiovascular diseases are often caused by high cholesterol, which contributes to the buildup of plaque on the walls of blood vessels. However, exercising regularly and eating a diet full of cholesterol-fighting foods can help keep heart diseases at bay.

Using data from the ESHA nutritional database, the analysts at HealthGrove found the top 25 most heart-healthy foods by ranking them on their Heart Healthy Index scores.

This index looks at the ratio of “good” nutrients (those that treat high cholesterol) to “bad” nutrients (those that contribute to poor heart health). To calculate the index score for each food, HealthGrove divided the percent daily values of selenium, vitamin B3, magnesium and calcium (“good” nutrients) by the percent daily value of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol (“bad” nutrients). Foods with scores closest to 100 are the most heart-healthy.

Though you’ll recognize many foods on this list, some might surprise you.

#25. Sockeye Salmon

 

Heart Healthy Index: 75.5
Calories: 95
Serving Size: 2.0 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 49 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 38.1 percent DV

 

#24. Pacific Halibut

 

Heart Healthy Index: 75.9
Calories: 94
Serving Size: 3.0 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 79.1 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 39.6 percent DV

 

#23. Quinoa

 

Heart Healthy Index: 76.3
Calories: 156
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 49.3 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 12.1 percent DV

 

#22. Soybeans

 

Heart Healthy Index: 76.6
Calories: 207
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 70 percent DV

 

  • Calcium: 27.7 percent DV

 

#21. Sunflower Seeds

 

Heart Healthy Index: 76.7
Calories: 204
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 81.3 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 75.7 percent DV

 

#20. Atlantic Cod

 

Heart Healthy Index: 77.5
Calories: 247
Serving Size: 3.0 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 211.1 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 37.5 percent DV

 

#19. Sesame Seeds

 

Heart Healthy Index: 77.7
Calories: 206
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 97.5 percent DV

 

  • Magnesium: 87.8 percent DV

 

#18. Blue Mussels

 

Heart Healthy Index: 77.8
Calories: 146
Serving Size: 3.0 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 128 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 15 percent DV

 

#17. Liverwurst

 

Heart Healthy Index: 78.5
Calories: 42
Serving Size: 1.0 tablespoon

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 82.9 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 21.5 percent DV

 

#16. Brown Rice

 

Heart Healthy Index: 78.8
Calories: 171
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 35.8 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 33.4 percent DV

 

#15. Sundried Tomatoes

 

Heart Healthy Index: 80.2
Calories: 52
Serving Size: 10.0 piece

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 48.5 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 45.3 percent DV

 

#14. Swiss Cheese

 

Heart Healthy Index: 81
Calories: 27
Serving Size: 1.0 slice

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 96.1 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 18.1 percent DV

 

#13. Cinnamon

 

Heart Healthy Index: 81.2
Calories: 6
Serving Size: 1.0 teaspoon

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 100.2 percent DV

 

  • Magnesium: 15 percent DV

 

#12. Chia Seeds

 

Heart Healthy Index: 81.3
Calories: 204
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 83.8 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 78.9 percent DV

 

#11. European Anchovies

 

Heart Healthy Index: 82.5
Calories: 95
Serving Size: 1.0 can

Good Source of:

  • Vitamin B3: 99.5 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 97.3 percent DV

 

#10. Shiitake Mushrooms

 

Heart Healthy Index: 83.9
Calories: 44
Serving Size: 4.0 each

Good Source of:

  • Vitamin B3: 70.5
    • Selenium: 65.9 percent DV

 

#9. Semolina Flour

 

Heart Healthy Index: 84
Calories: 150
Serving Size: 0.25 cup

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 127.7 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 30 percent DV

 

#8. Parmesan Cheese

 

Heart Healthy Index: 84.1
Calories: 21
Serving Size: 1.0 tablespoon

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 125.3 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 34.1 percent DV

 

#7. Linseeds

 

Heart Healthy Index: 84.2
Calories: 37
Serving Size: 1.0 tablespoon

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 98 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 36.3 percent DV

 

#6. Yellowfin Tuna

 

Heart Healthy Index: 84.3
Calories: 111
Serving Size: 3.0 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 154.6 percent DV

 

  • Vitamin B3: 110.4 percent DV

 

#5. Ginger

 

Heart Healthy Index: 85.1
Calories: 6
Serving Size: 1.0 teaspoon

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 79.7 percent DV

 

  • Magnesium: 53.5 percent DV

 

#4. Egg Whites

 

Heart Healthy Index: 85.8
Calories: 26
Serving Size: 1.0 tablespoon

Good Source of:

  • Selenium: 178.7 percent DV

 

  • Magnesium: 18 percent DV

 

#3. Poppy Seeds

 

Heart Healthy Index: 87.6
Calories: 15
Serving Size: 1.0 teaspoon

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 143.8 percent DV

 

  • Magnesium: 86.8 percent DV

 

#2. Agar Seaweed

 

Heart Healthy Index: 88
Calories: 43
Serving Size: 0.5 ounces

Good Source of:

  • Magnesium: 192.5 percent DV

 

  • Calcium: 62.5 percent DV

 

#1. Tofu

 

Heart Healthy Index: 88.7
Calories: 80
Serving Size: 1.0 piece

Good Source of:

  • Calcium: 213.4 percent DV

 

  • Selenium: 77.6 percent DV

Research Nutrition Facts on HealthGrove