Did you know that every day our hearts beat approximately 115,000 times, and pump about 7,500 liters of blood? With such an important role to play in keeping us ticking, most of us want to take steps to ensure our hearts are as healthy as possible. Luckily, there are some simple lifestyle choices that will have a positive impact. And while February is known as Heart Health month—which serves as a good reminder for awareness—clearly heart health matters every day of the year. So let’s look at ways we can be proactive and show this important muscle some love.

A good diet is one of the most important factors in cardiovascular health, along with getting exercise, maintaining low stress, and ensuring adequate sleep. While general healthy diet rules apply—eat a balanced diet that's high in fibre with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and stick to the good fats—there are a few nutritional stars that stand out for being extra helpful for your heart. 

Here are 5 foods to help boost your heart health:


Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries—whatever your favourite berry may be, they're all packed with nutrients and antioxidants that are great for your heart. Anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid found in berries, have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels. One study even found that women who ate 3 or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week had a 32% lower risk of having a heart attack compared to those who ate berries less than once per month. So go ahead and load up on berries!


Oats are another food that's high in soluble fibre, which can help reduce cholesterol levels. A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is an easy way to start your day off right and get in some heart-healthy fibre. Oats can also help regulate blood sugar levels and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For an extra nutritional boost, top your oatmeal with some fresh berries or nuts.

Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard—leafy greens are nutrient powerhouses that are great for your overall health, including your heart. These greens are high in vitamins K and C, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium—all nutrients that have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Leafy greens are also low in calories but high in fibre, making them a filling addition to any meal or snack. Add them to smoothies, soups, salads, or sauté them as a side dish.

Healthy Fats

Avocados, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon—these are just a few examples of healthy fats that can actually help improve your cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Healthy fats can also help you feel fuller longer so you're less likely to overeat unhealthy foods later on. 


Nuts are another food that's high in healthy fats as well as protein and fibre. Eating just a small handful of nuts each day has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Walnuts tend to get the most attention when it comes to heart health since they're rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the same kind found in salmon), but all nuts have heart-healthy benefits so feel free to mix it up! Try adding nuts to oatmeal or yogurt, using them as a topping on salads or veggie dishes, or just eat them on their own as a nutritious snack.

When it comes to healthy eating it always seems easier and lots more fun to focus on what you can add to your diet instead of what you’re subtracting from it. Our list above gives you a general idea about the kinds of super delicious foods you might want to stock in your kitchen to give your heart a health boost. We'd also encourage you to find a good heart healthy cookbook or blog that suits your tastes and lifestyle, or even chat with a nutritionist or dietician for some in depth recommendations on how your diet can help keep your heartbeat strong!

The information contained in this material is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or trusted health provider to determine what is best for you.

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