7 Heart-Healthy Foods to Eat This Month

February 12, 2024


February marks the start of American Heart Health Month, a crucial period to emphasize the significance of cardiovascular health, or maintaining a strong and healthy heart. Research has shown that certain foods can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Let’s take a look at some foods you could eat to benefit your heart and overall well-being.

Related Blog: 5 Health Benefits of Being Outdoors for Seniors

Whole Grains

Whole grains are like the foundation of a house; they provide the necessary structure for a strong and healthy heart.

Fiber, vitamins, and minerals in whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease. Examples of whole grains include oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.

  • Oats have a water-soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
  • Barley is rich in beta-glucan and other minerals, like selenium and magnesium.
  • Quinoa is high in protein and contains essential amino acids.
  • Brown rice has complex carbohydrates and magnesium, which help regulate blood pressure.
  • 100% whole wheat bread and other wheat-based products, like pasta and cereal, are well-stocked with whole-grain nutrients.


  • Look for 100% whole wheat or whole-grain options and avoid products labeled as "enriched."
  • Including whole grains in meals can be as simple as having oatmeal for breakfast, adding quinoa to a salad, or choosing whole wheat bread for sandwiches.


Fish is rich in omega-3s that help keep your heart strong and healthy. Heart-healthy fish include salmon, tuna, and sardines. 

  • Salmon is packed with omega-3s and is also high in vitamins B12, D, and selenium, which all contribute to heart health.
  • Sardines are also a great option because they are low in mercury and high in omega-3s, vitamin D, and calcium.
  • Tuna is a lean protein option and a good source of omega-3s and vitamins B12 and D.


  • Opt for wild-caught fish over farm-raised when possible.
  • Limit intake of fish high in mercury, such as swordfish and tilefish.
  • Add fish to your meals by grilling, baking, adding to salads, or mixing into pasta or rice dishes.

Nuts and Seeds

You can boost your heart health by consuming nuts and seeds, a source of wholesome fats, protein, and fiber. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, flaxseed, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all examples of wholesome nuts.

  • Almonds can benefit heart health as they are high in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamin E, all of which can lower cholesterol levels.
  • Walnuts can also benefit your heart health as they are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Flaxseed is also a great option because it is rich in omega-3s, lignans, and fiber, all of which can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.


  • Choose raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds.
  • Limit intake to a moderate serving size because they are typically high in calories.
  • However, due to their high calorie count, nuts and seeds are a convenient snack option that can help control hunger and cravings.


Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are a great source of plant-based protein. They have plenty of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels stable. They are also brimming with potassium, magnesium, and other minerals for heart health.

Studies have shown that consuming legumes can help lower the risk of heart disease. For example, a study found that eating legumes at least four times a week was associated with a 22% lower risk of heart disease.


  • Soak the legumes before cooking to reduce the cooking time and make them more digestible.
  • Include a variety of legumes with your diet for maximum nutritional benefit.
  • Try including them in soups and stews, using them as the base for a salad or veggie burger, or mixing them into a grain dish for a nutritious boost.


Oils play a vital role in a healthy diet and benefiting the heart.

Healthy oils include olive oil and avocado oil.

  • Olive oil, in particular, is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and has been shown to lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels and improve overall heart health.
  • Avocado oil is high in MUFAs and contains heart-protective compounds like beta-sitosterol and lutein.


  • Choose extra-virgin olive oil for maximum health benefits.
  • Avoid oils high in saturated fats, such as coconut and palm oil.
  • These oils can be used for salad dressings or added to marinades and dips.


Did you know that adding certain spices to your meals can enhance the flavor while also benefiting your heart health?

Spices like turmeric, garlic, and ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can benefit the heart. 

  • Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit cardiovascular care by reducing inflammation and preventing blood clots.
  • Garlic contains allicin compounds that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent blood clots and improve circulatory function.
  • Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can aid in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and cardiovascular wellness.


  • Use fresh spices, when possible, as they have more active compounds than dried spices.
  • Mix and match different spices to create unique and flavorful dishes while also enjoying the heart-health benefits.
  • Add turmeric to scrambled eggs or curry, garlic to marinades or sautés, and ginger to stir-fries or tea for added flavor and nutrients.

Dark Chocolate and Green Tea

Did you know that dark chocolate and green tea are rich in antioxidants that can help protect your heart?

Dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. The flavanols in dark chocolate have also been found to improve heart and brain blood flow.

Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that have been found to reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol.


  • Limit your intake of chocolate to small portions to avoid added sugars and calories.
  • Green tea is an alternative to sugary drinks and a good source of antioxidants. Use a tea bag or loose leaf tea or try matcha powder. Matcha is a powdered form of green tea and can be used to make delicious lattes that can be enjoyed hot or over ice. The powder can also be incorporated in baked goods and other desserts.

Moorings Park Communities offers an exceptional dining experience, ranging from casual to fine dining, with Simply the Best® restaurants that feature unique menus, celebrated wine lists, and impeccable service. Our trained chefs put together seasonal menus with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Along with expanding your palate, discover a lifestyle beyond compare across our three gorgeous campuses, where luxurious residences, breathtaking views, state-of-the-art amenities, and, of course, concierge physicians and personalized healthcare are all included. If you're interested in learning more, contact us today to schedule a personal tour.

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