Foods for the heart

Updated 8:59 AM ET, Wed January 28, 2015
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Tree nuts, such as cashews, help lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol. Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Beans, such as garbanzos, provide soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
The cacao in dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which promote healthy blood circulation, and polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and risk of atherosclerosis (a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries). Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Sugar raises blood pressure and levels of triglyceride (a type of fat found in your blood), leading to weight gain and increasing your heart disease risk. BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images/File
Saturated fat increases blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to atherosclerosis. ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
High-sodium diets are blamed for high blood pressure -- a major risk factor for heart disease. Jared Soares/The Washington Post/Getty Images