December 11, 2016

Note: this post has been updated in January 2022.

How You Eat at 20 Protects Your Heart All Your Life

Everyone tells people in their 40s, 50s and beyond to eat healthily to protect their heart. Did you know that how you eat when you’re 20 and 30 can also play a significant role in the health of your heart twenty years later or more? Look at What Is Good Nutrition.

In the excerpt below, we see how one observational study finds there is a connection between eating fruits and veggies in young adulthood and a healthy heart decades later.

heart healthy

Young adults who eat the most fruits and vegetables have the least calcified plaque buildup in their arteries decades later, which indicates a reduced risk of heart disease, according to a new study.

The new analysis involved participants in the government-funded Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. At the start, in 1985, researchers collected diet history and other health-related data from blacks and whites ages 18 to 30.

For the long-term study, the researchers divided 2,506 study participants into three groups based on their fruit and vegetable consumption. Those in the top third ate an average of seven to nine servings per day as young adults, while the bottom third got two to three daily servings.

Those in the top third of fruit and veggie consumption at the start were 26 percent less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries 20 years later, compared to those in the lower third, the researchers reported in Circulation.

But this was still an observational study, so it can’t prove that fruit and vegetable intake caused changes in calcified plaque risk, he said. – via Fox News

Different Foods for Heart Health

Most of us have heard that walnuts and chocolate are good things to add to our regular diet for a healthy heart. Below is a list of several other foods that are important to include in your diet for a healthy heart all your life. You Won’t Believe How Healthy Nuts Are for You


These berries are loaded with polyphenols — antioxidants that mop up damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fiber and vitamin C, which is both linked to a lower risk of stroke.

Other options

Any berries — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries — are great choices. Fruits and vegetables, in general, are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fiber.

Most fruits and vegetables also have some potassium, Bananas, oranges, and potatoes are especially reliable sources.


Chickpeas and other legumes (lentils, other kinds of beans) are a top-notch source of soluble fiber — the kind of fiber that can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol. If you buy canned beans, look for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties (sodium can raise your blood pressure). Rinse them in water to wash off any added salt.


Oats have a type of fiber (called beta-glucan) that lowers your LDL cholesterol. One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal or a little over a cup of cooked barley gives you the amount of beta-glucan you need daily to help lower your cholesterol. You can also find beta-glucan in barley, shiitake mushrooms, and seaweed.


Mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.


Lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.

Tubers and starchy vegetables

Potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.

Whole grains

Millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.


Kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.

Now is the time Start Your Journey to Health

Science confirms that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods can help you live to the fullest and still get adequate protein. In fact, a growing number of physicians advocate a completely plant-based diet for many of their patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Check out these great sources

Plant-Based Nutrition, 2E (Idiot’s Guides)

Nutrition Facts: The Truth About Food

The Forks Over Knives Plan

The Forks over Knifes, a simple plan that focuses on hearty comfort foods and does not involve portion control or worrying about obtaining single nutrients like protein and calcium.

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Do you now believe your diet can impact your heart health in 20 years? If I can answer any questions or if you have an opinion that you would like to express, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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