5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber and a type of fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. Both help keep cholesterol levels in check and lower inflammation that promotes the development of plaque and atherosclerosis.
The fiber content in chia seeds is especially high. Chia seeds contain between 34 and 40 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams of seed. This level of daily intake can reduce the risk of heart disease but also type 2 diabetes.
Alpha-linoleic acid can also improve the movement of calcium and sodium through cells. This can lower blood pressure and help stabilize heart rhythms.
A 2017 review in Pharmacological Research reported that pomegranate juice reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number in blood pressure reading) by an average of 5 mm Hg. Having high systolic blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke as well as chronic kidney disease.
According to the researchers, a reduction in blood pressure was seen when drinking at least one cup (8 fluid ounces) of pomegranate juice. Drinking less than this had little effect.
With that said, drinking this much pomegranate juice may not be possible for people with diabetes or prediabetes as even the unsweetened juice is high in sugar.