9. White Mulberry
Since antioxidants may help thwart the formation of plaque, some people consume antioxidant-rich foods like white mulberry to boost their heart health.
One of the most important antioxidants in mulberry fruits is called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are also found in tart fruits such as cranberries, elderberries, and tart cherries.
A small study published in 2016 reported that 58 adults with high cholesterol experienced a significant drop in LDL and total cholesterol after taking a daily dose of freeze-dried white mulberry (equivalent to 325 milligrams of anthocyanin) for six weeks.
Açai is another fruit that is rich in anthocyanin. A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that an açai-based smoothie improved the cardiovascular health of 28 males with overweight or obesity. The effect was largely attributed to anthocyanin.
Study participants all had signs of endothelial dysfunction (in which cells that regulate the relaxation of blood vessels do not work properly). After consuming the açai smoothies, the function of these cells improved.
This suggests that compounds in açai may benefit people with atherosclerosis, a condition often referred to as the “hardening of arteries.”