What do lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and pinto beans have in common? They're legumes, meaning they have an ample supply of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and soluble fiber.
As you learned in the salmon section of this article, omega-3 fatty acids are super heart-health helpers; however, the soluble fiber in legumes, or beans, really helps this food choice cut down on LDL cholesterol (the bad kind).
One study by the Journal of Nutrition showed that servings as small as half a cup of cooked pinto beans help lower cholesterol.
Beans also have another secret weapon when it comes to heart health -- flavonoids.
These little gems stop platelets in your blood from clumping together and blocking blood flow, which lowers your risk for heart attacks and strokes.