dinner for one The B vitamins, especially folate and vitamins B6 and B12, lower heart disease risk by reducing levels of a compound called homocysteine in the blood. This compound irritates blood vessel walls, increasing inflammation associated with the underlying cause of heart disease, atherosclerosis. Even if your blood cholesterol is low, you could be at risk for heart disease if homocysteine levels are high. Optimal intake of…

1. folate-rich foods, such as dark green leafies, orange juice, and legumes;

2. vitamin B6-rich foods, such as seafood, chicken breast, 100% whole grains, and bananas; and

3. vitamin B12-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, salmon, and eggs,

lower homocysteine levels, thus reducing your risk for heart disease. Aim for 400 micrograms of folate, 2 or more milligrams of vitamin B6, and 2 micrograms or more of vitamin B12 daily from foods and/or supplements. Photo credit: knitting iris via Compfight