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By Real Simple
Updated January 07, 2011
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Almonds
Credit: Kevin Summers/Getty Images

Packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which keep blood vessels healthy. The plant fibers help lower cholesterol.
Try this: Fold chopped almonds into cooked whole grains, along with raisins or dried currants. Or try Chickpea Pasta With Almonds and Parmesan.

Lentils

A protein powerhouse, these are flush with folate, a nutrient that may prevent certain birth defects.

Try this: Toss cooked lentils with extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped celery, and fresh thyme. Serve over salad greens. Or try Spice-Baked Sea Bass and Red Lentils.