1. Walnuts and Almonds. A small handful of walnuts and almonds is the most heart-friendly snack you can have. Rich in monounsaturated fats, they help lower cholesterol and protect against inflammation of arteries. So the next time you feel the hunger pangs coming on, opt for nuts instead of cookies and crisps.2. Tuna and salmon. Both these fish are rich in Omega-3, which lowers cholesterol levels, and are an excellent source of protein. If you’re buying canned tuna, choose the one packed in water rather than oil. In a salad or sandwiches, tuna makes a delicious and healthy meal.

    3. Oranges. Full of cholesterol-fighting fibre pectin, oranges are another excellent heart-friendly food. Besides Vitamin C, which helps in fighting off all kinds of infection, oranges also have potassium, which helps to maintain a stable blood pressure. A medium orange has about 60 calories and 3 gms of fibre.

    4. Oatmeal and barley. Oatmeal and barley are packed with nutrients that are good for your heart. Barley is known to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Opt for the unpolished ‘dalia’ available at your corner grocery store instead of packaged pearl barley, from which fibre has been removed. Incorporate oatmeal and barley into soups and daal curries to give added nutritional value.

    5. Olive oil. Cold pressed olive oil is rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. Drizzle it over salads or boiled veggies, or just plain bread. Having just a tablespoon every day will balance your cholesterol level.

    6. Berries. Strawberries, cranberries, blueberries and raspberries, fresh or dried, are friends of your cardiovascular system because of the phytonutrients they contain. Add them to oatmeal porridge, cereal or yoghurt, and you have a perfect meal which is great for your heart.