Avoiding unhealthy food is not the only way to prevent heart disease; a healthy diet is also crucial to protect your heart. You can choose the right foods and eat them regularly to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check. Here is a rundown of foods that can help protect your heart.

1. Avocado:
Avocado is on the top of the list of heart-healthy foods as it’s rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, also known as healthy fats. Avocado is naturally cholesterol-free, which makes it a great replacement for spreads such as mayonnaise or butter. But keep your portions modest as avocados are high in calories.
2. Blueberries:
Blueberries are a great heart-healthy snack. Their dark blue color carries anti-oxidants which help to control blood pressure and prevent free radical damage. Make sure that you eat fresh blueberries and not the flavored blueberry products as they contain added fat and sugar that’s unhealthy. You can also purchase smart, wireless, portable EKGs at Sonohealth.org, so that you can monitor your heart rate anytime, anywhere!

3. Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, particularly procyanindins that help to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs. This makes dark chocolate the guilt-free and perfect treat. But take small portions and make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa. Because its heart-healthy food doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to binge!

4. Flaxseed:
Flaxseed is known as a wonder food due to its many health benefits. It’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and a lot of fiber. For heart health, your body needs more omega-3 than Omega-5. Therefore, we recommend eating flaxseed regularly. Flaxseed can serve as a topping on your salad, soup, or yogurt. It can also be blended into smoothies. 

5. Fish:
Fish also comprises omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart. They prevent blood clotting, improving your circulatory system, and controlling your blood pressure. Blood pressure makes your heart overwork that weakens your heart in the long run. It’s recommended that fish should be eaten twice a week. Make sure your salmon is wild.

6. Garlic:
Allicin is a compound present in garlic, which is believed to contain most health benefits. Regular consumption of garlic can help lower your cholesterol levels. However, it’s not always feasible to meet your daily requirement for garlic so you can opt for a garlic supplement. 

7. Nuts:
Just a handful of nuts every day can get you closer to a healthy heart. Walnuts and almonds help to keep your blood sugar in check and lower bad cholesterol levels.  They keep you fuller longer, thus helping you lose body fat. 

8. Oats:
Oats are known for lowering cholesterol levels and helping with fiber intake. They act like a sponge that carries cholesterol out of your body. Moreover, oats are perfect for breakfast as they slowly release energy throughout the day. 

9. Spinach:
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-rich and heart-healthy food you can get. Lutein in spinach aids your arteries and fibers lowers your cholesterol levels. Eating fresh spinach is best. Add it to your smoothies or salads to complement your heart-healthy diet.   

10. Red Wine:
Red wine, when moderately consumed, also proves to be heart-healthy. That’s because red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which comes from the skin of grapes. This antioxidant is associated with preventing heart disease. It prevents blood clots by protecting the lining of your blood vessels.