According to statistics, heart diseases and strokes kill more than 17.3 million people every year worldwide. 'World Heart Day' was started in 2000 by the World Heart Federation to create awareness about the deadly diseases, which can be avoided if one follows a healthy lifestyle.

We all know a family friend, a relative or a neighbour who has or had a heart condition. In India, heart disease is the single largest cause of death.

In an interview to IBTimesIndia, celebrity nutritionist and founder of Diet Dr Clinic, Harpreet Pasricha, stressed on eating right. "Foods which boost a healthy heart are different-coloured fruits and vegetables including berries, pomegranate, green tea, dark chocolate, pro-biotic foods like yogurt, nuts and seeds."

She further elaborated on the food habits for people who have or had heart issues.

Dos and 's

1. Eat fiber-rich food. Include vegetables, grains like jowar, bajra, oats, and brown rice in regular diet.

2. Have enough antioxidant foods regularly like green tea, fruits and vegetables.

3. Have essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 rich foods. Including walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, melon seeds and fish will benefit heart.

4. Choose from oils like sesame, mustard, olive and coconut.

5. Cut down salt intake as excess salt can increase blood pressure, which can increase the risk of coronary heart diseases.

6. Monitor the alcohol content as too much can affect the heart muscles and increase the blood pressure.

7. All those who are overweight should reduce weight for a healthy heart.

8. Processed food and fast foods are expensive both for the pocket and the heart.

9. Avoid repetitive heating of cooking oils as there is a release of free radicals, which have a negative effect on heart health.

"For a healthy heart, it is essential to have a well-balanced, right proportion of food consisting of complex carbohydrate, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Include beans, chickpeas, tofu in the regular diet to reduce the risk of heart disease," the nutritionist added.

Don't forget to include these foods in your daily diet to keep your heart healthy.