If you are on a heart-healthy diet, you might be a little nervous about snacking in between meals. The good news is that you do not have to worry if you are noshing on these healthy snacks, all of which have been chosen specifically with heart health in mind. Below of 5 of these between-meal goodies that you can enjoy without worry.
An apple a day really can keep the heart doctor away! Packed with antioxidants like quercetin, apples can help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiac issues that can come about due to free radical damage. The pectin in apples is specific kind of fiber known to help lower LDL cholesterol levels, and apart from all this apples are rich in vitamins and minerals as well. Apples also have strong anti-inflammatory properties which are associated with overall good cardiac health.
The main ingredient in hummus (which is a great snack paired with raw vegetables for when you’re on the go), garbanzo beans are also high in dietary fiber which can lower cholesterol levels as well as being a rich source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are linked to improved cardiac health. In a recent study of 10,000 men and women, regular consumption of legumes like garbanzo beans lead to a 22% less risk of cardiac disease.
Almonds are also a convenient snack and extremely healthy for you; as a matter of fact, a recent study showed that regular consumption of almonds helped to lower risk for coronary heart disease by 37%. The magnesium in almonds helps to lower blood pressure while the monounsaturated fats improve the cholesterol ratio. They are high in fiber as well.
Blueberries are an incredibly rich source of Vitamin C and E as well as manganese, all of which are needed to maintain healthy cardiac function. Daily consumption of blueberries has been associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and decreased risk for oxidative damage to the heart; these wonder berries also help clean the arteries of clogging plaque, reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Seriously, this is heart healthy, too! Dark chocolate contains a high percentage of cocoa, which is an incredibly rich source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant-based phytochemicals which have been shown to help prevent the clogging of arteries and has also shown to help decrease blood pressure. It also helps to curb your craving for sweets so you will not snack on other, less healthy options.
So don’t feel guilty about snack on these beauties. Not only are the food mentioned above delicious and filling, they are actually good for your heart and will make snacking into a healthy habit that fits well into your heart-conscious lifestyle.