The first Wednesday of November is heart healthy day. What better way to mark this special day than with some healthy snacks? What exactly is Coronary Arterial Disease? CAD is a disease that happens when the arteries of the heart become blocked by calcium deposits. This blockage can be caused by several different things, such as cardiac stress, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or congenital heart disease.
When it comes to celebrating heart healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet. Any dried fruit, especially those that are melon flavored will help keep the arteries clean and free from plaque buildup. Dried fruit can be eaten right out of the box or you can add some canned fruit juice or milk to make it even tastier. Some other healthy snack options include nuts, seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and more. Dried fruit is also high in nutrition, which makes it a great snack before or after lunch or dinner. Look for dark dried fruit for the most nutritional benefit.
Other heart healthy snacks include dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, nuts and more. Dark chocolate contains a lot of flavonoids and antioxidants that can provide a number of health benefits including reduced bad cholesterol. Nuts are high in protein and unsaturated fats that are important for promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. In fact, nuts are considered to be even more nutritious than soy beans, another common snack choice. The dark chocolate that you eat should be 70% or less cocoa, and if you want a really dark chocolate flavor, drizzle on some more melted chocolate over it!
For the most healthful nuts, try pecan, walnut, hazelnut and other types of nut butters. They have lots of antioxidants. Walnuts are an excellent snack choice, especially with fruits like strawberry or blueberries. If you like to snack on raisins, strawberries or blueberries, add raisins to your mix, too. These all-natural foods are high in antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease, stroke and other diseases.
As far as nuts are concerned, walnuts contain a variety of polyunsaturated fats, which are particularly beneficial when consumed in the context of heart-healthy snacks. Some studies have suggested that walnuts may help reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, while others are less confident in their claims. But, walnuts certainly are a healthy snack choice and worth trying if you’re looking for something to nibble on between meals.
If you are looking for non-traditional heart healthy snacks, consider adding some yogurt to your diet. Choose plain yogurt with no added sugar or opt for one with fruit embedded. You can get yogurt with fruit embedded all over, or just with chunks of fruit in it if you like. And, it’s healthier than any kind of sugar-loaded frozen dessert!
Dark chocolate is another healthy choice, and it can add flavor to your snacks. It’s also good for you, so it makes a good snack all by itself. Dried fruit comes in handy in many different forms, including in a delicious smoothie, ice cream, and ice tea, too. If you prefer to have your fruit in a pure form, dried fruit can be eaten on its own, with little concern for the carbohydrates. Dried fruit can also be used as a dip for sandwiches, or mixed into cereal for a delicious dessert treat.
If you enjoy baking chips (also known as popcorn), then you’ll love using Greek yogurt in them. Simply combine yogurt and cream cheese in a bowl, and drizzle over the chips to create a delicious snack that’s healthy too! Pair yogurt with any kind of fruit you want to create a healthy snack that tastes great.