Taking care of your heart doesn’t mean that you have to give up on snacking. Here are some heart-healthy snack ideas that are low-calorie and full of nutrients.
If you’re a fan of savory snacks and salty chips, swap them out for homemade kale chips. Drizzle your kale with olive oil and a little bit of salt and bake them in the oven at a high temperature. The kale is full of micronutrients and heart-health antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, which is a major contributor to heart disease. Olive oil also provides healthy unsaturated fats. Making chips at home allows you to control how much salt you use, which is important for managing blood pressure.
Apple Slices and Nut Butter
Apple slices and nut butter are the perfect combination to tide you over between meals. Apple is full of fiber, which helps keep you satiated and helps lower cholesterol levels. The protein and fats in the nut butter will make your snack more satisfying and complete. You can pair with peanut butter, almond butter, or pumpkin seed butter if you’re allergic to nuts. Be mindful of how much nut butter you use as it is high in calories.
Veggies and Hummus
Slice up some red bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, celery, and whatever other vegetables you enjoy eating raw. Serve with some hummus for a low-calorie and protein-filled snack. All of these vegetables contain micronutrients and antioxidants that help lower inflammation and keep us healthy. Raw vegetables also have lots of fiber, which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The hummus provides you with protein and more fiber, which will keep you full.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. The antioxidants in chia seeds may improve heart health, and omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You can mix in any ingredients you like, such as fresh fruits, nut butter, and cacao nibs. This snack can easily become a breakfast meal if you add enough toppings!
Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters
If you’re looking for a sweet snack, melt your favorite dark chocolate and mix in some almonds. Scoop the mixture into clusters and freeze overnight. These treats will satisfy your sweet tooth while being packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and healthy fats.