Five Heart Healthy Snack Foods!

Denise Austin
by Denise Austin | 
February is Heart Health Month, so let's end it with a fun list of heart healthy snack foods that should be a part of your diet! As you may know, heart disease is the NUMBER ONE cause of death in women, so there is no excuse not to take some steps towards a healthier heart. Along with the heart healthy snack food suggestions below, be sure you are getting cardio and strength training into your day-to-day routine, are practicing breathing exercises to help manage anxiety and stress, and are scheduling dates with friends - all can help to bolster your heart health!

Now onto the tasty part... add these five heart healthy snack foods to your diet!

1) Heart Healthy Snack Food: Berries. If you are looking for a sweet treat that gives you plenty of antioxidants, reach for berries! Many contain antioxidants such as anthocyanins - these help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress, contributors to heart disease. Berries with visible seeds are always good (think raspberries, blackberries and strawberries), as are blueberries. Eat them on plain yogurt, or simply grab a handful!

2) Heart Healthy Snack Food: Avocados. Looking for a creamy, versatile addition to your heart healthy routine? Avocados are it! Eating just two servings per week gives you monounsaturated fats may help to reduce cholesterol levels of up to 16% and lower the risk of heart disease by 21%! I love to cut an avocado in half and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and eat as is or add a half to my smoothies for extra protein.

3) Heart Healthy Snack Food: Edamame. For a high protein, heart healthy snack, steam up a cup of unshelled edamame! Edamame contains soy isoflavones, which may help improve heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Sold in most grocery freezer sections, it's easy to prepare - add some red pepper flakes for a spicy afternoon pick-me-up!

4) Heart Healthy Snack Food: Walnuts. One of my favorite snacks (check out my video on roasting walnuts!), research shows just a few servings of walnuts per week in your diet can help protect against heart disease and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eat as a snack on their own or add to chopped fruit and yogurt!

5) Heart Healthy Snack: Dark Chocolate. When you choose dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa, you are benefiting your heart! Rich in antioxidants that help boost heart health, moderate servings (six or less per week) may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A quarter cup of dark chocolate chips is satisfying, or sprinkle some on a scoop of cottage cheese for sweetness and protein!

I hope you like these heart healthy snack food suggestions! Join my plan for recipes that include these foods, I have so many yummy and easy recipe options to try!

Let’s get FIT, HAPPY and HEALTHY - together!!