Healthy Snacks for American Heart Month
February marks American Heart Month, a time of awareness about heart disease and steps to take toward prevention and improved health. It’s also a time to be aware of what you eat and how it affects not only your weight but your overall health.
Snacks, in particular, need not be loaded with sugar to give you energy throughout the day. American Heart Month gives us the opportunity to extend our New Year’s resolutions to improve the way we eat, and here are a few ways we can incorporate nutritious snacks into our eating plans.
Spread it on. When hunger strikes during the day, you can turn a slice of whole-grain bread into a nutritious heart-healthy snack. Whole grains rich in dietary fiber, as opposed to white bread, can lower your risk of stroke. Choose a spread like almond butter, hummus, or mashed avocado for flavor.
Mix it up. Unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios provide the “good fat” and are great to have handy when you need something to sate you in between meals. For variety, mix a handful of nuts with small chunks of dark chocolate and raisins, which are rich in antioxidants.
Toss it. When you’re craving a salad, start with a spinach base to get your B vitamins. Add walnuts and slices of boiled egg white for cholesterol-free protein and your favorite veggies, with a vinaigrette dressing.
Cut it out. Instead of sugary sodas and sports drinks, stay hydrated with water. Add sliced fruit and herbs or spice for flavor (e.g. citrus with basil leaves, apple slices with a cinnamon stick). Try antioxidant-rich tea in the morning, too.