On Heart Healthy Foods: Are Low Calorie Snacks The Ultimate Food Fashion Fad?
Here's a fun fact: Calorie-dense foods are not necessarily the greatest of all evils, and low calorie snacks are not always good for you! Take nut butters for example; calorie dense in every spoonful, they are nonetheless remarkably healthy snacks to buy for a rainy day, and are among the most heart healthy foods available! Whatever your dietary options, it's important to do the appropriate research - and take things in moderation.
In honour of World Heart Day, here's our list of fantastic heart healthy foods (that are not necessarily low calorie snacks!)!
This bee-autiful superfood is loaded with health benefits. A combination of flower pollen, nectar, enzymes, honey, wax, and bee secretions, bee pollen contains over 250 active substances, making it a powerhouse of good health. As part of the heart healthy foods list, it is also supported by research that suggests it lowers blood cholesterol levels, thusly contributing to heart health!
Did you know that dark chocolate in its purest form is absolutely loaded with vitamins and minerals? From iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese to potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium, these deliciously rich and bold, antioxidant-packed bites also contribute to heart health! Snacking on dark chocolate may just help you by lowering oxidised LDL (bad cholesterol), as well as blood pressure. One study even found that those who ate chocolate at least five times a week had a 57% lower risk of coronary heart disease in comparison to those who don't. As always, snack responsibly and remember that too much of a good thing can turn bad!
We're nuts for nut butter, and for good reason! Like dark chocolate, walnuts are also proven by research to lower LDL levels as well as overall cholesterol, effectively protecting against heart disease. Likewise, almonds are also proven to lower LDL levels; they are also an incredibly delicious source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, both of which help protect against heart related health issues.
If you drink your coffee black and without spoonful upon spoonful of sugar, good news! You may just be helping your heart thrive! Research has indicated that an appropriate amount of coffee may ward off heart failure.
Super Oat with Berries
You'll be getting two superfoods in one by mixing oats with berries! With the former - a whole grain - serving to help reduce LDL, blood pressure, and heart disease by 22% according to some studies, the latter boasts a wealth of benefits that include controlling systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and inflammation. These antioxidant rich treats are also fantastic low calorie snacks!
Long used throughout the ages for medicinal purposes as well as for the pleasure of a drink, tea is ubiquitous in today's world. Did you know that many tea options are known to help with affairs of the heart? Hibiscus (roselle) tea is said to lower cholesterol and blood fat levels, which in turn decrease the risk of heart disease; ditto for butterfly pea tea. Butterfly pea tea is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, which means they help to mitigate the damage of free radicals in the body whilst keeping your heart healthy and happy. Turmeric is also known to reduce inflammation, and can help to regulate blood pressure, thus promoting heart health.
What're your favourite heart healthy snacks to buy? Let us know in the comments below!