Snack Happy: Ingredients We Love!
Snacks make us so happy - who doesn’t love snacks? What makes us even happier is snacking on foods that make our hearts, bodies, and minds as happy as we are when we’re having a delicious snack! Whether you need to grab a snack between meals, before or after a workout, or just to eat while watching a movie, here are some healthy foods that you can add to your next snack recipe or snack on all by themselves!
Almonds are an amazing source of healthy fat. Unsaturated fat is good for your heart and as a bonus, boosts serotonin levels during the day, in turn boosting your happiness and later helping you sleep. Almonds also are high in vitamin E, helping to boost your immune system and keeping you healthy so you can keep on doing the things that make your heart happy!
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, you get the gist! Berries, in every form, offer amazing benefits for your heart and put a smile on your face! Berries contain antioxidants and polyphenols, which reduce risk for heart disease, chronic disease, and cancer! They have also been found to reduce risk of heart attack, and some berries increase HDL, or “good” cholesterol, further reducing the risk of heart disease.
Rich in catechins, matcha is yet another great source of antioxidants, which help stabilize free radicals and reduce the risk of damage or chronic disease. Matcha reduces levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, overall reducing the risk of heart disease. Matcha also protects your liver, boosts brain function, improves your mood and helps prevent cancer, overall keeping you happy and healthy!
Hummus has been shown to reduce inflammation, promote digestive health, control blood sugar, and overall contains a wide array of vitamins and nutrients that make your body happy! In addition, hummus contains plenty of heart health ingredients that may reduce heart disease risk. Chickpeas help lower LDL cholesterol and contain plenty of fiber. Also, olive oil is a great source of heart-healthy fat, and overall has been shown to reduce heart disease risk by an extra 10%!
Like hummus, edamame lowers LDL cholesterol. It is also rich in antioxidants, health fiber, and vitamin K! Other than being good for your heart, edamame may also reduce the risk of many other diseases, including type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. It also reduces menopausal symptoms and bone loss, overall making for a great snack for everyone!
Chia, flax, and other seeds contain healthy fats and fiber. As part of a healthy diet, they can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Flax and chia seeds contain omega-3 fats, polyphenols, and especially lignans, and they reduce blood pressure. Different seeds, such as hemp, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, all contain different nutrients and therefore have different benefits, but all reduce heart disease risk!
Chocolate with a high cocoa content is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is also a huge source of antioxidants - which by the end of this post you should be well aware is great for your heart. In addition, dark chocolate may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, as well as increase HDL cholesterol while protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. We can’t think of anything that could make your heart happier than sitting down after a long day and enjoying a piece of dark chocolate!
These foods can be eaten alone or made into a plentitude of heart happy snack recipes! Make sure to share your healthy snacks and recipes with us on social media!
Now we’ve given you all the information on how to include heart happy foods in your diet. All that’s left to do is get to your local grocery store and stock up so that you can snack happy every day!