Summer is just around the corner, which means long, hot days. While this may make you want to indulge in ice cream and popsicles, try thinking a bit more heart healthy.
We know, summer is the time of year for fun, but being health conscious can also be delicious! Here are some heart healthy snacks you can opt for when you’re on the go this summer that are good for both your taste buds and your ticker.
Stay cool on hot summer days by popping some berries or grapes in your freezer. For convenience, store them in small plastic bags so you can easily grab and go if you’re in a hurry. Local, fresh fruits can help lower your blood pressure and keep you hydrated in the heat.
Summer is a great time for salads—they’re chilled, and seasonal veggies are easy to come by. But don’t just stop at your regular iceberg mix—get creative in the kitchen with your pasta salads and bean salads. Cabbage, kale, spinach and collards are just a few of the summer greens you can add that are rich in antioxidants, fiber and flavor. Keep them stored in small containers in the fridge for a healthy holdover until dinner.
It’s a little-known fact that granola is pretty much a wonder food—it contains practically every mineral needed on a daily basis for your health. Selenium, zinc, magnesium and manganese are vital to the health of your red blood cells and cardiovascular system’s function. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Avocado is a great food to cleanse your arteries, and makes for a delicious snack. You can spread it on toast, add it to a salad or sandwich, make guacamole, or eat it in slices. However you choose, avocado is one of the best heart healthy snacks—it can help reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol that clears the arteries.
If you’re craving something sweet, why not opt for a light, fresh alternative? Another one of the easiest heart healthy snacks is yogurt. A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that regular yogurt consumption not only benefits your bones, but your heart too. Yogurt can cleanse your arteries, reduce blood pressure and boost your good cholesterol. If you’re extra warm on a sunny day, pop some yogurt in the freezer for a treat!
Cool, refreshing smoothies are the perfect drink on a hot afternoon. And the possibilities are endless: throw in your favorite fruits, maybe some kale, avocado or almond milk, which are all heart healthy snacks you can slip into the mix.
Are you looking to improve your heart health? Start by scheduling a physical. Find a physician and schedule an appointment today.