Looking for guilt-free, heart-healthy snacks to keep you powered through the day? Check out these delicious, affordable, low-calorie options!
In this article:
9 Heart-Healthy Snacks the Whole Family Will Love
Salty Heart-Healthy Snacks
Flavor your palate with these light, salty, heart-healthy snacks:
1. Kale Chips
These crisps might seem light, but they’re loaded with different B vitamins. Note that a deficiency in B vitamins puts you at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Also, kale chips are free of grease and unwanted sodium, so they’re definitely a notch healthier than your regular potato chips.
Kale chips are pretty common, and you can easily find some in your local grocery store. Although you can opt to make your own if you want to ensure that your snacks are truly 100% healthy.
Just grab a pile of kale leaves, mix with some of your favorite oil and seasonings, then bake for 15 minutes at 225°F.
2. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and minerals, such as phosphorus, iron, selenium, and magnesium. Its high fiber content can help regulate cholesterol levels while the minerals can lower blood pressure levels.
Also, every 100 grams of chickpeas has less than 170 calories, so you don’t have to worry about packing on extra weight when you snack on these.
If you’re on a plant-based diet, you can use chickpeas as one of your main sources of protein. Prepare a large batch at the start of the day and then eat some alongside your meals.
To make roasted chickpeas, season the chickpeas in olive oil and kosher salt, then bake for 20-30 minutes at 400°F.
Olives are excellent combatants against heart complications. Their high monosaturated fatty acid content helps regulate low-density lipoprotein levels (bad cholesterol) while maintaining good levels of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol).
They also have powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free-radical damage and oxidative stress, both of which can lead to cardiovascular issues in the long run.
On top of these benefits, olives also stimulate nitric oxide production, which improves blood flow throughout the body. This ensures all your organs and body parts get the nutrients and oxygen they need to function.
You can eat olives on their own, or you can pair them with other heart-healthy snacks such as anchovies, cheese, and garlic.
4. Dill Pickles
Dill pickles are delicious, easy-to-eat vegetables rich in antioxidants and good bacteria. These compounds work together not just to ensure good heart health, but also to protect your digestive system.
Just make sure not to go overboard when snacking on pickles because they have a high amount of sodium. Half a pickle a day should be more than enough to protect your body.
Pickles can be eaten on their own, but they’re best paired with salads, sandwiches, and cheese boards. Mixing them with other foods also prevents you from eating more than the recommended amount of pickles.
Edamame is a heart-healthy snack low in calories and cholesterol and high in fiber, vitamin K, and antioxidants.
The fiber and antioxidants help regulate cholesterol levels by flushing out harmful toxins and chemicals from the body. Meanwhile, vitamin K keeps calcium out of your arteries and puts you at a lesser risk of developing cardiovascular diseases later on.
Edamame tastes sweet, salty, and a bit grassy. If you want to taste its strong, bean-like flavor, then eat it raw. If you want to tone down its flavors a bit, you can boil or steam the beans.
Sweet Heart-Healthy Snacks
These sweet, heart-healthy snacks are sure to replace your favorite desserts:
6. Frozen Bananas
Bananas are a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals such as potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and copper. Fiber helps flush out harmful toxins while vitamin C and copper keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
What sets bananas apart is their high potassium content. Potassium is a mineral that helps relieve muscle contractions, restore fluid balance, and most importantly, lower blood pressure levels.
A lot of people eat bananas on their own, but you can make them taste a bit sweeter by throwing them in the freezer beforehand. Serving them frozen makes it seem less like fruit and more like a dessert like cake or ice cream.
Note: On a strict, no sugar diet? Ask your doctor about frozen bananas. This is one of the most delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-eat heart-healthy snacks for diabetics to try out.
Pro Tip: Vitamin C works well in fighting common household bacteria, but if you want to boost your immune system’s performance, opt to supplement with turmeric tea. It helps fight inflammation to protect you from all kinds of toxins, bacteria, and allergens, among others.
7. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the most delicious heart-healthy snacks to buy. It’s loaded with protein, low in cholesterol, and can fill 30% of your daily calcium requirement.
What sets Greek yogurt apart from other snacks on this list are the probiotics each serving contains. Probiotics are good bacteria that offer an array of cardiovascular benefits, such as easing inflammation, lowering blood pressure levels, and blood glucose levels.
They’re available in all grocery and convenience stores so you won’t have trouble finding these healthy snacks.
Crunchy Healthy Snacks
These crunchy, healthy snacks are the perfect foods to munch on while watching a movie, sports game, or TV show:
8. Sliced Apples in Coconut Butter
Apples are sweet, crunchy fruits rich in soluble fiber and polyphenols.
Polyphenols Definition: Plant-based antioxidants and micronutrients
The fiber acts as a detoxifying agent that regulates cholesterol levels by cleansing your body of impurities. Meanwhile, polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that fight free radical damage and control blood pressure levels at the same time.
Drenching apple slices in coconut butter not only gives it a sweet, rich taste, but it also fortifies your snack with minerals such as potassium, iron, and magnesium. All these nutrients and minerals combined create the perfect hearty snack.
9. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They’re healthy fats that help regulate cholesterol levels and provide long-lasting energy boosts.
What makes nuts and seeds unique is their portability. Just place them in a ziplock bag, and you’ll have your heart-healthy snacks on-the-go and ready for traveling!
These foods are pretty common to find in any grocery or convenience store. For variety, you can opt to buy different kinds of seeds and nuts then mix them in one bag to create your own trail mix.
The snacks you eat have a large effect on your health. Even if you follow a strict meal plan, you won’t be able to maximize its benefits if you keep eating unhealthy junk food.
That’s why it’s important to keep an arsenal of heart-healthy foods to snack on. The items mentioned on this list are just examples so feel free to explore all your options. You can even mix and combine some of them to create your own snack recipes.
What are your go-to heart-healthy snacks? Share them with us in the comments section below!