Get Heart-Healthy with 5 Snacks for American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and while it seems as though cancer is more prevalent, heart disease is actually even more fatal. According to the CDC, 1 in every 4 deaths is of heart disease, and as a woman, the scarier number is that “1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke (American Heart Association).” Knowing the harsh facts can scare a person into living a healthier lifestyle. And a great way to do that is by exercising regularly and eating healthy. If you need to get started on the right heart-healthy track, here are 5 tasty snacks for American Heart Month.

1) Apple & Peanut Butter Sandwiches

These “sandwiches” are easy to make and great for your heart. Core an apple and then cut it into thin slices. Spread peanut butter over one of the slices, place another slice on top, and that’s it!  They’re full of heart healthy nutrients like fiber from the apples, and the peanut butter contains monounsaturated fat to help drive down blood pressure and cholesterol.

2) Southwestern Potato Skins

Believe it or not, these can actually be good for your heart! Potato skins are a great source of iron, vitamin B-6, and fiber. To keep it on the healthy track, opt for salsa rather than sour cream to top off the snack.

3) Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas

This delicious looking heart-healthy snack is great if you’re on-the-go.The chickpeas help keep blood pressure low, as they contain tons of protein and dietary fiber.

4) White Bean Dip

The standard chips-and-dip snack is delicious, but it’s typically filled with sodium, fat, and empty calories. So, this particular recipe is a great play on the model because the white beans are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while the garlic actually helps with relaxing blood vessels and increases blood flow (webmd.com). You can serve the dip with some toasted French bread, pita triangles, or sweet red bell peppers.

5) Dark Chocolate Trail Mix

Trail mix can be good for you as long as it includes healthy ingredients. This particular recipe is great because the dark chocolate helps in lowering blood pressure, the nuts are full of heart healthy unsaturated fats, and the dried cranberries are loaded with antioxidants. It’s another great snack to make ahead of time for when you’re on-the-go and know you shouldn’t stop for a unhealthy fast food or convenience store snack.

If you need more ideas for heart-healthy snacks this American Heart Month, click here for a great list of options.

Happy snacking!

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