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Add Years to Your Heart’s Healthy Life With These Delicious Snacks
It is no secret anymore that the dietary secret to a healthy heart is whole plant foods, such as leafy greens, complex carbs and grains, combined with healthy fats. This is in part due to the oxidative stress-reducing, phytochemical compounds found in plant-based foods.

Oxidative stress is caused by free oxygen radicals reacting with your cells, causing oxidation inside your body. You need a certain amount of free radicals in your body to function, but they do accumulate over time, and they cause small, yet increasing damage.

Eating foods that are high in phytochemicals is one way of mitigating the impact these free radicals do have on you, by preferentially reacting with them, instead of your body’s cells.

Mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3, as well as Vitamins D and E all, support your heart. They improve your blood pressure, meaning you are putting less pressure on your heart. All of this together puts you at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the greatest killer of Americans.

Active people should have snacks planned into their days to supplement meals and maximise gains.

1. Pistachio
Convenient, delicious and healthy, pistachios are a snack made in heaven. Each serving (one handful) contains 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre, as well as mono and poly-unsaturated fats. This keeps you feeling full, while also supporting your heart’s health.

2. Dark Chocolate
Loaded with chronic-inflammation reducing polyphenols, dark chocolate is great for protecting your vascular cell linings. This, in turn, will protect your heart from added pressure and keeps things ticking over nicely.

3. Salmon Jerky
Beef jerky is delicious, but sadly, not overly good for you. If you love it for the texture, then consider substituting it for dried salmon jerky. Not only is it lower in saturated fats, but it is also packed full of omega-3 and vitamin D.

4. Roasted Chickpeas
Chips are yummy but of low nutritional value. A great alternative is roasted chickpeas. They can be flavoured to be similar to chips, they have that crunchy texture, and they have the added bonus of providing you with top-notch nutrition. Chickpeas contain phytochemicals and generous amounts of fibre.

5. Cherries
Or any other boldly coloured natural food… These are rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Not only do they reduce inflammation, but they also have been linked to improving cholesterol levels over a long period.

6. Hummus and Legumes
We’ve established the beneficial qualities of chickpeas. Why not make them into a hummus dip, using tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper and eat it with cucumber, carrots and celery. Celery is loaded with dietary nitrates, which are great for your cardiovascular health. Meanwhile, cucumber and carrots are both full of minerals and vitamins.

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