These Heart-Healthy Snacks are So Much Better for You Than a Granola Bar

Updated 06/19/18

No matter how healthy you eat for and lunch, a growling stomach can make you succumb to a midday snack of packaged chips or a sugary granola bar, throwing off your well-intentioned routine. It's just not always possible to find , let alone one that's also beneficial for your heart. However, when you do have the luxury of preparing food ahead of time, there are plenty of easy heart-healthy snacks to add to your repertoire.

The key to creating a heart-healthy snack is putting together something that contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats, says to Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of . In order to stay satisfied throughout your daily routine, she advises you whip up a few of her go-to made with ingredients like almond butter, avocado, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. Here are 10 heart-healthy snacks that'll help you make it through the day without reaching for prepackaged foods.

Fruit Platter
Half Baked Harvest

1. Apples and Almond Butter

This easy heart-healthy snack contains healthy fat, fiber, and vitamin C, which Smith explains is good for the elasticity of the blood vessels. Slice up an apple, and dip the fruit in a dollop of natural almond butter for the perfect mid-morning snack.

Justin's Classic Almond Butter $10

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are a great snack to bring with you on the go because they're not messy and require absolutely no prep work. Smith names these as a heart-healthy snack thanks to their omega 3 and anti-inflammatory properties.

Happy Belly California Walnuts $19

3. Hard-boiled Eggs with Turmeric

Sprinkle a dash of turmeric powder over a hard-boiled egg for a simple snack. Turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory, while lutein—a carotenoid vitamin—found in the egg contains antioxidants.

Whole Foods Market Organic Fair Trade Ground Turmeric $5

4. Flax Crackers

Smith explains that flax crackers contain healthy fat and may also work to reduce "bad" cholesterol commonly known as LDL (low-density lipoproteins). Use Smith's recipe for or look for a healthy packaged brand for a quick alternative.

Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed $7

5. Carrots and Avocado

Mashup avocado to snack on with a serving of carrots or make your own homemade guacamole. The avocado provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which Smith says may also help to lower LDL cholesterol.

- Hand-painted Stoneware Bowl - White/black dotted - H & m Home
H&M Hand-painted Stoneware Bowl $8

6. Strawberries and Cacao Nibs

If you're craving something more on the sweet side, enjoy strawberries topped with cacao nibs. Strawberries contain an anti-inflammatory called anthocyanin and potassium for maintaining healthy blood pressure, while cacao nibs have heart-healthy flavanols, Smith explains.

Navitas Organics Cacao Nibs $13

7. Smoothies

Blend up a smoothie made with half a cup of fruit, a handful of greens, hemp milk, and a plant-based protein. Smith suggests using fruit like mango, bananas, and berries to go with the anti-inflammatory hemp milk–, vitamin C–, fiber–, and magnesium-packed protein.

KitchenAid 5-Speed Classic Blender $91

8. Avocado and Deviled Eggs

According to Smith, both avocado and eggs are full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Trade out your tradition deviled egg recipe for one made with avocado to reap the benefits of this snack.

Egg Crate - Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel Egg Crate $7

9. Sweet Potato Toast

Substitute bread with sweet potatoes, and top with smashed avocado or bananas for a snack full of beta-carotene and potassium.

KitchenAid 2 Slice Metal Toaster $60

10. Chia Pudding

Follow Smith's recipe for homemade for an easy, healthy snack. It takes just a few minutes of prep time before you can let it chill in the refrigerator, and is a great source of fiber and plant-based anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

Le Parfait Super Jar $12

Next time you have a hankering for a midday bite, try one of these heart-healthy snacks. Your heart (and your stomach) will thank you.

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