Confession time. Here at the Healthier Talk offices, we love our snacks. Not a day goes by that at least one of us doesn’t reach into a desk drawer to pull out a tasty mid-day treat.
And I’d be willing to wager that more than half of the time the snacker in question is nibbling on nuts.
With their nearly perfect combination of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein nuts really live up to their superfood status. Which is why they make such a super snack.
In fact, studies have linked antioxidant rich nuts to healthier cholesterol, lower anxiety levels, sounder sleep, and a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.
So I wasn’t a bit surprised when new research out of Sweden concluded that our favorite snack might also help reduce the risk for an irregular heartbeat.
This massive study followed more than 61,000 people for over 17 years. After the researchers crunched the numbers, they found that eating nuts even just once a month was associated with a reduced risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib), or irregular heartbeat.
And the nut lovers who snacked on nuts three to four times per week had even more impressive results, slashing their risk for AFib even further.
An irregular heartbeat is associated with serious and sometimes even deadly conditions including heart failure, dementia and stroke. But the researchers concluded that if more folks simply turned to nuts when they were having a snack attack, we could see a significant drop in cases of AFib and heart failure.
Help ward off irregular heartbeat with tasty snacks
But even if you’re a fan of nuts, as we are around here, you’re going to want some variety in your snacking menu. And the good news is tree nuts aren’t your only option for nibbles that can help reduce your risk for an irregular heartbeat.
Following are our top four choices for snacks that support a steady heartbeat.
1. Pumpkin seeds:
For a steady strong heartbeat, your body requires a sufficient supply of magnesium. When you run too low in this essential mineral, it could trigger that tell-tale flutter.
Which is what makes pumpkin seeds the perfect choice for anyone concerned about an irregular heartbeat. Pumpkin seeds aren’t just delicious; they’re also packed with heart-friendly magnesium.
Add them to soups, salads, stir fries and more. Or simply munch on them straight from the bag, as I am right at this very moment.
2. Dark chocolate-dipped orange slices:
It almost seems too good to be true. But the delicious duo of dark chocolate and oranges really is a heart-smart snack.
Dark chocolate is loaded with heart-friendly antioxidants. Plus this decadent snack is an excellent source of magnesium, as well.
And those tasty orange slices are a natural source of CoQ10, a heart-supporting superstar. Experts say CoQ10 could help reduce your risk for heart disease as well as improve symptoms for folks already suffering from heart problems.
There’s even evidence this powerful nutrient is associated with a healthier heartbeat too. A study out of China found that folks who supplemented with CoQ10 for a year had significantly fewer occurrences of irregular heartbeat.
3. Bananas and peanut butter:
According to Harvard researchers, economical and tasty peanuts offer the same heart health benefits as their pricier cousins such as almonds and walnuts. And all natural peanut butter, without any added sugars, is a delicious and fun way to slip more peanuts into your snacking lineup.
Pair that peanut butter with bananas and you’ll get a double punch of heart protection. Bananas are high in potassium with is essential for maintaining a stable heart rhythm. It helps keep the electrical system that runs your heart running smoothly.
4. Hummus and cauliflower:
Now are you ready for a snack which combines all three heart supporting superstars, magnesium, potassium and CoQ10? Swap your pita chips for cauliflower and dig into some hummus.
The chickpeas in the hummus contain plenty of magnesium and potassium. Meanwhile the cauliflower brings the CoQ10 to the party. The result? A perfect snack for fighting an irregular heartbeat.
So go ahead and nibble your way to a steadier heart beat with these four heart-friendly snacks.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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