There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild.
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure.
Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Dark chocolate also contains several chemical properties that have a positive effect on your mood and as well as your cognitive health.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love, maybe the reason why chocolates are always a good gift choice.
PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate is also highly loaded with antioxidants, making it a great healthy snack for kids.
Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells, that can ultimately lead to complications such as cancer.
Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging as well as providing a significant healthy snack option.
It’s not a surprise avocados found its way on this list of healthy snacks, in fact avocados was once regarded as a aphrodisiac in the times of the Aztecs.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid.
The health benefits of avocado include weight management, protection from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, treating osteoarthritis and enhancing the absorption of nutrients for the body.
It also reduces the risk of cancer, liver damage and Vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding.
Avocado helps in keeping eyes healthy and protecting the skin from signs of aging and the harmful effects of UV rays.
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It also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and has antioxidant properties. It even helps to increase circulation, boost cognitive abilities, and build stronger bones.
Surprisingly avocados are actually very high in potassium with a 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are the typical high potassium food everyone goes to.
Potassium helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions, as well as provides a key nutrition in post recovery meals.
In fact several studies show that having high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
Avocados tend to be high in fiber, about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health making it a great in-between meals healthy snack.
Avocado has a high fatty acid content but contains extremely low levels of cholesterol.
Many people tend to stop eating avocado due to its high calorie content, thinking that it may add to their weight.
However, the amount of calories is very small when compared to butter, and other high calorie dietary items.
Also, much of the fat content comes from unique sources, like oleic acid, which are beneficial for a number of reasons, especially for your heart.
Avocados can also be a great healthy snack for kids in addition to adult taste pallets.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanin’s, that may help keep memory sharp as you age, and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties.
All berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system, ultimately making it a great healthy snack in between meals.
Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries. 1-cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains:
- Fiber:4 grams.
- Vitamin C:24% of the RDA.
- Vitamin K:36% of the RDA.
- Manganese:25% of the RDA.
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Calorie for calorie, berries are an excellent source of several important nutrients as well as provide a healthy snack alternative.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the major antioxidant compounds.
Several studies have shown that blueberries and blueberry juice can protect against DNA damage, a leading driver of aging and cancer.
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The strong antioxidant compounds within berries also fight off free radicals, a major causer of cancer and the spread of cancer throughout the body.
The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to protect LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) from oxidative damage, a crucial step in the pathway towards heart disease.
Berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are high in manganese, which is a key factor in absorption of vital nutrients, making it a great in between healthy snack for kids.
Berries also contain high levels of Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing.
Vitamin C is very important in our every day lives, in fact getting a good dose of vitamin C daily can have a tremendous impact on your overall health.
Manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber.
Much like spinach, raisins, apples, plums and grapes, berries are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, however other nutritional benefits also include a very low sodium count and having only 62 calories to a cup.
This low sodium count makes it great as a healthy snack for kids and adults.
Produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, manuka honey is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world.
There are many Manuka honey uses that range from healing sore throats and digestive illnesses, to curing Staph infections, gingivitis, as well as being a healthy snack for kids and adults.
Manuka honey has the nutritional content of up to 4 times that of normal flower honey.
This is what is called the Unique Manuka Factor, which makes it not only the most potent honey around but also a unique and tasty healthy snack.
When it comes to honey the typical raw unfiltered honey is a rich source of:
- Amino acids
- B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid)
Manuka honey has known natural antibiotic qualities; it is also a great medicine for any bacteria related disorder.
In fact, in a recent study, one dangerous bacterium related to all three conditions, Clostridium difficult was found to be quite susceptible to Manuka honey’s bactericidal effects.
So taking Manuka honey is very beneficial at reducing reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances.
Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial.
Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone.
This healing honey has been known to New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years, adding the long history of perceived benefits as a healthy snack.
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Manuka honey contains anti-bacterial properties and in a study conducted by the University of Sydney killed nearly every type of bacteria it was exposed to.
In 2004 Britain’s National Health Service licensed the use of medical grade manuka honey as a wound dressing, confirming what the indigenous people of NZ have long known that manuka honey is a product with some seemingly miraculous properties.
In conclusion, with Manuka honey we know that Manuka honey has an antibacterial component that sets it apart from other honeys, as well as provide a great healthy snack alternative.
This activity of manuka honey is stable and doesn’t lose its potency when exposed to dilution, heat or light.
Manuka honey has been found to be effective against a range of bacteria including Helicobacter pylori (which causes most stomach ulcers) as well as Escherichia coli (the most common cause of infected wounds) and Streptococcus pyogenes (which causes sore throats).
Manuka honey has strong properties and compounds of antimicrobial and antiviral agents. It is also an antioxidant that can help to increase vitality and immunity.
Trials have indicated that manuka honey can heal wounds and skin ulcers that haven’t responded to standard treatments.
One side effect to consider is that manuka honey is not recommended for babies, especially babies less than 12 months old.
Mixed Nuts for Healthy Snack
Nuts are packed with nutrients as well as minerals and healthy fats that promote weight loss and incur other health benefits.
Consider snacking on a small portion of mixed nuts between meals to maximize the benefits of a health snack for kids and adults.
Consistent and daily consumption of a healthy portion of nuts over a given period of time has been proven to promote weight loss, as well as curb obesity.
According to a 2009 study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” nuts on average when substituted with other snacks provided a 12% reduction in total weight loss.
For one, nuts pack more nutrients for a smaller number of calories. The healthy fats in raw nuts get digested more easily than unhealthy fats, meaning they break down and are not stored as excess weight.
The energy-boosting protein in nuts will also encourage you to get moving and boost your metabolism.
There are a wide range and variety of nuts, each with its own unique benefits.
Almonds contain high levels of magnesium, which regulates blood sugar levels as well as reduces food cravings, increasing satiety levels throughout the day.
In fact mixed nuts happen to be one of the most ultimately health snack options due to the fact that it works to curb your appetite immediately, giving you control between your meals.
According to researchers almonds also help block the body’s absorption of calories, which adds it to being a beneficial way to curb the storage of fat in your body.
For that reason you can find many competitive body athletes start to substitute nuts and almonds when they are cutting for their weight.
Walnuts, pistachios and peanuts, are not only beneficial, but also have cholesterol-lowering properties as well, making it another reason it found its way on this healthy snacks list.
Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics that are microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, which not only plays as a great product for your health but also a healthy snack alternative.
These microorganisms normally live in your intestines, and having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy as well as provide a healthy digestive tract.
Since Greek yogurt has probiotic benefits such as digestive health, it can be a great in-between healthy snack for kids as well as adults.
Greek yogurt is also a great way to boost your protein levels while avoiding heavy foods like meats.
Protein is essential for good health. It is vital to cell growth, building muscle, and repairing tissue.
For our vegetarians and vegan readers an often complaint I here is the undersupplied amounts B12 in natural diets because it generally is found in meats.
Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet as well as cover your nutritional needs with your lifestyle choices.
Greek yogurt can be a healthy and satisfying treat after a tough workout as well as a healthy snack for kids and adults.
In fact it can curb your appetite over until your next meal, as well as it contains protein that can repair damage done by exercise or any physical activity.
Greek yogurt is rich in the amino acids, which make up proteins, and proteins are the building blocks for regenerating muscle tissue and repairing fiber damage, helping build muscle while
fighting off weight gain.
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Healthy Snacks does not have to be a hard transition, instead it can be a tasty and beneficial transition if you choose what healthy snacks you like.
The options and choices are as unlimited as every one of your taste buds, and can consistently change and adapt to your life choices.
Did I miss any of your favorite healthy snacks? If so please leave a comment on your favorite healthy snacks as well as your feedback on our healthy snack choices.