These ideas are inspired by the eating plan known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). DASH is rich in nutrients and low in sodium. It's been shown to lower high blood pressure.
Ready to get started? Try these delicious snack-time solutions.
1. Dip into something delicious
Mix plain nonfat yogurt with a favorite herb or spice. Then take a plunge with carrot sticks, broccoli florets, zucchini slices or cherry tomatoes — or all of the above. Hummus also makes a tasty veggie dip.
Why is this a winning combo? The DASH eating plan includes calcium-rich low-fat dairy products and plenty of produce. Veggies are full of nutrients that help with healthy blood pressure, including potassium and magnesium.
2. Get a little nutty
Spread some peanut or other nut butter on celery and apple slices. The contrasting flavors and textures are sure to satisfy.
With nuts, you get a healthy source of fat — and magnesium — with your produce picks.
3. Tell your hunger, ‘Happy trails’
For a homemade trail mix, combine unsweetened whole-grain cereal with unsalted sunflower seeds and nuts. Add raisins or dried apricots for a produce punch. Dish small handfuls into baggies so you’re not tempted to gobble it all up at once.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber, energy and nutrients.
4. Make a crunchy fruit parfait
Spoon low-fat yogurt into a small glass, add beautiful berries and sprinkle whole-grain granola on top. Voila!
No berries? No bother — vary the fruit to what you have on hand. When you eat fruit, you get an important source of potassium, magnesium and fiber.
5. String together a quick bite
Pair a low-fat string cheese stick with whole-wheat crackers. Peel the cheese into strands that you can swirl on top.
6. Make your own movie munchies
Sprinkle a dusting of Parmesan cheese over plain air-popped popcorn. Enjoy your scrumptious snack and the show!
Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? It is! And when you add just a little tasty cheese, you can skip the saltshaker — a plus for your blood pressure.
7. Fire up the blender
For a fabulous fruit smoothie, start with ice and fat-free yogurt or milk. Whirl it up with fresh or frozen fruit, such as bananas, berries, mangoes or peaches.
Bonus points: Add a handful of super-nutritious spinach. It will blend right in!
8. Go bananas — or grapes
Fresh fruit is always an easy, healthy choice. How about a potassium-packed banana sprinkled with cinnamon? Or try a handful of frozen grapes for a frosty treat.
9. Make mini Mediterranean kebabs
Thread cherry tomatoes, part-skim mozzarella and fresh basil leaves on toothpicks or skewers.
A cheesy tip: Check the Nutrition Facts on cheeses. By comparing labels, you can choose low-fat varieties that are lower in sodium too.