Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy 2013: Almond Joy Raw Bars from Beard and Bonnet
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Meg and I run a little site called Beard and Bonnet. I would like to thank Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food for hosting me here today and for letting me share a little heart healthy treat that I have been indulging in lately.
Here I am, mid 30’s, with a business to run, a fabulous husband, 2 amazing kids, and a handful of doughy-eyed animals that all depend on me to be here, be active, and to always be in tip-top shape. So for those very reasons, I try to do my best to always think about the choices I make and how I will fuel my body. For me, it is imperative that I have healthy snacks on hand to eat on the go. I will always hold out for a home cooked, heart-healthy meal when I am hungry for something substantial, but for some reason it is the times when I just need a little something to get me through that I get in trouble. I try to keep a variety of trail mixes, fruits, and raw bars on hand for easy heart healthy snacks to keep me going and out of the drive through line.
I wish I could say that I love to read articles about staying fit, what the new super food is, or how foods work in your body, but I don’t. I try though, I make an effort and 9 times out of 10 as I am reading the newest buzz article I tune out just like I did in school during health class. When I sat down to write this post and fill it full of heart healthy information for you I knew that I had to assemble the information in such a way that it would speak to me too if I was reading it. So here is the quick breakdown of the heart healthy ingredients that make up the Almond Joy Raw Bars that I am sharing today on Beard and Bonnet.
Cashews: The essential “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids; like oleic, and palmitoleic acid, in cashews help lower harmful cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Almonds: The mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are really good for your heart. Almonds also contain vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks and almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation.
Dates: Recent studies have shown that the consumption of dates are good for those who have heart problems. They have the ability to lower LDL cholesterol and since dates are digested very easily they are great for supplying quick energy.
Coconut Oil: Natural, non-hydrogenated coconut oil tends to increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease, and improve your cholesterol profile. People who traditionally consume large quantities of coconut oil as part of their ordinary diet have a very low incidence of heart disease and have normal blood cholesterol levels.
Dark Chocolate: Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease. Flavanols — which are more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate or white chocolate — also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.
I hope that you will visit me at Beard and Bonnet and try these decadent heart healthy treats for yourself!
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