Health

Snack breaks can also be healthy

Who says healthy snacks don't exist? Here are legit reasons to sneak a bite between meals:

GRAB AN AVOCADO

Snack breaks are usually rife with high-calorie foods full of saturated fat. You're better off with an avocado instead, says research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

As avocados have unsaturated fatty acids, you can improve bad cholesterol levels as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. Its phytonutrients offer your body a bounty of benefits, and you can use it in a variety of ways.

Put it on toast with some zatar, mix it with some salad, or make a tasty guacamole.

GO FOR COCOA

According to a study by Kingston University, the flavanols in dark chocolate help produce nitric oxide in the body, dilating blood vessels and reducing oxygen consumption, factors which supposedly improve athletic endurance.

Beetroot juice has the same effect, but dark chocolate somehow seems infinitely more enjoyable.

EAT YOUR FRUITS

Chowing down on fresh fruits has been linked to lower risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke, and you don't even need big portions to enjoy its benefits.

A joint study by Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences revealed that just 100greduces cardiovascular mortality by a third.

PICK RESISTANT STARCH

Bananas, nuts and legumes contain a resistant starch that acts like fibre to help with blood sugar control, satiety and digestive health. The starch is "resistant" because it can't be digested by our small intestine, and scientists believe there are still more benefits to be discovered.

This article first appeared in Shape magazine, the only women's health and fitness magazine in Singapore.

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