Trader Joe's has no shortage of delicious snacks and healthy foods, but there are a few in particular that are especially good for your ticker. Whether they're in the produce section, frozen cases or snack aisle, there are so many heart-healthy, nutritious foods to choose from. Here are a few dietitians' favorite heart-healthy foods from Trader Joe's.
Heart-Healthy Foods from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar
This smooth, rich and delicious treat is made with 85% cacao, which means it's packed with heart-healthy flavonoids found in the cocoa bean. "Research shows that these flavonoids improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood clotting, coronary artery function and insulin sensitivity. The higher percent cacao, the more flavonoids and the greater the heart benefits," says Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT.
Trader Joe's Organic Frozen Wild Blueberries
Wild blueberries are sweet and delicious. Plus, they're perfect for adding to baked goods and smoothies, topping cereal and yogurt, or just eating straight from the bag. Lakatos says, "Wild blueberries' polyphenols help blood vessels to function better and remain healthier, so the heart doesn't have to work as hard to circulate blood throughout the body." Plus, wild blueberries contain anthocyanins, vitamins and fiber, which are associated with improved heart health and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Trader Joe's Organic Broccoli Slaw
This fresh and crunchy mix adds texture to a salad and is a great base for grilled fish or chicken. It's a deliciously easy way to boost nutrients and flavor in a stir-fry, too. Lakatos says, "Higher intake of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease events, like heart attacks and strokes."
She adds, "Broccoli's key players when it comes to protecting against heart disease include selenium and the powerful antioxidant sulforaphane."
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Trader Joe's Golden Roasted Flaxseed
"Each tablespoon of ground flaxseeds has about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s, which are known to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing an irregular heartbeat," says Ilyse Schapiro, M.S., RD, CDN. Flaxseeds are so easy to add to any yogurt, granola or smoothie bowl. You can even use them to replace some of the oil or eggs in baked goods!
Trader Joe's Seasoned Kale Chips
Leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants as well as vitamins K and C. "Research has shown how kale can specifically lower cholesterol and your risk of developing heart disease and can also increase blood flow," says Schapiro. This snack is also super filling with 4 grams of protein and 6 grams of healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied.
Trader Joe's Avocado Spray Oil
Schapiro says, "Avocados are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats and oleic acid which contains vitamin E, and other fat-soluble vitamins, and this specific spray can be used in almost any recipe whether it is cooking eggs or cooking a lean protein." Also, this bottle makes it super easy to control how much oil you want to use to avoid excess.
Trader Joe's Organic Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Adding yogurt to your diet daily has a number of benefits. "Not only is it good for your bones and to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, but also yogurt has been linked to healthy blood pressure and reducing high cholesterol levels," says Schapiro. This yogurt is packed with protein, which will keep you full for hours.
Trader Joe's Simply Almonds, Cashews & Chocolate Trek Mix
Nuts are known to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL). Schapiro says, "Research has shown that adding almonds and cashews into your diet daily can increase antioxidants in the bloodstream and improve blood flow." Plus, these packs are perfect for on-the-go snacking. Bonus: Schapiro adds, "This specific pack contains dark chocolate, which is super yummy and an excellent way to lower your risk of heart disease."
Trader Joe's Dried Apple Rings
"Made with just apples and no added sugar, these are one of my favorite chewy-sweet snacks to pick up at Trader Joe's," says Maggie Michalczyk, M.S., RD. Perfect for on-the-go snacking or dipped in nut butter.
Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter
Michalczyk says, "I love that this mixed nut butter is a blend of different nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and pecans." This nut butter makes for a great snack to pair with celery or apple slices, apple rings or on a PB&J. "Plus you're getting lots of healthy fats, fiber and plant-based protein from the variety of nuts," Michalczyk says.
Trader Joe's Rolled Oats
These oats are super versatile and heart healthy. "Oats are a source of the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which can lower blood levels of cholesterol by acting like a gel to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and bind bile acids that your body uses to make cholesterol," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. "Enjoy them in a traditional bowl of oatmeal, in overnight oats, in granola bars or ground into a flour for pancakes and baked goods," she suggests. Yum!