Eating healthy, either to lose some weight or just to maintain a healthy weight, would mean that you would need around five meals a day. Fine, breakfast, lunch and dinner are sorted, but it is not always easy to work out what to have as snack in between the three main meals. Never mind snacking on something healthy. It is so easy to go for the chips or a chocolate bar, but these are not healthy. Luckily, here are some healthy snack ideas to keep you on track for a healthier you.
Nuts are one of the easiest health snacks. They are the perfect balance of protein, fiber and healthy fats. And even though they might be high in fats, they will fill you up. But you need to eat them in moderation.
Added to that, nuts are linked to some health benefits, such as lessen your risk of developing heart problems, and to prevent depression, and some cancers.
Place a few nuts in a small bag and you could have them as your midday snack.
Red bell pepper and guacamole
Red bell peppers contain the highest antioxidants such as beta carotene, quercetin and capsanthin. But they are also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
To get the best out of these peppers and to make it is yummy snack, combine red bell peppers with guacamole. That way you will get the good fats and extra fiber in and still keep your calories low.
Berries and Greek yogurt
An easy and nutrient-dense snack is snaking on some plain Greek yogurt with some mixed berries. The Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, and calcium and potassium. Plus the berries are packed with antioxidants.
100 grams of plain full fat Greek yogurt and half a cup of mixed berries will give you 10 grams of protein and less than 150 calories.
Peanut butter with apple slices
Who does not love peanut butter but eating it might be a problem if you eat too much as it is rather high in calories. However, eating it with apple slice you will be able to limit the amount you consume and still get the heart health benefits of peanut butter. As a medium sized apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter will have less than 200 calories. Nonetheless, apples are a good source of fiber and polyphenol antioxidants. These are good for your gut and can reduce heart problems developing.
Apple slices with peanut butter
Apples and peanut butter taste fantastic together.
Cottage cheese with cinnamon and flax seeds
Each of these ingredients on their own could offer you loads of health benefits, but combined they are a super healthy snack to enjoy. Cottage cheese for instance is high in protein, which will fill you up. They can also aid in weight loss as they contain linoleic acid. Whereas flax seeds are good for weight management, reducing the risk of breast cancer and controlling blood sugar levels. Flax seed is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Still, cinnamon can help to lower blood sugar and boost your gut health.
You can combines these three ingredients to make a dessert. The great thing is that this dessert will give you 15 grams of protein and less than 150 calories.
1/2 cup cottage cheese.
1 tablespoon flaxseeds.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Stevia or other sweetener, if desired.
Instructions: In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.
Celery sticks with cream cheese
A classic low carb snack is celery sticks with cream cheese. Celery has luteolin, an antioxidant that lessens inflammation and may aid prevent cancer. By adding cream cheese turns the celery sticks into a delicious and nourishing snack. More so, just five small celery sticks with 60 grams of cream cheese have less than 200 calories.
Kale is extremely healthy and it is rich in fiber and antioxidants such as kaempferol and quercetin. These two compounds cut blood pressure and could lessen the risk of colon cancer.
More so, just a cup of raw kale will give you 100% of your daily needed vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.
This is how you can make your own kale chips, which will only be 150 calories:
1 cup bite-sized kale leaves.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Instructions: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Place kale pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 175° C for 10–15 minutes.
Dark chocolate and almonds
Dark chocolate and almonds make a rich, satisfying and portable snack.
Dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols that may lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk, provided the chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa solids.
Almonds are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and have beneficial effects on blood sugar control. Studies also show that they can reduce appetite and help you lose weight.
Both dark chocolate and almonds are high in magnesium. One ounce of each provides about 300 calories in total, depending on cocoa content.
Cucumber slices and hummus
Cucumbers have cucurbitacin E. This is a compound that may have anti-cancer effects. Whereas hummus is made from chickpeas, garlic and olive oil that could help to reduce inflammation and may improve heart health.
An easy snack is to just grab a fruit. Go for bananas, apples, oranges, grapes or even a pear. Just remember to limit the amount of fruit you take, as they are sugar high. But they are full of fiber and nutrients.
The bottom line
These are only a few of the healthy snacks you can enjoy while you drop the weight off. Everyone wants to look good, but we need to do it in a healthy way. More so, let us be real, who does not love food. These snacks are not just great at losing the pounds, but they are super yummy.
In a future article, more healthy snack ideas will be discussed.