Healthy snacks can be hard to find! Especially when you come home from work after a long day and just feel like eating junk food for a quick fix. Have no fear! There are more and more healthy snack options today than ever before. This article will shed light on some new products and ideas to help carve those horrible cravings, and instead of leaving you with a sugar crash, you will feel clean and energized.
1. Coconut Chips
Yep, coconut is now in a “chip form”! Why try these? Coconut chips are made from a nutrient dense superfood -coconut, and naturally full of flavour! My favourite kind is by Hippie Snacks, as they take fresh slices of young coconut and roast until they have this perfect crunch. Also, the ingredient list includes just three things: coconut, cane sugar, and salt! I would describe them as not too sweet, slightly savoury, creamy and refreshing, they are super tasty. Lastly, 1/3 cup contains 4% iron!
Walnuts are something I have recently discovered and are super good for your heart. You really only need a 1/4 to 1/2 cup to start feeling full. Not only are they high in omega-3′s but new research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal.
3. Ginger Chews
Ginger has long been thought of as a power house for your body. Not only will it fire up your digestive juices, improve the absorption of essentioal nutrients in the body, reduce nausea, but it can even help reduce joint pain with its anti-inflammatory properties. Confused about which ginger snack to try? There is a good one by a company called “Chimes” which is tasty and can be bought at Natures Emporium. The mango flavor is decadent.
4. Dried Mango’s
Dried mango’s have limited calories and are super tasty! Just make sure to buy them without “sulphites”. Sulphites are regulated food additives that are used as preservatives to maintain food color and prolong shelf-life, prevent the growth of micro-organisms, and to maintain the potency of certain medications.
Many people who consume sulphite-products experience unpleasant side-effects (i.e. which is why the government is making a law that states all products with sulphites have to say “may contain sulphites”). For example, do you ever get weazy and experience asthmatic like symptoms when you eat dried fruit? You may not even realize this, but it could be the sulphite preservative!
5. Apple with Almond Butter
Almond butter is very rich and creamy, just like peanut butter and tastes amazing with apples. The sweetness of apples is quite complimenting to the nutty flavor of “almond butter”. Also, with this snack you will be getting some protein and fibre. In fact, did you know that almond butter has more fibre than peanut butter?! Pretty great. Lastly, almond butter has a low-glycemic index, meaning it will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep you full longer. This is crucial because regular blood sugar spikes and drops slow down your metabolism.
6. Veggie Stix
These are to die for and are definitely one of my new favourite snacks! I can’t believe how tasty and nutritious these chips are! It’s shocking actually how much nutrients they shove into these little chips. Indeed, Veggie Stix are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, D, and B6 and a good source of Vitamins E &K. Veggie Stix are also made with all natural ingredients; potatoes, tomatoes and spinach, pure sea salt and non-hydrogenated oils. That means 0 grams of trans fat and the chips have 30% less overall fat than regular chips! wahoo!
7.Chocolate covered Sacha Inchi Roasted Seeds
Heard of Inchi seeds? You have now! According to Vega Sport, a health company, their sacha inchi seed snack has 17 more omega-3′s per ounce than wild sockeye salmon -that’s insane! Indeed, they are the richest plant-based source of omega-3 on the planet.
So how can these Amazonian seeds have such a high antioxidant level? It’s all in the roasting process. Inchi seeds are roasted at a low temperature to preserve their high omega-3 content. There the unmatched combination of taste and nutrition, that’s gluten-free and packed with complete protein, makes them the perfect healthy indulgence. This healthy snack is also available in three delicious flavours, my favourite is the Cocoa Kissed.
8. Sliced Tomatoes With Sprinkled Feta and Olive Oil
This snack will definitely make your taste buds happy. If you don’t like feta or olive oil, you can always sprinkle another type of cheese on top, or a light-salad dressing. Tomatoes are loaded with nutrients and have been known for centuries by Japanese women as the powerhouse fruit for trimming your waist.
Professor Teruo Kawada and his team of researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food in Kyoto have backed up the Tomato Diet with sound research. In particular, they found a substance in the tomatoes called 13-oxo-ODA, which is a special type of unsaturated fatty acid. This chemical was found to help decrease the amount of neutral fat in your body and prevent metabolic syndrome from setting in.
9. Dark Chocolate (70-90% Cocoa)
I know, I know, most of you think dark chocolate is gross BUT I have discovered a way to mask the bitter flavour while still getting all the health benefits! Buy a brand that has “coconut flakes” mixed in. The taste difference was literally like night.
Dark chocolate is really good for your health because it has a low glycemic index, lots of antioxidants (antioxidants fight free radicals and damaged cells, preventing cancer), and can even improve your mood. Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. This is because chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.
10. Hummus Dip with Vegetables
I used to think hummus was gross, but there has been many advancements in the past five years. The kind’s flavored with garlic honestly taste no different than a regular dip. All you need is some vegetables to dip in and voila – a filling, healthy snack for you to help get through the day!
If you are unsure what hummus is, it can contain many different ingredients but the base is always “chickpeas”. Chickpeas are nutritious because they do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fat, and are rich in protein. Furthermore, they are also known to be quite effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in your blood vessels. Apart from that, chickpeas also help to maintain the correct blood sugar levels. By preventing that blood sugar spike, you will actually feel full longer!
11. Celery and Peanut Butter
Celery is an undervalued vegetable. It is loaded with nutrients and contains almost no calories! One large stalk has maybe 10 calories. Celery is great because it can lower your blood pressure, has 10% vitamin A (in one large stock) – great for your eye health, aids in digestion (high in insoluble fiber) and even lowers one’s LDL (bad cholesterol). One Chicago University research study showed that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points.
Yes, tea can be considered a healthy snack! Green tea is quite good for your heart and can even increase your metabolism and promote weight loss. Studies have even found that drinking two to three glasses a day can reduce body weight and waist circumference by 5% in three months, as well as increase metabolism. My favorite green tea is by Ultra Slender Tea- their “green detox” especially. Lastly, it is important to mention that green tea is great for detoxifying the liver and thus making you feel “cleaner” and more energized.
Tea is also a lot less caloric than soda or juice! Often it has zero calories!
13. Strawberries Dipped In Yogurt
Just dip some strawberries in yogurt, then put them in the freezer for 20 minutes and voila! Easiest snack ever! If you want to go even more “healthy”, try using “greek yogurt”. Not only does greek yogurt have half the sodium compared to regular yogurt, but it also has more protein!
Eight ounces of Greek yogurt has about 20 grams of protein, whereas regular yogurt provides around 11-13 grams. Greek yogurt’s high protein content makes it a favourite among people trying to manage their weight as it helps ward off hunger.
So there you have it, 13 fantastic healthy snacks you should always have at home. Snacking should be fun and never boring. Hopefully these snack options make you realize how simple and tasty eating healthy really can be.