We love snacking as much as losing weight. However, recent research reveals that poor snacking habits can contribute to too many calories and excess weight, not to mention poor nutrition. When choosing the right snack for your body, choose one that maintains your energy levels, while you giving you the best nutrition. This means, eating food that offers the right ratio of vitamins, minerals, fats, and other nutrients.
Not only will this energize the body, but also help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Exercise coupled with protein promotes the growth of muscles, which helps to increase your metabolism and burn calories. Fiber, improves digestion and inhibits cravings for sugars and fats. Experts recommend choosing snacks that are lower than 200 calories, but also have 2 is to 1 ratio of protein to fiber. The following is a list of 10 healthy snacks, that you and your family can enjoy.
- Almonds: Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and fiber. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain development. Eating 5 to 7 almonds per day for a month, has been proven to reduce cholesterol.
- Peanuts: These tasty nuts are a high source of protein. The next time you feel hungry slap some on a slice of whole grain bread. Make sure you opt for the sugar free or natural variety of peanut butter, as most brands usually contain large amounts of icing sugar.
- Berries: These tiny fruits are a powerhouse of antioxidants and other vital nutrients. Encourage everyone in your family to eat a handful of these every day. Make a mixed berry salad, or blend it up with some yogurt or skim milk to make a smoothie.
- Raisins: These tiny sweeties are one of the best snacks to offer children. They are naturally high in fiber, which aids digestion. The high antioxidant content in raisins makes it ideal for protection against phenols. Raisins are easy to pack for lunch and carry around in your purse.
- Apples: Ever heard of the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Apples are a great source of fiber, iron, vitamin c, b complex vitamins, and minerals. Try slicing one up and serving it with a glass of milk.
- Bananas: Bananas are considered as one of the world’s most inexpensive yet beneficial fruits. Bananas are great for heart health, because they reduce blood pressure. The potassium content in bananas is great for bones. The fiber content in bananas is also famous for treating constipation!
- Tuna on wheat crackers: Tuna meat is a low fat protein. It is great as a snack, especially when served up on whole wheat crackers. Kids will definitely enjoy it in this form. The protein content in tuna will help you feel satiated for a long period of time.
- Tofu: Tofu is a vegetarian person, best friend. This white, jiggly mass is made from soybeans, also known as bean curds. Tofu tastes bland by itself, but it easily takes on the flavor of any marinade. Try grilling some tofu with a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce, and serve it up with some pita bread.
- Cucumber yogurt dip: This a healthy version of the garlic, cucumber sauce that is served in Greek restaurants. Cucumbers are high in water content and fiber, and are also great for the skin. Yogurt on the other hand, is high in b vitamins, and bacterial culture, which aids digestion. Try using this as a dip with carrots or spread it on a piece of toast.
- Edamame (steamed): These green wonders are also called fresh soy beans. They are naturally high in vitamin K, folate, and choline. Edamame is a great source of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for bone maintenance. Enjoy them steamed with a sprinkling sea salt. Use them as a replacement for chips!
Choosing healthy snack options can go a long way in protecting you and your family from disease, and illness. When selecting snack items, instead of shopping for chips and fries, select colorful fruits, vegetables, legumes, and breads, and look for ways of turning them into appealing snacks.