Best Healthy Snacks Ideas
Nourishing, well-balanced diets are essential for proper growth, immunity, physical and mental development, health and well-being, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Healthy eating is often a challenge, particularly when we’re surrounded by so many foods and have so many choices.
People often skip meals due to busy schedules, dieting, or a lack of food resources.
Hunger can throw your body into famine mode, which slows metabolism and makes it easier to pack on the extra kilograms.
If the body goes without food for longer than four to six hours, its metabolic rate may slow down, the body reacts as if it is starving and conserves stored energy for later.
Sugary snacks and not eating frequently enough will cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate rapidly.
When your blood sugar is high, insulin is released to counter the damaging effect of elevated blood sugar
This causes blood sugar levels to drop quickly and you feel hungry again, cranky and irritable, tired and may crave unhealthy foods.
Snacking can have many benefits, especially when keeping healthier ingredients, portion sizes and personal caloric needs in mind.
Eating a healthful snack between meals prevents the body from switching into starvation mode and keeps your metabolism revved up, helps normalize blood sugar and provides you with sustained energy throughout the day.
Simple Snacking Rules
- Choose nutrient-dense snacks.
- Go for protein!
- Avoid foods that rank high on the glycemic index.
- Avoid highly processed foods that are primarily refined flour, sugar and corn syrup; these can spike blood sugar, commencing the roller coaster ride.
Make A Healthy Choice
Choose raw vegetables with a variety of colours such as red, green and yellow capsicum, celery sticks, broccoli, snow peas and carrots.
Add a tablespoon of dips such as hummus, tzatziki, salsa, or organic almond/peanut butter for flavour and protein.
Pair fresh apples or berries with almonds, pistachios or walnuts for a balanced snack.
Combine 10 grams of goji berries, 50 grams of blueberries and 10 grams of almonds for a balanced low-GI snack.
Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
Pepitas offer an abundance of nutrients including amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and a wealth of minerals and vitamins.
Snacking on just one handful of pepitas, provides a about 9 grams of protein, along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc.
They are rich in beta carotene that can be converted into vitamin A as needed by the body, and also rich in the eye protective carotenoid lutein.
Pumpkin seeds are also high in Omega 3 fats and offer powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Raw walnuts are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and are also rich in vitamins and minerals that help us to stay healthy.
Walnuts are high in poly and monounsaturated fats and especially linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid. This family of acids has an anti-inflammatory action.
They are involved in the manufacture of certain hormones, part of the cell's membrane and they regulate the cholesterol.
Walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.
Walnuts are also a good source of protein.
They contain 15.23 grams of protein per 100 grams, which is equivalent to 100 grams of chicken.
Walnuts are rich in calories. They can help people with small appetites, such as elderly and convalescents, to meet their daily calories requirements.
Sunflower seeds make for a great crunchy snack that keeps you cracking for hours!
They are full of healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.
They are the best whole-food source of Vitamin E.
Pistachios – “The Skinny Nut”
Pistachios are low in calories and have over 30 vitamins and nutrients including vitamin B6, copper, manganese, thiamin, dietary fiber and protein.
They also have a high amount of antioxidants and have significant amounts of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which may reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
A handful of pistachio nuts can get you through to the next healthy meal with very few calories and a whole lot of taste.
Hard Boiled Egg
Hard boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein and simple to prepare.
Eggs are also very nutritious. They don't just contain fat (yolk) and protein (white) but a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals Vitamin A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Selenium, Iodine)
Choose organic or free range eggs!
Keep it in the fridge and add to smoothies or add on rice and veggie sticks.
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak, at room temperature, overnight.
Drain, place soaked cashews and coconut milk in the bowl of food processor or blender.
Blend until smooth.
Fruit smoothies are an excellent choice for anyone who wants a quick, nutrient packed snack.
You can mix all types of fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and bananas for a delicious fruit smoothie.
Add some Protein Powder to help building muscle and burning fat.
Raw cacao powder is packed with antioxidants, contains zero sugar and is high in chromium which stabilises blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss.
To make the Cacao balls add:
1 cup mixed nuts
½ cup mixed seeds
2 tablesppons of tahini
small handful of goji berries
1 heaped dessert spoon of cacao in a food processor and blitz until combines.
Roll 1 tablespoon of the mixture into balls, cover with cacao or coconut, refrigerate in an air tight container and enjoy.