Snacks are an important part of a healthy diet because they can boost metabolism, prevent weight gain, and provide the energy you need to stay strong all day long. Choose the wrong types of snacks, however, and you may find yourself skipping the gym for the couch. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be tempting to choose pre-packaged goodies that are loaded with sugars and artificial ingredients that will cause you to crash and burn. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and always have nutritious choices on hand. We recommend preparing snacks ahead of time to store in the fridge and pantry. So, the next time that mid-afternoon fatigue hits, reach out for healthy snacks you already have stored and ready-to-go. This will help you stay on target with your healthy eating plan and weight loss goals.
Here is a list of the best health snacks to have on hand:
Eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and choline. A recent study of nearly half a million people in China suggests that eating one egg a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, although experts stress that eggs need to be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle in order to be beneficial.
Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin – the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is full of protein and calcium. A half cup of low fat cottage cheese totals 100 calories. The protein in cottage cheese is valuable for muscle enhancement.
Cottage cheese is easy to incorporate into a meal and needs no special preparation to enjoy. For that reason, many dieters include it in their meal plans. The food is easy to carry, simple to eat if you are on-the-go, and pairs well with other healthy, diet-friendly foods like fruits and vegetables.
Apples are a good source of fiber and anti-oxidants that help the immune system. One medium size apple has 4 g of fiber and 95 calories.
Vitamin C – a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agent.
B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) – these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
Dietary fiber – the British National Health Service says that a diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
Phytonutrients – apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds”. These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Air-popped organic popcorn contains polyphenols, a chemical that rids the body of toxins that damage blood cells. One serving is usually 2-3 cups.
Popcorn certainly seems like a healthy snack, but the vast majority of people douse it in salt, butter, or other toppings that negate much of the positive impact that popcorn can have on the body. Also, avoid pre-packaged microwave popcorn, as it usually has butter and salt. Once the popcorn begins to pop, some of the chemicals in the packaging material actually break down or destroy the phenolic compounds of the hull, severely decreasing its impact on protecting your body against free radicals.
Other than these few words of warning, pop in a good movie, fix yourself a big bowl of popcorn, and get healthy!
Yogurt is low in fat and high in calcium. Yogurt helps remove bad bacteria from the digestive tract.
Yogurt is often included on healthy food lists … and for good reason. Yogurt is highly nutritious and is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. It provides numerous vitamins and minerals and is relatively low in calories.
Peanut Butter On Celery
Natural peanut butter loaded with protein. Spread it on celery for a healthy snack.
Peanut butter contains 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, which is about 130 calories just from fat alone. … If you are very active, celery and peanut butter can be an important way for you to not only get calories, but protein, fiber and healthy fats all in one.
Mary’s Gone Crackers
These gluten free crackers are made with organic brown rice and quinoa. You can crunch 13 crackers in each serving! Triscuits are one of the healthier crackers to snack on. Triscuits are made from whole wheat and 120 calories per serving. Spread natural peanut butter on top for extra flavor.
Grapes are very low in calories. Thirty grapes totals only 100 calories. The nutrients in grapes help cleanse the liver and prevent cell damage.
When it comes to cardiovascular health, grapes are overachievers. Some compounds in grapes can help regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation from oxidative stress, improve blood flow, and protect your vascular system.
The avocado has a variety of nutrients for energy, mood enhancement and appetite surpression. One medium avocado has 240 calories.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, don’t shy away! Avocados are full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.
Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even help boost the immune system.
Tuna in Water
Tuna is low in calories and one can of tuna in water has 10 g of protein. Add tuna to your salad, or eat it on whole grain bread.
Tuna comprises omega-3 fatty acids, which help in bringing balance in the blood vessels thereby reducing cholesterol in the arteries. As such, the heart is able to efficiently carry out its function of pumping blood throughout the body, maintaining good health
Tuna is rich in potassium, which is known for lowering blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids in combination with potassium bring an anti-inflammatory effect to the cardiovascular system, which in turn benefits us by lowering blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Tuna is rich in manganese, zinc, vitamin C and selenium, which help in strengthening the immune system. These antioxidants protect us from diseases like cancer by fighting the free radicals – the by-products of metabolism on the cellular level.