This is a Guest Post.
There are two ways to snack. One is the unhealthy way of snacking, which involves eating processed foods that can result in a large waistline, contribute to obesity, and increase your risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The other way is to snack wisely , so as to satiate yourself between meals and provide enough energy to help you make it through the day’s activities. The problem is that most people associate unhealthy foods as snacks and figure healthier options won’t be filling.
The truth is that there are many healthy snacks with numerous health benefits. The following is a list of snacks for various situations:
Snacks for travelling:
Travelling requires snacks to be convenient and easy to consume. Avoid anything spicy that might cause indigestion. Nut and fruit bars are the perfect hassle-free snacks. Look for bars that contain whole, raw nuts. Raw nuts, such as almonds and flax seeds, provide a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, heart protective and help maintain a positive mood. Whole wheat pockets stuffed with turkey or chicken breast are also great for balancing protein and carbohydrate intake and avoiding an insulin spike.
The ideal pre-workout food should be a simple carbohydrate that is easily digestible and provides a fast source of energy needed to sustain your workout. Granola bars, oatmeal and Greek yogurt are healthy options to try before workouts. Consuming snacks with both protein and carbs has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis. Cutting out major food groups is never good in the long-term.
While pre-workout snacks address your needs for energy and efficiency, post-workout snacks should target muscle recovery. Such snacks should contain BCAA (branch-chained amino acids) that benefit muscle recovery. An ideal choice would be an egg omelet on whole grain bread topped with an avocado and dried fruit on the side.
Snacks at work for better productivity
When you’re stuck working hard at the office, you need a regular dose of energy. Many stressed-out workers choose unhealthy snacks while loading up on caffeine instead of making healthy snacking a priority for better productivity. For example, try a bag of kale chips, but make sure you limit yourself to only one, small bag. A bag of kale chips is packed with nutrients, as well as vitamins such as B and C. These help prevent deterioration of brain cells, reduce stress and improve memory and focus.
Snacks to elevate mood
Some snacks can improve mood. Many depressed people use unhealthy foods as coping mechanisms, which only fuels the cycle of depression. Instead, try sliced papaya or oranges, which are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, Vitamin B, Zinc and Magnesium. A chicken or turkey sandwich can help naturally boost serotonin which is linked to a happier mood.
Snacks that burn fat
Turkey is a healthy lean meat that you can use as a meal or a snack. Roasted turkey breast provides just 160 calories per a 3 ounce serving. Roasted turkey sandwiches are a delicious snack to keep you satiated, even if you happen to skip a meal. Turkey is not only satisfying but it also boosts serotonin and improves mood.
Snacks that satiate your sugar craving
If you have a sweet tooth but are trying to avoid sugar-based foods then you can replace unhealthy choices with healthier (but equally delicious) options such as: yogurt or blueberry smoothies made with almond milk and honey. Honey is full of antioxidants and can satisfy your sweet tooth. Blueberries are naturally sweet, low in calories and contain ingredients called 3CGs (Cyanidin 3 Glucosides), that are known for their fat burning properties.
Training yourself to snack healthily will make you look better, feel better and reduce your risk of chronic illnesses. If you don’t address an unhealthy snacking habit, you probably won’t hit your ideal weight. It’s that simple. Besides the foods mentioned here, there are loads of healthy snacks that you can try for more variety and flavor, while still limiting calories and gaining health benefits.