Natural Snacks to Keep You Healthy
Healthy & Natural Snacks
Snacking can be viewed as a bad habit and not conducive to a healthy diet or lifestyle. While reaching for a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar between meals probably isn’t conducive to maximising your wellness, snacking can actually be a very valuable part of a healthy diet. Helping you maintain a healthy weight and ensuring you get the nutrients you need throughout the day.
Choosing natural snacks made with whole foods and without lots of added sugar is a great place to start if you want to make healthy snack choices. Fruits and veggies make for healthy snacks and good for snacking as are nuts and seeds, and there are lots of ready made snacks that are nutritionally dense and make a good alternative to crisps and chocolate biscuits.
Of course natural can mean different things and just because something is made from natural ingredients doesn’t mean it is necessarily healthy. After all, crisps are made from potatoes but once you deep fry them in oil, another natural ingredient, and cover them in salt, also natural, they stop being a healthy addition to your diet and should instead be considered a treat.
It’s also worth thinking about who is snacking and why. Fruits are healthy snacks, it’s a natural wholefood and full of essential nutrients and fibre. But, fruit has a high sugar content, albeit natural sugar, and so it can be a good idea to limit fruit if you are trying to lose weight, or choose fruits with a lower glycemic index. That being said, studies show no ill effects of eating lots of fruit, and it’s certainly a good idea for children to snack on fresh fruit over processed snack food.
Healthy Natural Snacks For Children and Adults
As mentioned above, natural doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, but it's a good starting point. And there are lots of healthy natural snacks options that you can choose from to boost your nutrient intake and energy throughout the day.
Fruit is a great place to start if you are after a healthy snack. Most fruit comes neatly packaged in it’s own protective skin and is perfectly portioned and ready to go. Berries are great for antioxidants, oranges are packed full of vitamin C, and bananas will give you the best energy boost.
Vegetables are often an overlooked snack food but again they are convenient and packed full of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. There are lots of veggies that are perfect for eating raw and can be easily prepared.
Both fruits and veggies can be mixed with nuts or another source of protein to up the nutrient content of your snack. Nuts are also a great source of good healthy fats. Nuts also have lots of nutrients including potassium and magnesium. And the high fibre and protein content mean they fill you up and keep you full for longer than many snacks.
Whole food snacks such as popcorn, oatcakes, rice cakes, and chips made from higher protein pulses such as quinoa or lentils are also great for snacking on between meals as again they keep you fuller for longer and will satisfy your cravings.
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