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Thinking about snacks can frustrate anyone, especially if you have a sensitive appetite. It might be easier to incorporate healthy food and drink into your diet, but sometimes you just crave that unhealthy snack during the day. You might feel like anything “healthy” is also bland, unappetizing, and not worth your time. But there are plenty of healthy snacks out there worth adding to your routine.
Healthy snacking can be enjoyable when you find the right balance of nutrients in small doses throughout the day. Snacking doesn’t have to be a chore—it can help you stay energized and meet your nutrition goals. By incorporating healthy snacks into your routine, you can avoid overeating later in the day and keep your metabolism revved up all day long! Here are six healthy snacks that you’ll actually want to eat.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts offer many benefits, including a wide array of vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and plenty of protein. They can be eaten as a snack by themselves, chopped and sprinkled on top of yogurt or cereal, used in baked goods, and more. Seeds such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds are also a great way to add more fiber and protein to your diet. Mixing seeds with nuts is a great way to get more flavor from each snack and make them more interesting. Many nuts and seeds are shelled and roasted, so try to find raw versions for the most nutritional benefits. Nuts and seeds also make great additions to salads and other dishes to add a crunchy texture without adding a lot of calories.
Fruit and vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables are low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber snacks that you can eat any time of the day. Try eating a piece of fruit or a bowl of cut-up vegetables as a snack to keep your metabolism running and your belly full until your next meal. It’s also a great way to work more fruits and veggies into your diet if you’re not getting enough meals. If you eat a piece of fruit before or during a meal, it may slow down the rate at which you digest your food and make you feel fuller for a more extended period.
Jerky, made from lean, unprocessed meat, is an excellent choice for a snack, providing plenty of protein and some fiber. When looking for jerky, try to find ones made from 100% meat with no added sugars and preservatives. If you’re not the biggest fan of beef, other types of jerky, including turkey and chicken, are also available. Jerky is high in sodium, so limit how much you eat each day to avoid bloating and water retention. If you’re wondering: ‘how long does beef jerky last?’, have no fear. One of the advantages to buying beef jerky is that it can last up to two years, depending on how you store it, so you can snack on it whenever you want!
Hummus and veggies
Hummus is a great snack that you can eat with raw vegetables or pita chips. It’s made from chickpeas and tahini, a sesame seed paste, so it’s high in fiber and protein. It’s also free of saturated fat, an unhealthy fat found in many types of nuts and seeds. Hummus is easy to make at home, or you can find it in most grocery stores. Add vegetables to your bowl of hummus or dip vegetables in it to get more vitamins and minerals in your diet. Choose low-calorie and low-sodium vegetables, like carrots and cucumbers, to add the most nutritional value to your snack.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and flavonoids, essential for a healthy body. It’s also a good source of caffeine, so it can help increase alertness and focus. However, it’s crucial to choose a brand that’s low in sugar. Dark chocolate is ideal as a snack because it comes in bite-sized pieces that are easy to eat and digest. Limit your portion to a couple of squares to get the most health benefits and reduce caloric intake.