Healthy Snacks to Stave Off Hunger
By Paul Rothbart
Three meals a day often doesn't seem enough to fully curb hunger. Especially on those busy days where you burn extra energy. Snacks are frequently desired and sometimes necessary. The problem is many snacks are heavy in calories and light on nutrition. This will do nothing to improve health. Fortunately, this is an easily remedied problem. It's a simple matter of choosing snacks consisting of healthy foods. To make it even easier, here are some healthy foods to try.
Nuts make a great snack. There are a wide variety of nuts that have different sizes and flavors. They are very portable. A small bag fits right into a pocket. They also require no refrigeration. Mixed nuts are low in calories if eaten in moderation and are very nutritious and extremely healthy. Research has linked them to a lower risk of heart disease, depression, and they may help prevent certain cancers. Some studies have found that they may be helpful in losing weight. Nuts also contain protein and fiber, both essential to good health.
Red Peppers and Guacamole
Red bell peppers are a delicious snack with lots of health benefits. The red variant is high in the antioxidants, beta carotene, capsanthin, and quercetin. A large red pepper also contains 300 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. These nutrients fight free radicals that damage cells and can cause chronic disease. The avocado content of guacamole provides fiber and healthy fats. Three ounces of guacamole paired with a large red pepper provides all of this nutrition with less than 200 calories. It's also a filling snack.
Mixed Berries With Plain Greek Yogurt
Flavored yogurts tend to contain sugar which adds unnecessary calories. Plain Greek yogurt is low in calories but high in protein and helpful bacteria. Adding berries gives it a sweet flavor while also providing antioxidants that help prevent disease. By using a mixture of berries, you increase the number of antioxidants in the snack. Adding a half cup of berries to 3.5 ounces of Greek yogurt creates a delicious snack with less than 150 calories.
Peanut Butter and Apple
Spreading peanut butter on apple slices creates a very tasty snack. The fiber and polyphenols in the apple reduce the risk of heart disease and are very good for gut health. Peanut butter has been shown to increase good cholesterol while reducing bad and thus is also good for heart health. A medium apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter has less than 200 calories.
While snacking between meals is often discouraged, healthy snacks provide nutrition while satisfying cravings. Try preparing some of these snacks to have handy the next time you can't quite make it to the next meal.
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