Healthy Snacks | Our bodies crave and need healthy and satisfying snacks to keep energy levels high, especially if we’re doing more exercise than we’re used to.
And many of us are exercising a lot more these days, with less social events to go to, our leisure time often revolves around getting outside and moving our bodies. I know this applies to me, as I’ve started taking long bicycle rides—anywhere from 20-40 miles most days. I’m always looking to upgrade my snacking routine while on the road. But, what to eat?
These days, most of us are working to lose weight. We all want to lose those excess pounds, but we also want to snack. Which means we want to figure out which snacks will help us do that because some snacks can actually help us lose weight. As long as we focus on snacks with plenty of protein and other nutrients, we can promote healthy and sustainable weight loss while keeping our blood sugar levels balanced and our taste buds satisfied.
Let’s take a look at 5 healthy and satisfying snacks that will keep us going throughout the day. They’re all super healthy, and easy to prepare. In fact, none of them require any preparation at all. And many of them do so much more than support our weight loss efforts. Many of these snacks help promote heart health and even help prevent cancer.
Sound intriguing? Read on!
Apples and almond butter
This is probably my all-time favorite snack. It’s the one I eat the most, anyway. Apples are full of fiber, an essential weight-loss nutrient, and almond butter is ripe with protein, another major weight loss macronutrient. When enjoyed together, apples and almond butter make for a truly healthy and satisfying snack. They’re also a great breakfast combo if you need to eat on the go.
Even studies show just how healthy apples are. Studies like this one, published in the journal Nutrients, show how apples are really good for our gut microbiome. As we now know, the health of our gut is necessary for a healthy immune system. The study also shows how apples are really good for our cardiovascular health, yet another boon. When it comes to a healthy snack, you really can’t go wrong with apples.
Then there’s the almond butter part of the equation. Almond butter is an incredible weight loss snack because it’s a healthy fat, as well as a great source of protein. Protein-rich foods, and foods full of healthy fats, are both keys to losing weight. This makes eating apples with almond butter one of the most healthy and satisfying snacks you could possibly eat. The only caveat is this: don’t go crazy with the almond butter. It’s far too easy to eat out of the jar and get carried away. A tablespoonful or two is all you need.
Almonds with dark chocolate
This is probably my all-around favorite dessert combination. Lucky for us, it’s also a healthy and satisfying snack. Almonds are high in protein, while dark chocolate is a healthy fat. As you know, this makes for an effective weight loss treat. What’s more, dark chocolate contains flavanols. Flavanols are believed to promote heart health by lowering blood pressure and even reducing your risk of heart disease. Look for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. This is where the chocolate actually gets healthy.
A dark chocolate bar with 70-85% cacao contains ample amounts of fiber, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. Just make sure you don’t eat too much dark chocolate at night. Dark chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two stimulants that will likely prevent a good night of sleep.
Both almonds and dark chocolate are rich in magnesium, a nutrient that’s part of so many functions of the body. Magnesium is a part of every, single cell in the body. As such, we want to make sure we eat foods that contain a fair amount of this essential nutrient. Almonds are also beneficial for the heart, as they contain monounsaturated fat.
Almonds are a weight-loss snack, too. Studies show that almonds reduce cravings, balance blood sugar, and even decrease appetite. If you want to check out the science, take a look at this study, published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, as well as this one, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The more you read up on almonds, the more you’ll want to eat more of them!