Tired of snacking on carrot sticks and hummus? Here are some snack ideas with real health benefits! If you are a subscriber reading this in an email, click over to my website (www.summermurlin.com) so you can view the Amazon link photos. I am unable to send them by email. This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure.
The thing I love about pistachios is how long it takes to shell and eat them. This keeps me from overeating like I sometimes (all the time) do with other nuts, and I still feel full afterward. Studies show this is true, by the way. It’s not just me. Pistachios have less calories than other nuts, meaning you can eat more per serving. There are 49 nuts in a 160 calorie serving! Also, the fiber in them can keep us feeling full longer than other snacks, which is great for those of us trying to lose or maintain weight. Sounds like quite a snack to me!
They have more potassium and vitamin K than any other nut. They are full of vitamin B-6 and vitamin E. So they’re good for all kinds of things including your skin and hair! They also may help lower your cholesterol. Need any more reasons? I don’t.
2. Almond Butter
With an average serving size of under 200 calories per serving, with 7 grams of protein, and 18 grams of heart healthy fat, almond butter is a filling choice. I’m not trying to sound like a commercial here, really. The reason I like it? I can buy it in these awesome little grab and go individual packs. I love to have them with me so I don’t have to worry if I start to feel grouchy because it’s been too long since my last meal.
The difference between almond butter and peanut butter? Peanuts are technically not a nut, they are a legume, so if you are trying to follow a Paleo lifestyle, they are taboo. Also, almonds have more vitamin E and iron.
Really, though, I like them both. Almond butter just has a different flavor and slightly different texture. Almond butter is great by itself, or on a piece of fruit, a Wasa crisp, some celery, or in a smoothie.
The Justin’s Almond Butter packets are twice as big as the Barney Butter, so they cost about twice as much per packet. They have about 200 calories while the Barney Butter has 90. The Barney Butter has sugar added too, so Justin’s is probably the better choice. They both have fruit palm oil. The Artisana is just almonds, but that one I have not tried!
Olives have always been one of my favorite foods. I’ve literally never met an olive I didn’t like. So, back in the 90’s, I was absolutely devastated when I wasn’t allowed to eat them on all the low-fat/fat-free diets I was always on. Can you imagine? So now, I’m making up for lost time. Olives have officially made a comeback. All of that heart healthy fat in olive oil? Yeah, we know where it comes from. Why not go right to the source?
Olives make a great snack. Their rich flavor makes them difficult to overeat. I don’t even know if they’re a vegetable or not, but they sure seem like a vegetable to me, anyway. Snack away! They are relatively low in calories, and the fat is good fat!
Olives help prevent colon cancer and heart disease. They contain manganese which helps to regulate muscle tone. Olives have a high content of vitamins C and E. The monounsaturated fats in olives helps decrease the amount of fat around the stomach area.
4. Freeze Dried Fruit
The difference between freeze dried fruit and regular dried fruit is freeze dried fruit doesn’t (usually) have added sugar. I still check the label before buying, though. It also has a more satisfying crunch, which dried fruit doesn’t have. Packs like the one below definitely help me control portion sizes. I know fresh fruit is best. But if I’m traveling, or need something that will keep for a while, or just want a nice change up, this is a great, fun option. Try it in a variety pack so you can give all the different options a whirl. Apples, berries, etc.
5. Raw Coconut
We hear so much about coconut oil, let’s not forget where it comes from. The coconut meat is super healthy as well. And it makes a great snack. Containing antioxidants, vitamins potassium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and lauric acid, the meat also has fiber which the oil does not have. It can help with insulin production and with those of us who have low thyroid issues.
I have no desire to crack open a coconut with a hammer and chisel or whatever else one might use for that purpose, but some nice coconut chips or flakes, either by themselves, or tossed with some mixed nuts, make a great snack. It’s really chewy, rich, and satisfying. Make sure you buy unsweetened!
So these are some of my favorite super healthy snacks lately. And as a bonus, here are a few more with which you can make some really great and super healthy beverages!
Raw Cacao Powder
I eat blueberries because they are a super food and full of antioxidants, but I recently found out that cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. It also has the highest plant based source of iron and is a natural anti-depressant. Which we already knew about chocolate, right? It’s always a craving when I’m feeling depressed.
Here is the recipe for my Peppermint Hot Cocoa. Make sure to use almond milk, or another plant based milk, because dairy can block the absorption of iron. By the way, cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk anyway.
Matcha Green Tea
We all know that green tea is good for us, right? Well if green tea is good, Matcha is better. Why? Matcha is the green tea leaves ground into a powder. And since we consume the whole leaf when drinking Matcha, we are consuming all of the health benefits, rather than just whatever steeped into the water during the brewing process. I love the flavor. I love the idea of it. Ever since I watched the Karate Kid II as a kid and Daniel went to Okinawa and had the tea ceremony. Best movie of the 80’s. And yes, that was Matcha.
But it’s not just for Japanese tea ceremonies anymore. Now we know that it’s part of what’s been keeping everyone so healthy over there for so long. Matcha has 10 times the antioxidants of regular tea, and 60 times that of spinach, it has over 100 times the anticancer properties of regular tea. It can lower cholesterol, it contains fiber, it reduces stress, gives us energy, and boosts metabolism.
Matcha can be made into tea, or it can be added to smoothies, yogurt or any other type of food!
What are your favorite healthy snacks or snack recipes? Let me know!
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