The 9 Best Healthy Snacks You Could Eat, According To A Dietitian
The afternoon slump is different when you’re working from home and can just walk straight to the kitchen and feast on whatever you can grab from the fridge or pantry. That’s why you need to arm yourself with the right healthy snacks to ensure when that snackish slump hits, you’re ready to combat it.
We asked registered dietitian Monique Piderit for some healthy snacks you can have on hand that will actually benefit your body. Here are 9 healthy snacks that will curb your cravings and taste damn delicious, too:
Snack 1: Fruit
Good old fashion fresh fruit is the ultimate, low energy snack needing little (if any) prep. Aim for 2 – 3 servings of fruit per day. One serving is the same as 1 small banana, 2/4 cup berries, 1 apple, 1 cup fruit salad, 10 medium strawberries, 2 naartjies.
Think that seems like a lot compared to what you’re getting in? Scientists found that the greatest health benefit comes when people eat 10 (yes, ten!) servings of fruit and vegetables a day which equates to around 800 grams.
Snack 2: Egg Muffins
Eggs are a great, affordable source of high quality protein. But beyond their gym-friendly benefits, eggs also contain vitamin b12, biotin, vitamin D and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body as well as fight oxidative stress.
Scramble 8 – 10 eggs with diced veg (e.g. carrot, red onion, baby marrow, spinach, mushrooms). Sprinkle with black pepper and pour in a muffin pan. Bake until set. They will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Prepare ahead of time for an easy grab ‘n go snack during the week.
Snack 3: Yoghurt
The health benefits of yoghurt are endless. The benefits range from aiding digestion and enhancing healthy gut bacteria to protecting you against osteoporosis and relieving IBS, depending on the type of yoghurt your eat. Start with plain yoghurt. Add flavour to plain yoghurt with a dash of cocoa powder or cinnamon, or blend in some dates and banana for a sweet treat. That said, even a sweetened yoghurt is low in energy and a great snack option if you consider not much more than 1tsp of sugar in a serving.
Snack 4: Roasted Chickpeas
With the growing trend of plant-based eating, roasting chickpeas for a snack is great snack for vegans, vegetarians and even meat lovers. Plus, if you’re looking to drop a few kilos, chickpeas are known to increase satiety and help with weight loss.
Mix chickpeas (tinned or cooked from raw) with a bit of olive oil and spices like black pepper, cumin, paprika, and even cayenne pepper/chilli for a spicy version. Spread over a large roasting pan and roast until dried. Portions are about a handful (30g) at a time.
Snack 5: Hummus and Finger Vegetables
Hummus is a great dip for when you’re having a braai or the game is on. But thanks to its high fibre content, it’s great for your gut, too. Use 2 Tbsp of hummus as a dip for assorted finger vegetables like sliced carrots, cucumber slices, baby corn, mange tout or snap peas. They’re also great for when you’re sitting on the couch watching all the Esports currently going down.
Snack 6: Peanut Butter and Banana
A quick spoonful of peanut butter can work wonders when you’re a little peckish and it’s a great source of heart healthy fats and minerals, too.. Try find sugar and salt free options such as those available from Black Cat, Yum Yum and Woolworths. Spread over a peeled banana or use as a dip with apple wedges.
Snack 7: Homemade Popcorn
Corn is wholegrain making popcorn a great high fibre snack. 1 ½ cups of popped popcorn is a good portion for most. Add a savoury or sweet variety with a sprinkle of black pepper or cinnamon, respectively.
Snack 8: Homemade Trail Mix
Make a DIY trail mix with dried fruit (e.g. cranberries, goji berries), pretzels, biltong, and assorted nuts and seeds (30g portions). A trail mix is a great way to get tons of health benefits in one mouthful. For example, cranberries have been linked to improved immune function while biltong is a great source of vitamin b12 which helps with muscle maintenance.
Snack 9: Pretzels
With about one fifth of the fat in crisps, pretzels are a low kJ replacement when you are craving a savoury snack. Try choose the unsalted options. Because they are mostly made of refined flour you should try to pair them with something that has protein, like nut butters.