Six Snacks That Satisfy… Without the Guilt
You probably know the feeling. It’s a couple of hours before dinnertime, but you’re hungry. You could grab a bag of chips or a candy bar to hold you over. But those empty calories usually come with a side order of guilt.
But your snacking doesn’t have to leave you feeling guilty. Here are six snacks that will satisfy your cravings – and help boost your health at the same time. All without guilt.
Nothing beats hunger like protein. That’s why an ounce or so of nuts or seeds is so satisfying. Two of my favorites are almonds and pumpkin seeds.
Almonds are a good source of protein, vitamin E, copper and magnesium… and an excellent source of manganese, another essential mineral. Plus, they’re fairly high in fiber, which helps fill you up and promotes colon health.
Almonds are high in fat, but they’re healthy fats. In fact, studies show that almonds actually promote healthier cholesterol levels.1
Pumpkin seeds are even higher in protein than almonds – by about 50%. They’re a good source of zinc, copper and hard-to-find vitamin K, too. Pumpkin seeds are a mineral bonanza, with high amounts of iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
As a bonus, both almonds and pumpkin seeds are high in amino acids, essential for building muscle and other tissue.
If you’re watching calories, nuts and seeds are heavyweights – so go light. Stick with an ounce or so. Or try one of these satisfying fruit options.
A full cup of blueberries will satisfy almost any sweet tooth, but has only 84 calories. They’re also high in fiber, vitamin C and manganese.
But blueberries really shine when it comes to antioxidant power. They’re packed with plant pigments called anthocyanins that are high in antioxidant activity. Blueberries are also a good source of quercetin, which promotes heart health.2
For something different, try kiwi fruit. They’re sweet, taste a bit like a cross between strawberries and melon, and have more vitamin C than an orange. In fact, one medium kiwi (without the skin) delivers 117% of your daily vitamin C.
Even better, kiwi fruit is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two plant pigments that support eye health.3
Want something a little less sweet? Try bell peppers. Both the green and red varieties are satisfying and pack a real nutritional wallop.
If you think kiwi is high in vitamin C, check out peppers. A cup of green pepper has double your daily vitamin C. And red bell peppers have almost 50% more than that! They’re also a good source of vitamin B6, and have small amounts of a wide range of other vitamins and minerals.
Green peppers are a decent source of vitamin A – with about 11% of the DV (Daily Value) per cup. But a cup of red peppers delivers an amazing 104%.
Red peppers have another bonus, too. They’re rich in the nutrient lycopene, which supports heart health. Studies show lycopene helps fight free radical damage and promotes flexible arteries.4
So the next time you’re feeling hungry for a snack, consider one of these options. They’ll satisfy your craving – and can help boost your health at the same time.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Jenkins DJA, et al. Dose Response of Almonds on Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors: Blood Lipids, Oxidized Low-Density Lipoproteins, Lipoprotein(a), Homocysteine, and Pulmonary Nitric Oxide. Circulation. 2002;106:1327 – 1332.
2 Egert S, et al. Quercetin reduces systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidised low-density lipoprotein concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-cardiovascular disease risk phenotype: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Br J Nutr. 2009 Oct;102(7):1065-74. Epub 2009 Apr 30.
3 See http://www.aoa.org/x4732.xml.
4 Kim OY, et al. Independent inverse relationship between serum lycopene concentration and arterial stiffness. Atherosclerosis. 2010 Feb;208(2):581-6. Epub 2009 Aug 13.