We’ve all been there. Its 3 pm and the munchies kick in. You end up getting the easiest thing in your kitchen. Even though it’s okay to overindulge on occasion, there are much healthier snack choices that can be made at home.
Popcorn is a low-carbohydrate low-calorie food that can serve as a snack alternative to potato chips. There are plenty of ways to make it at home. I prefer using a Whirly Pop popcorn maker. It will pop corn without any added oil on your stove top. If you prefer using a little oil coconut oil makes for a healthy choice. Just add a small amount of oil to your Whirly Pop. Be watchful if you choose microwave popcorn options from the grocery. Some of these add lots of butter and calories to the popcorn.
According to the American Chemical Society popcorn contains more antioxidant polyphenols than many fruits and vegetables.
You can add spices to your popcorn to up your flavor profile.
2. Stuffed Avocado
A study from the Illinois Institute of Technology found that substituting refined carbs for fresh avocado significantly suppresses hunger and increases meal satisfaction.
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats and contain vitamins C, E, and K. After cooking your dish, top it with crumbled feta, chopped cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and fresh herbs.
3. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
According to research by Northern Arizona University, dark chocolate improves your attention. Cocoa contains antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants help to prevent oxidative stress.
Some benefits of almonds include that they are a good source of healthy fat and nutrients such as selenium, zinc, and magnesium. They are also a good source of fiber. This is a power snack!
4. Cucumber Slices and Hummus
Cucumber is a good source of nutrients, including vitamin K for bone health. Most of the cucumber is water, which can help to keep you hydrated.
Chickpeas and tahini are also quality sources of minerals. Hummus can help fight inflammation due to the olive oil it contains, and it is also a good source of protein from plants.
5. Pear and Ricotta Cheese
Pears are highly effective in fighting inflammation due to their high concentration of polyphenol and flavonoid antioxidants.
Ricotta cheese is a great pairing because it contains 14 grams of protein and 25% of your daily calcium needs in each 80 gram serving.
6. Homemade Guacamole
It only takes a few ingredients to whip up a batch of nutritious guacamole.
Mash your avocado, squeeze lime juice over, mix with chopped tomatoes, chopped onion and a little fresh chopped cilantro. There you have it. Avocados are full of healthy fats that are good for your health.
7. Mixed Nuts
Research finds that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. This study included all types of tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, as well as peanuts, which are technically legumes.
If you want to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, aim to eat at least 20 grams of nuts every day.
8. Greek Yogurt with Flaxseed
Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium for maintaining bone health and that it also contains probiotics for keeping a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Flaxseed is high in omega 3 and polyphenols and is also a good source of fiber for the digestive tract. Flaxseed was found to improve metabolic health and protect against obesity by the American Physiological Society.
9. Chia Pudding with Cinnamon
Chia seeds are small but full of nutrients that are good for bones, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. They also contain satiating soluble fiber.
You can improve the taste of your chia pudding by adding cinnamon on top. Cinnamon also has health benefits including being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial.
10. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Apples can be referred to as the “body’s broom” because the cleansing effect of apple fiber. But apples go beyond just cleansing and are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Apples can boost brain health. The antioxidant quercetin found in apples helps brain neurons survive and function.
Apples help you fight infections. Apple pulp and skin have been shown to destroy some viruses.
Apples are loaded with fiber. Fiber not only makes your digestion/elimination system work well it also helps keep you feeling full so you don’t overeat. This can benefit managing your weight.
The peanuts in peanut butter make it a food that is 25 percent protein and high in healthy fats. The fats, specifically oleic acid, help to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
If your apples are starting to go soft you can bake your apples for a delicious snack. Core your apple, top with oats, nuts and cinnamon, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so. The antioxidants present in oats, known as avenanthramides, may help to lower blood pressure.
11. Hard Boiled Eggs
It is easy to boil up a batch of hard boiled eggs. This is a great way to get your protein on the go and low in calories. To hard boil eggs: Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water at least 1 inch above the eggs. Rapidly bring to a boil. When water boils, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook eggs for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool immediately in cold water and ice. Once cool peel and eat.
Keep these on hand for the whole family to eat as a quick nutritious snack.
12. Olives and Cheese
Olives are high in disease-preventing phytonutrients. They are also a good source of beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium. They’re mainly composed of water, but contain 15 to 20% monounsaturated fat. They’re also rich in vitamin E.
Cheese contains a lot of healthy fats, calcium, and protein, and also has high levels of vitamin A and B12.
13. Celery and Cream Cheese
Eating fiber-rich foods like celery not only makes you feel physically full, but also helps to produce hunger-suppressing short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate in the gut. Pairing this with cream cheese will give you a filling protein option that is low in calories.
If you are not a fan of cream cheese try peanut butter. This will give you the fiber of celery with the protein found in peanut butter.
14. Raw Vegetable Crudités
You can increase the amount of vegetables you eat per day by eating raw vegetables. You can cut up celery, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower into small pieces so you can eat them throughout the day.
This type of snack is satisfying because you have to chew it. Choose this over a bag of crunchy chips.
To make the dish more flavorful, grate lime zest over the veggies, sprinkle with chili flakes and flaked salt, then squeeze the juice of a lime over the top.
15. Tuna Rice Cakes
To make this dish, you will need to mix tuna with Greek yogurt and spread it over a rice cake. To finish it off, add a squeeze of lemon. Tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the body, while yogurt is packed with probiotics.
Foods that are rich in probiotics have been shown to have positive effects on hormones that help to suppress hunger.
16. Goji Berry Trail Mix
A trail mix that includes goji berries, almonds, and walnuts would be sweet and satisfying.
The researchers at Universidade do Oeste de Santa Catarina found that eating just 14g of goji berries every day for six weeks shrinks your waist by several centimeters, improves your cholesterol levels, and cranks up the concentration of antioxidants in your blood.
Eating 14g of goji berries every day for six weeks can improve your cholesterol and increase the antioxidants in your blood.
17. Melon and Parma Ham
Tis the season to enjoy these two refreshing fruits! Now is the time to enjoy honeydew melon and cantaloupe because they are rich in nutrients that are good for bones and cell health.
High water content foods take longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer. Cut up the fruit and serve it with Parma ham for a salty-sweet snack.
18. Banana with Cottage Cheese
Simply mix together a dollop of cottage cheese, a banana and a sprinkle of granola to create your own delicious sundae.
Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, which helps your body to use energy from protein and carbohydrates, while cottage cheese is packed with probiotic cultures which are good for your gut. Top with cacao nibs and a squeeze of honey.
19. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in phytosterols and oleic acid, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, improve heart health, and reduce inflammation.
READ MORE: 10 Simple Tips To Eating Healthy