Do you feel like you need to get your snacks on track? Here are some valuable pointers for healthy snacking. Experts advise you to go in for small portions with a natural physical boundary such as small yogurt or banana. Be mindful when you’re drinking snacks such as smoothies.
Make a plan of when you’re going to snack; this helps to avoid grazing all day. Every 3 to 4 hours is an excellent guide. A protein packed snack will keep your tummy happy and filled for extended periods of time. Keep the snacking ingredients simple. Snacking on whole food keeps portions and calories reasonable. Listed below are ten snacks that are under 100 calories, filling and are nutritious.
Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream
Tutorial: Joanna Soh
- 50g sliced bananas
- 150g strawberries
- 200g Greek yogurt/plain yogurt
- 1 tsp goji berries
- Blend all ingredients until thick and smooth.
- Place the mixture into six Popsicle molds.
- Freeze them and enjoy.
Bananas are good sources of fiber, especially pectin. Pectin helps to moderate blood sugar levels after meals, and it reduces appetite by slowing stomach emptying. Banana is a rich dietary source of potassium and boosts your heart health and kidney function.
Vitamin C present in fruits is an immunity booster and a fast working antioxidant. This vitamin protects your eye health by strengthening cornea and retina. Strawberries contain ellagic acid which fights cancer. Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen and keeps wrinkles at bay.
Greek yogurt is an excellent way to boost your protein levels. It is packed with probiotics which are particularly useful for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. The vitamin B12 present in Greek yogurt is essential for healthy brain function. It is rich in potassium and low in sodium. Greek yogurt is chock full of iodine which keeps your weight in check. The high calcium content helps in body’s cortisol output and keeps you fit.
Goji berries improve immune function and fight cancer. It promotes healthy skin and protects your eye health. It detoxifies your liver and increases your energy levels.
- 1 cup raw spinach
- One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup diced watermelon
- In a bowl add the spinach and top it with watermelon cubes and balsamic vinegar.
Watermelons contain high levels of lycopene which protect your cells from damage. It may also reduce the risk of heart diseases. The fruit’s concentration of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart.
Lycopene neutralizes free radicals and is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes. The water content of the watermelon helps you stay hydrated, and its juice is full of useful electrolytes. A cup of watermelon contains one-quarter of your daily RDA. The Vitamin A present in watermelon keeps your skin and hair moisturized. Watermelon prevents muscle soreness, reduces cancer risk and helps improve blood circulation.
Spinach contains alpha-linoleic acid which helps in diabetes management. It also reduces peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. Spinach contains chlorophyll which is effective at blocking heterocyclic amines and prevents cancer.
Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene which helps to prevent asthma. It has high levels of potassium which helps to lower high blood pressure. Spinach promotes bone health and prevents constipation. It is rich in vitamin A and is necessary for all body tissues including skin and hair. Spinach is rich in iron and helps to prevent hair loss.
The balsamic vinegar which is made from grapes has a rich taste. It is low in calories and gives you the flavor punch with less fat, than if you’d have used an oil based salad dressing. Researchers found that balsamic vinegar reduced the hardening of arteries because it lowers and stabilizes blood pressure levels. The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar limit the ability of LDL cholesterol to oxidize and boosts your heart health. Know more about balsamic vinegar and GERD here.
Kiwi Coconut Sprinkles
- One large kiwi
- One tablespoon shredded coconut
- Slice one large kiwi and top it with unsweetened shredded coconut.
Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C and collagen the skin’s support system is dependent on vitamin C. Kiwi consumption promotes healthy sleep: it improves sleep onset, duration, and efficiency.
Kiwi has mild laxative properties and relieves constipation. Because of their high potassium content kiwis may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. The fiber and potassium in kiwis support your heart health. High potassium intakes are linked with a reduced risk of stroke and kidney stones. It protects against the reduction of muscle mass and preservation of bone mineral density.
Coconut supplies an impressive 61% dietary fiber. Your body cannot digest the dietary fiber in coconut so it won’t add up calories and it has no effect on blood sugar. The fiber gives you the bulk and prevents constipation. Coconut meat contains medium chain triglycerides which are transported from intestinal tract to liver and immediately transformed into fuel. Thus coconut gives you a quick boost of energy.
- Corn tortillas- 2
- Ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese
- Sprinkle an ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese over corn tortilla
- Fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds.
Low fat cheddar cheese
The proteins present in cheddar cheese are complete proteins and provides you all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Protein is very filling and helps you snack less. Cheese contains ruminant trans fats which have health benefits when consumed in reasonable amounts.
Cheese is among the richest sources of calcium which promote bone health. Vitamin B12 present in cheese is essential for nervous function. Cheese is an excellent source of selenium, zinc, riboflavin and vitamin A which are necessary for various bodily functions. It is a good source of vitamin K2 also called menaquinone. This nutrient is important for heart and bone health.
Thanks to the fiber content of the corn tortillas. Fiber absorbs water and prevents excessively hard stool that can contribute to constipation. Corn tortillas are good sources of phosphorus. Phosphorous is essential for healthy bone tissue, acts as a chemical buffer to control the acidity of your blood and supports red blood cell function. Corn tortillas are also sources of copper and manganese which are essential for enzyme function.
Baked Cinnamon Apples
- 4 Medium Apples
- One tsp nutmeg
- One tablespoon cinnamon
- Two tablespoons Splenda or Stevia
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Slice apples into thin slices. Place them in 9×9 baking dish.
- Sprinkle some nutmeg, cinnamon, Splenda or Stevia.
- Make sure that all the apples are properly coated.
- Place ¼ inch of water in the dish.
- Bake the apples uncovered for 30 minutes.
Apples contain quercetin which helps to reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Research studies say that apple consumption increases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which improves memory. Apple increases your neurological health and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The other benefits of eating apples include lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, reduces your risk of stroke and diabetes, wards off breast cancer and fights obesity.
Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde a chemical that fights bacterial and fungal infections. Cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It may stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis. It lowers the adverse effects of high-fat meals.
Cantaloupe Veggie Smoothie
- 11/2 cups water
- 2 cups cantaloupe diced
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- ½ banana
- Two carrots halved
- 1 tomato
- 1 tbsp. agave nectar or honey
- Add all the ingredients into a blender.
- Blend at Medium-High speed for 50-60 seconds.
- Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.
Scientists have found that eating cantaloupes can lower your risk of metabolic syndrome. The nutrient diversity in fruit boosts your overall health quotient. The antioxidant zeaxanthin present in cantaloupe wards off macular degeneration.
Harvard scientists say that diets rich in beta-carotene play a protective role against prostate cancer. Cantaloupe maintains a healthy digestive tract and prevents constipation because it is rich in fiber and moisture.
Pineapple contains bromelain which reduces excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of blood and certain types of tumor growth. Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of thiamin. These minerals boost your energy production and antioxidant defenses.
Smoked Salmon Pinwheel
- One tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
- One slice of smoked salmon
- Spread the cream cheese onto the smoked salmon and roll it up.
- If you use a ½ tablespoon of cream cheese, you can have two salmon pinwheels.
Salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein. Protein is an essential component of cells, tissues, hormones, enzymes and every other body parts. Salmon contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids which reduce cholesterol and improves cardiovascular health. The omega 3 fatty acids enhance your brain function and increase your memory.
Crunchy Cut Vegetables with Low-fat Ranch Dressing
Source: Everyday Health
- Chopped broccoli 1 cup
- Chopped Celery 1 cup
- Sliced Bell peppers- 1 cup
- Mix the chopped broccoli, celery and bell peppers in a bowl and enjoy with low-fat ranch dressing.
Ranch dressing recipe
- ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
- ¼ cup reduced fat mayonnaise
- ¾ cups buttermilk
- One tablespoon freshly chopped chives
- Two teaspoons parsley fresh chopped
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp powdered black pepper
- Mix all the above ingredients and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Many research studies have found that consumption of plant foods like broccoli decreases the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and overall mortality. Broccoli promotes a healthy complexion and lowers weight gain.
Celery helps to lower high cholesterol. It reduces inflammation and prevents and treats high blood pressure. Celery boosts digestion. It reduces bloating and protects your liver health.
Lutein and zeaxanthin present in bell peppers promote your eye health. Bell peppers are a decent source of iron and vitamin C. Iron prevents anemia, and Vitamin C increases your iron absorption.
Tofu Lettuce Wrap
- Ginger, garlic, spring onions, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, chopped tofu, lemon juice, soy sauce and dry red chili flakes go into its making.
- Sauté the ginger, garlic and spring onions on medium flame, until the onions turn translucent. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots and sauté for three more minutes.
- Add the bean sprouts, lemon juice, soy sauce, and red chili flakes for a minute and keep it aside.
- Place a lettuce leaf on a clean plate and keep a portion of the stuffing. Add ½ tsp of peanuts and 1/2 tsp of basil over the stuffing, roll the lettuce leaves and secure with a toothpick. You can also tie it using a spring green onion.
Tofu is low calorie and naturally gluten free. It is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and iron and contains no cholesterol. Tofu decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate, and breast cancer.
Lettuce lowers your cholesterol levels, offers cancer protection, induces sleep, reduces inflammation, protects neurons, controls anxiety and provides a supply of antioxidants.
Dark chocolate chips
If you have a sweet tooth, you can treat yourself to ¼ cup of 70-80% of dark chocolate chips. A ¼ cup may have about 70 calories. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa contains 67% of RDA for iron, 89% of RDA for copper, and 98% of RDA for manganese and 11 grams of fiber.
Dark chocolate is a potent source of antioxidants. It may improve blood flow and lowers blood pressure. It raises HDL levels and protects LDL against oxidation. Dark chocolate may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It may improve your brain function and protects your skin from sun-induced damage.
Psychological aspects do play a part in your snacking habits. Researchers conducted a study on snacking behavior at Google’s New York office. They found an extra few feet distance between beverages and snacks reduced the number of snacking frequency.
In another study, the investigators found that cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress. These cluttered kitchens can lead you to grab more of the indulgent snacks. Cleaned up kitchens do contribute in their way to your weight loss efforts.
Do you snack when you’re stressed? Kindly share with us your experiences and don’t forget to try our healthy snack recipes.