Do you ever get that mid-afternoon lull where you just need a little sustenance to boost your energy and get you through your day? I definitely experience this when I’m busy, running around, and exerting energy throughout my day. When 3 or 4 pm rolls around, my blood sugar is low, and I need a boost. So often we opt for a latte, candy bar, chips or cookies. These snacks will definitely boost your energy due to the caffeine and sugar, but that boost won’t last long, and it will provide an unhealthy spike in your blood sugar. An alternative to this vicious snack cycle is to find some healthy snack options that will stabilize blood sugar over a longer period of time, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks.
1. Apple with Almond Butter
This is probably my favorite snack. You get the sweetness and juiciness of an apple with the creaminess of the almond butter. Plus you are getting healthy fats and proteins from the almonds. Almonds are loaded with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. They are proven to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease. Apples contain polyphenols that help regulate blood sugar. Plus, apples are a good source of fiber.
2. Protein Shake
There are many different ways to make a protein shake, but I’ll tell you how I make one that is healthy and filling. I use fresh or frozen blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, protein powder (make sure it’s low glycemic) and coconut oil. Blend it all together and you’ve got a delicious, afternoon beverage. Berries are an excellent fruit choice because they are packed full of antioxidants and are low on the glycemic index. Coconut oil is a great addition to a smoothie because it provides healthy fat to keep you fuller longer. Coconut oil actually promotes weight loss, improves digestion, and reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. This powerful oil has antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
3. Hummus and Veggies
Hummus and veggies are a great snack to have at your desk or on the go. Just slice your favorite veggies such as carrots, jicama, celery, brocolli and enjoy! Hummus is a tasty dip made from chickpeas, olive oil, and tahini. The chickpeas in hummus are a good source of fiber, which promotes heart health. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels for diabetics. Hummus contains many other vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, zinc and magnesium. Pair that with some fresh veggies, and you are getting a healthy, vitamin-filled snack!
4. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are such an easy, healthy, and filling option. You can make your own version of trail mix with your favorite varieties such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids. They help lower LDL and increase HDL, which makes them a heart-healthy snack. I recommend buying the raw version rather than the roasted version to ensure more nutrients.
5. Green Smoothie
A green smoothie is a delicious way to eat your veggies. Combine some leafy greens such as spinach or kale, an apple, cucumber and maybe some stevia. Blend together, and drink your greens. Fresh greens are packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus. They are also high in vitamins A, C, E, and K. Greens are loaded with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and other micronutrients and healthy phytochemicals. Benefits of consuming greens are cancer prevention, healthy immune system, improved digestion, and increased energy. You’ll love the way you feel!
Now that you have some healthy, delicious snack ideas, give them a try over the next week, and discover what you like best. I can promise you will feel more energetic, alert, and focused!
What is your favorite healthy snack? I would love to hear back from you!