Feel like eating a little extra food in between meals, but don't want to feel guilty about it? Try out some of the snack ideas on this list for some guilt free, nutrient dense snacking options!
Popcorn is healthy? Hell yeah it is! Popcorn is a great tasting whole grain snack that is high in fiber, polyphenols (anti-inflammatory), magnesium, and most other vitamins and minerals.
Air popped or stovetop are the best ways to prepare it since you can control what ingredients go into it. Just be careful with what you top it with. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils like popcorn oil and margarine as they contain high amounts of man-made trans fats. Go with butter or coconut oil instead.
2. Dark Chocolate
70-90% dark chocolate is one of the healthiest foods there is, let alone snack food. It contains very high amounts of phytonutrients, flavinoids, fiber, and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. It's good for brain health, skin health, the cardio vascular system, and raises your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
It does, however, contain a decent amount of caffeine though, so be sure not to snack on this before bed.
3. Candied Ginger
This tasty snack has basically the same flavor as ginger ale with a spicy kick.
It's an anti-inflammatory, treats upset stomach and morning sickness, stimulates appetite, reduces muscle soreness, lowers blood sugar, relieves menstrual pain, improves brain function, prevents certain types of cancer, is good for your teeth, provides a good environment for healthy gut bacteria, and lowers cholesterol.
There's a good reason why ginger has been used as a medicine by east Asians for thousands of years.
Peanuts and cashews have been dragged through the mud during the fat crusades of the 1970s and 80s, but they're actually very good for you.
They're high in omega 6 fats, are a great source of protein, and are high in many B vitamins and minerals. Try to pay attention to how many you're eating though, as the calories can add up fast. Fortunately, the calories are mostly fat which has been proven to satiate you more than other nutrients, making you feel fuller for longer.
Anyone who has been through grade school knows that fruits are a healthy snack. High in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients, you just can't go wrong with snacking on fruit.
Of course fruits are high in fructose, so enjoy them in moderation and try to find ones that are higher in fiber content to help cancel out the sugar.
Beef, venison, ostrich, take your pick. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, minerals, B vitamins, and they're low in carbs.
Jerky is a great way to get high quality protein either as a snack or on the go. Pick up a food dehydrator to make your own for cheap!
Made from combining mashed chick peas, sesame tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a little salt and pepper, hummus is a nutritional powerhouse. Originating in the middle east, this healthy snack has been enjoyed since the Egyptians started eating it in the 13th century. It is now a go to snack for healthy people and hipsters, and for good reason.
Hummus is a great source of vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals; and have a nice spread of macro-nutrients, coming in at 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of unsaturated fat, 2 grams of net carbs and 2 grams of fiber in one serving.
Goes great with pita bread, crackers, tortilla chips, or pork rinds.
9. Greek Yogurt
A very healthy snack packed full of protein and fat. Greek Yogurt is probiotic, meaning it contains a ton of healthy bacteria to feed your gut.
I recommend buying it plain to avoid taking in a ton of processed sugar. Activia, for example contains about 14 grams of processed sugar, meaning that while you may be adding good bacteria to your gut, you're also fueling the bad bacteria at the same time.
Add some blueberries or cinnamon to it for some extra flavor and little extra nutritional kick.
10. Black Bean Chips
Tortilla chips made from black beans may sound gross, but they're surprisingly delicious!
High in protein and dietary fiber as well as Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, Folate and Iron, these chips are ideal for a healthy lifestyle. The carbohydrates are also low glycemic, meaning that your blood sugar won't spike like crazy after eating these, unlike corn or potato based chips.
So that's it. Try out some of these and let me know what you think!