A healthy diet is one that is diverse and nutritious. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be hard to coordinate when you’re constantly on-the-go. Sometimes, we’re better off keeping our big meals simple so we’re not as tempted to get in line at the local fast-food drive-thru. Luckily, healthy snacking coupled with frequent hydration can curb our hunger between meals while giving us a more varied source of nutrients. However, even our snacking and beverage options can slowly descend into unhealthy territory if we’re not careful.
It’s best to have snacking staples on hand that you know you’ll love so you’re not so tempted to hit up that break room vending machine any time hunger gets the best of you. And it’s no secret that staying well-hydrated will help you feel more satisfied between meals, so make sure you’re drinking something healthy with your snacks. With that said, here are some healthy snack options to keep you feeling balanced and satisfied all day. As with any food product, always look at the nutrition label and ingredients. And check with your health provider for advice on what foods are recommended for your specific needs.
Kale has had a long reign as the go-to superfood and it’s not by accident. Kale is full of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and iron among other things. However, eating a bowl of kale salad at your desk or on the run can be cumbersome if not a little tiresome. Kale chips are a great way to get your greens while eating something that’s satisfyingly crunchy. Best of all, you can find kale chips at most supermarkets or even make your own at home. You may find that you’re addicted to the crunch of a potato chip and that kale chips are a suitable (and healthy) way to feed that urge.
Edamame (Soy Beans)
Your primary exposure to edamame may have been as an appetizer at your local Japanese restaurant, but you may be surprised to find that edamame is easy to prepare at home. Edamame is simply unshelled soybeans. You can find them fresh or frozen at most grocery stores. Edamame is protein-packed and full of riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, and iron. Blanch them in salted water, throw them in a container, and bring them with you as a healthy, slightly salty snack to keep you occupied between meals.
Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Chickpeas are of the legume family and are packed full of nutrients. Most of all, they’re extremely versatile in the many ways they can be prepared. One under-appreciated method is in slow roasting. Toss chickpeas with olive oil and your favorite spices and layer them evenly on a baking sheet. Roast them at 350 degrees, stirring frequently, until they’re brown and crunchy. When roasted, chickpeas become a great way to mitigate your munchies while eating something full of potassium, protein, and iron. You can also find crunchy chickpeas at many grocery stores!
Trail mix can be a healthy way to snack as long as you’re picking the right option. Trail mix and those little candy-coated morsels inscribed with letters of the alphabet may be ubiquitous counterparts but there are many healthier varieties out there. Find a variety full of nuts and dried fruit and you’ll have a protein-packaged pick-me-up to snack on when the urge arises. Just remember that nuts are a dense form of calories but contain healthy fats and protein, so they’re better snack choices than processed options.
Popcorn can have a poor reputation due to its proclivity for butter and salt. But there are plenty of ways to prepare popcorn that can satisfy you without adding unnecessary calories to your diet. Plain or lightly salted popcorn is low-calorie and full of fiber. It’s so packed with fiber that it will fill you up and keep you satisfied. Just make sure the popcorn you’re eating is prepared without the butter, sugar, or additional flavorings that give it its bad reputation.
Rice cakes can refer to a few different types of foods. But the most snackable variety is made using puffed rice. Rice cakes can be eaten plain or come in a variety of flavors. However, bear in the mind that certain flavors may have unhealthy amounts of sugar, depending on the brand. But think of a plain rice cake as a blank canvas—top it with sliced fruit and honey, sliced avocado, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Because rice cakes only consist of puffed rice, they offer the same benefits that plain rice would offer you—low sugar, and low fat.
One of the chickpea’s most popular preparations is in hummus. Long a staple in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, hummus has emerged in the West in the last decade as a highly adaptable superfood. While hummus recipes can vary greatly, traditional hummus is mostly chickpea and tahini (ground sesame seeds). Hummus is a great source of iron, protein, fiber, and potassium. It’s a great snack to add to your arsenal, as it provides so many of the vital nutrients you need day-to-day. Eat it with low-calorie chips or enjoy it with fresh veggies for a truly healthy snack.
Sweet Potato Chips
Think of the sweet potato chip as the healthier cousin to the plain potato chip. While sweet potatoes aren’t any lower in calories than the basic russet potato, they’re packed with more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Buy a bag of sweet potato chips at the store or make your own by roasting thinly sliced sweet potatoes low and slow in your oven at home for an even healthier option. Nothing will help you soothe your crunch addiction better than a potato chip, so why not make it as healthy as possible?
You might be incredulous of this one, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Radishes are spicy little morsels usually found in salads. When was the last time you’ve eaten a cooked radish? It’s rare to see these root veggies prepared any way but raw. However, radishes are full of piquant flavor that mellows as you cook them. Slice them thin, roast them at a low temperature in your oven with a little olive oil and you’ll soon see what’s been missing from your life! Radishes are extremely high in antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Eggs are full of protein and iron. Most of all, they are ultra transportable when you hard boil them. Nothing could be easier than tossing a few farm fresh eggs into a pot of boiling water on a Sunday night. When they’re done, take them out of the water, let them cool, peel them, and pack them away for your workday snacking. A little pinch of salt and pepper can go a long way to giving you the perfect egg. And not only are eggs inexpensive—they’re extremely healthy snacking options to keep you energized.
Snacks & Drinks Don’t Need to be Guilty Pleasures
A lot of us grew up being told that snacking was unhealthy. We were made to believe that three meals a day were all we needed and anything in between was an extravagance. The truth is, research tells us that healthy snacking can be an important part of our diet. It keeps us from making bad food decisions due to being overly hungry and can help us manage our mood and energy levels. And a healthy hydration routine is a great complement to our snacking. You already know you need variety with your snack options—the same old thing gets boring. And you might also realize you need a variety in your beverage options as well. Before you forgo that glass of water for a can of soda, think about healthier alternatives that offer just as much variety.
Crystal Geyser Flavored Sparkling Water is a Guilt-Free Complement to Your Healthy Snacking
We crave things like soda and sugary beverages because sometimes we grow tired of plain water. But what if there were drinking options just as diverse as those beverages but with no added sugar or calories? You might be surprised to learn that there are—Crystal Geyser Flavored Sparkling Water is lightly flavored, zero-calorie, zero sugar, and a completely guilt-free way to complement your healthy snacking.
The founders of Crystal Geyser Water Company started it all in the Napa Valley region of California. They spent a year looking for a clean, natural source of spring water. When they found it, they began bottling it—the rest is history. Now, that very same mineral water is lightly flavored using fruit and berry essences. Not only is it pure, healthy water straight from a California spring, but it’s also lightly flavored. The quality hasn’t changed, but Crystal Geyser Water Company knows that sometimes your tastes do, so they’ve got you covered with a variety of interesting flavors. Don’t reach for a sugar-ladened beverage to accompany your healthy snack—reach for something better – flavored sparkling water from Crystal Geyser.#crystalgeysersparkling