For many of us, snacking has increased and daily activities, such as walking from the parking lot to the office and back, have decreased, leading to unwanted weight a la the “quarantine 15.” Some of us snack out of boredom which can lead to unwanted weight gain as well. As we move into winter where we may be spending even more time at home, being prepared with healthy snacks can be key.
Prepare in Advance
Snacking on a veggie platter can be enjoyable and satisfying, but oftentimes when the urge to snack hits, I have no desire to wash and slice vegetables. To have them ready-to-go, wash, peel, and slice vegetables such as carrots, celery, and radishes as soon as you bring them home. Store the sliced veggies in glass containers with purified water covering them. This keeps them fresh longer plus they’re easily accessible for healthy snacking!
Pair your vegetables with some hummus or tahini to add a little protein to satisfy your hunger.
Seeds over Nuts
Nuts are great for us; however, the high fat content means that we should only consume a small handful for a serving. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great alternatives for crunchy satisfaction and nutritional value.
Pumpkin seeds boast a highly nutritious profile. They’re antioxidant, rich in carotenoids and Vitamin E which can help strengthen our immune systems and decrease inflammation. Pumpkin seeds also contain beneficial amounts of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, and zinc. Plus, a 1 ounce serving of these seeds provides about 23% of our recommended daily iron intake! The fiber content of this yummy snack can help reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity as well.
Sunflower seeds are another great choice for snacking. They contain phenolic acids and flavonoids for antioxidant benefits and are loaded with vitamin E, manganese, selenium, folate, and other essential nutrients.
Sprouting these seeds gives even more nutritional benefits, you can sprout them yourself by taking raw seeds and soaking them overnight in water or you can purchase sprouted seeds. Convenience is key for me, and Thrive Market makes it convenient by delivering these healthy options right to your door. Some of my favorites are Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds and Go Raw Mixed Seeds which are a tasty mixture of pumpkin, sunflower, and watermelon seeds. (Just remember to pour a serving into a bowl so that you don’t end up eating the whole bag!)
Protein to Stave off Hunger
We might not think of meats as a snack, but for carnivores and pescatarians, Thrive Market also has some great jerky snacking options. Chicken & Maple Snack Mates, Epic Salmon Bites, Turkey Jerky, and Primal Beef Thins are sensibly sourced proteins and truly delicious. There are some vegan jerkies available, but I haven’t tried any yet to provide recommendations. Some vegan jerkies add more sugar than we need; so, if you’d like to try a high protein vegan jerky, check the ingredients and sugar content before buying.
Satisfy your hungry appetite by eating protein-rich foods that trigger our bodies to release peptide YY (PYY). PYY has been linked to appetite reduction in human studies.
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
Lastly, we sometimes don’t differentiate very well between our thirst and hunger pangs. Make sure that you’re satisfying your thirst and your hydration needs by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Studies have shown that drinking water can help increase metabolism. Increased water consumption has added health benefits like preventing constipation, keeping the skin hydrated with less acne occurrence, and preventing kidney stones and bladder infections.
What are some easy, healthy snacks that you enjoy?