There’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then, but we’re getting closer to that time of year when we all indulge a little too much on those goodies that are a little less than healthy. Comfort food is the name of the game, and we can never seem to get enough of it when it comes around.
But it’s certainly not the time of year to feel guilty about eating good food and sharing it with your family and friends. Instead, why not try to balance out those moments of indulging with more healthy eating options?
Studies show that eating small snacks during the day can actually prevent you from eating too much unhealthy food. Eating healthy snacks keeps your energy levels stable, preventing you from overindulging at the next big meal. It also helps you stay more focused and, in turn, more productive throughout the day.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite healthy snacks that are simple enough to pack for work and enjoy during a late morning or afternoon lull. These are packed with nutrients, protein, and antioxidants to fuel your body throughout the day.
- Greek Yogurt and berries: Greek yogurt is full of protein, which will help keep your energy levels up. It also has probiotics to help keep your digestion regular. Add the disease fighting antioxidant power of raspberries or blueberries and you have one healthy mid-morning meal.
- Pita chips and hummus: Pita chips are healthier than your average potato chip because they have fiber. Hummus is also rich in protein and several essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a low fat option for a savory snack.
- Dark chocolate and dried cherries: That’s right. We just said chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually one of the healthiest snacks you can indulge in; it has more antioxidants than most foods. Other benefits of chocolate? It could help improve blood flow, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower bad cholesterol, and protect your skin. The list of cherry health benefits is just as long – including cancer prevention, weight loss, and better sleep.
- Cottage cheese and crackers: Needing to add some Vitamin B-12 and calcium to your diet? Cottage cheese is the perfect low fat option. Serve it with some salted whole wheat crackers for satisfying crunch.
- Whole grain bagel with ricotta and strawberries: Get your carbs, protein, and antioxidants all in one. Spread on your ricotta, top with strawberries, and you have a perfect on the go snack.
- Popcorn and Parmesan cheese: We’re not talking about the buttery movie theater stuff. Plain “clean” popcorn is full of fiber, whole grains, and – you guessed it – antioxidants. Add some calcium, vitamin A, and protein by sprinkling it with a little Parmesan cheese for an extra tasty treat.
- Monte Bene Spicy Marinara sauce and fresh veggies: We could go on and on about the health benefits of tomatoes. We'll just say that cooked tomatoes are some of the best cancer fighting foods out there. Heat up your sauce or leave it cold for a unique dip for sliced celery, bell peppers, or carrots.
"Healthy Snack Ideas." realsimple.com
"20 Snacks that Burn Fat." health.com
"Amazing Health Benefits of Berries." everydayhealth.com
"Greek Yogurt Benefits." healthline.com
"Benefits of Hummus." healthyeating.sfgate.com
"Healthy Snacks with Pita Chips." Livestrong.com
"What are the Health Benefits of Hazelnuts?" Livestrong.com
"7 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate." authoritynutrition.com
"Health Benefits of Cherries." Mercola.com
"Benefits of Cottage Cheese." Healtheating.sfgate.com
"Healthy Benefits of Popcorn." Healthyeating.sfgate.com
"The Benefits of Parmesan Cheese." livestrong.com