Healthy meals seem to get all the attention, but we all know that without healthy snacks, most of us wouldn’t make it through the day. Where would we be without that mid-morning pick-me-up? And there’s no better way to make it through that long late afternoon stretch than to munch on something tasty. But there’s more to snacking than just grabbing the first food we see. And most of us know by now that the vending machine candy bar or box of donuts in the break room aren’t going to help our hunger or our waistline. That’s why it’s important to snack smart. There are healthy snack options that can give you a good nutrition boost, help you feel full, and even have anti-aging benefits!
The key to smart snacking is to choose foods that are healthy, of course. But if you want to have the extra bonus of helping your body look and feel younger, the key is also to choose foods with antioxidants. These are those magical compounds that help our bodies fight off damaging free radicals and can help prevent diseases such as cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s. This doesn’t mean eating bland, boring snacks, either. Healthy, anti-aging snacks are also tasty.
The best place to find powerful antioxidants are in fruits and vegetables, and the snack options are endless. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and more exotic choices such as acai or goji berries are all packed with vitamins and beneficial compounds. Plus, there are so many ways to snack on berries: they can be tossed on yogurt, blended into a smoothie, or just eaten plain. Vegetables are great for snacking, especially if you like yours crisp and fresh. Just grab your favorite dip, hummus, or guacamole and munch on carrots, broccoli, colorful peppers or tomatoes.
Another great idea for snacking is to choose something with protein. This will help fill you up, and protein provides your body with the building blocks for collagen, which helps your skin stay smooth and wrinkle free. Good protein snack choices include hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese or tuna. Tuna also has the added benefit of being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help fix sun damage. Don’t forget that any of these snack foods taste great when paired with whole grains, such as popcorn, or nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
Snacks have always been an important part of any healthy diet because they help you get your daily necessary nutrients and help you feel full throughout the day. Now snacking provides another benefit: helping you look and feel young.