Getting hangry? That’s bound to happen when you skip snacks. Turns out there are plenty of healthy snacks you can eat that won’t mess with your diet and some of them may just surprise you.
Yup, you read right! Chocolate is chock full of healthy goodness and tastes deeeelish.
Chocolate appears to be a heart-healthy snack, according to the Mayo Clinic, thanks to flavanols, which have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage linked to heart disease.
These antioxidant effects may also lower blood pressure and improve the way your heart, veins, and arteries work. Like CBD, they are great for your circulatory system.
Before you scarf down a jumbo candy bar or ten, keep in mind that flavanols are mostly present in dark chocolate and most chocolate products also contain a lot of sugar and calories.
To keep your health and diet in check, opt for dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate products. Healthy snacks like chocolate only work in moderation. If that doesn’t sound appealing, have whatever chocolate you want but stick to a portion equivalent to 150 calories or less.
Popcorn is super low in calories, high in fiber and antioxidants, and insanely satisfying! Pop it the right way and trick it out with different toppings and you’ve got endless healthy snacks at your fingertips.
Popping with no oil is key to keeping calories down. To do this:
- Put around ¼ cup of kernels in a paper bag.
- Fold the top of the bag twice.
- Microwave on high for 2minutes.
To take your popcorn to another level while keeping it healthy, try:
- adding a popcorn seasoning, like Kernel Season’s, or a dash of taco seasoning mix
- drizzling a little honey or agave nectar and topping with pumpkin pie spice
- shaking on some Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce if you like heat
- a drizzle of olive oil (hellooo antioxidants and loads of health benefits!) and some fresh herbs like rosemary
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#3. Banana with nut butter
Take a banana, slice it up, and top it with a tablespoon or two of just about any nut butter to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings.
Think peanut, almond, or cashew butter – preferably all-natural.
Bananas are high in fiber, low in calories, and quite filling. Adding nut butter makes it even more filling thanks to its high fiber and protein content. Not too shabby for a tasty snack around 250 calories.
#4. Toasted pumpkin seeds
If you’ve got a hankering for crunch, pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrient like zinc, protein, potassium, and others. This makes them filling and good your bones and overall health.
To make them, simply toss the seeds in some olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper, and bake in the oven at 300°F for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
A half a cup of pumpkin seeds contains around 140 calories.
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#5. Sweet potato fries
Slice up a small sweet potato, toss it with a teaspoon of olive oil, bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or cook them in an air fryer if you have one.
You can eat them plain or dress them up by sprinkling on some salt and pepper, your favorite spices or herbs, or dipping them in some low-cal ranch dressing. Yum!
A small sweet potato – which only contains around 110 calories – is a good source of fiber and high in vitamins and nutrients.
According to research, sweet potatoes also:
- improve digestion
- lower the risk of cancer
- reduce inflammation
- boost the immune system
- improve blood pressure
- protect eye health
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance health and lifestyle writer that has written for Healthline, Medical News Today and Verily Magazine just to name a few.