Health & Fitness
Are you constantly snacking on crisps, chocolate and other unhealthy foods throughout the day? Surely there should be healthier options that taste just as good and are just as filling. Fortunately, there is, and in this piece I will be sharing my 3 favourite snacks along with all the facts that you need to help replace that chocolate bar with something healthy.
Smoothies taste amazing and are a great alternative. They are an easy way of increasing your fruit and vegetable intake and, depending on the portion size and ingredients, are a wonderful and healthy snack!
Unlike some shop smoothies, homemade ones provide a high source of fibre. This is due to putting in a whole portion of fruit instead of a little bit. Smoothies also contain good amounts of Folate, Vitamin C, and Potassium.
Making your own smoothie is much better than buying one from a shop or restaurant due to companies often adding more sugars into smoothies making them unhealthier. Making your own enables you to know exactly what is going into your drink and also reduces sugar levels while also limiting calories. And of course, it enables you to experiment and add your favourite ingredients! It’s a great feeling of satisfaction when you make your own delicious smoothie! (If you need to buy a smoothie from a shop for whatever reason, make sure you check the calorie content and order the smallest size.)
When making a smoothie remember to try adding vegetables as well as fruit! This will increase your nutrient intake and give you more recipes to play with. Add healthy fats such as nuts, nut butter, and avocados. Healthy fats are good for your body and skin so don’t forget to add them! Oatmeal gives added fibre into your drink and thickens the smoothie. By adding Greek yogurt and milk to your smoothie you will be increasing the protein intake. The yogurt and milk make the smoothie much more filling too. Smoothies are also great if you have a busy schedule. Making one for breakfast in the morning takes less than 5 minutes and you can drink it on the go.
Hummus is one of my ultimate favourites. There’s nothing I love more than carrot sticks dipped in hummus.
Made with chickpeas and other healthy ingredients, hummus is great for everyone including vegetarians! Hummus has become very popular and is widely consumed in the Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Basic hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, and tahini. Health benefits? Beans and chickpeas have been shown to help balance cholesterol, balance blood sugars, and help protect against heart disease. It is high in vitamins and minerals and boosts your energy due to the starch in the chickpeas.
When eating hummus, carefully select foods to accompany it. Vegetables are great for extra nutrients – carrots are my favourite. Or you can have whole wheat pita bread, flat bread, or wholemeal bread.
The list is endless to describe how good avocados are for you.
Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrates, while avocado is high in healthy fats. In fact, a large amount of the calories in them are from fat, making it one of the fattiest fruits. But, don’t worry. The majority of fat in avocado is oleic acid. Oleic acid is a type of fatty acid that is also present in olive oil. You can also use avocado fats as a cooking oil as it is safe and extremely healthy. The healthy fats in avocados are great for your skin and help keep it looking fresh and healthy. Avocados also contain NO, I repeat NO, cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fats.
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. Potassium helps trigger your heart to pump blood through the body and also helps muscles to function, nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood. Other foods high in potassium include sweet potato, white beans, yogurt, and spinach.
They are full of fibre which contributes to weight loss, reduces blood and sugar spikes while being linked to lowering the risk of many diseases. Avocados lower cholesterol, reduce blood triglycerides, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and are full of powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes. They are weight loss friendly and can be added to meals such as salads, smoothies, breakfasts, etc.
So what are you waiting for? Put down that sugary snack and replace it with something much more appetizing and pleasing to the body!