Get Energized the Healthy Way!
Snacks are a key component to staying healthy as far as I’m concerned. In fact, there’s no better way to sabotage how I want to be eating than to get hungry or tired in the middle of the afternoon with nothing around but chips or sweets. That’s why I think it’s just as important that we stay well-stocked with healthy snacks for us as it is to have plenty of snacks for our kids. Sometimes the two may overlap, but other times we may want something a bit more… adult. The main thing is that we have options for getting energized the healthy way, which is why I wanted to let you know my 10 favorite healthy snacks for adults.
1. A Handful of Nuts
The key to eating nuts is that you really do want to keep it to a handful and that you don’t eat the kind that have been roasted in oil and salt. According to the Mayo Clinic, a serving size of nuts is considered to be 1/3 cup. It’s important to stick with that as a general rule because nuts are high in calories. They also have a higher fat content, but it’s the healthy kind – monosaturated fat and omega-3 – so you don’t need to worry about that as much if you keep to the recommended service size. I only buy and eat raw, organic nuts because those that are roasted in oil and salt can start to get fairly unhealthy.
2. Energy or Protein Balls
Energy or protein balls of any kind are a great afternoon pick-me-up. Since these are usually made with some type of nut butter or dates, you’ll want to eat only one ball for your snack. That may sound like it wouldn’t be enough, but trust me, it is! These Raw Chocolate Balls from Raw Food Recipes are my favorites, but I have plenty of others that I can recommend here as well.
3. Dark Chocolate
Many of you know how I feel about dark chocolate, but in case you don’t, I love it! It’s a great, healthy afternoon boost that I eat nearly every day. You can find out the secret to eating chocolate every day in a healthy way here.
4. Piece of Fruit
Fruit is a great snack because many types don’t need a lot of preparation, and they provide natural sugar as well as plenty of nutrients. The Mayo Clinic says that “Examples of one serving include one medium fruit, or 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit.” If you’re eating a piece of fruit with an edible peel, leave it on if possible. You definitely want the fiber and other goodness it contains. If you find that you need a little more umph! than what a single piece of fruit provides, registered dietician Carol Aguirre from Nutrition Connections recommends eating it with peanut butter or some other type of nut butter to add protein. I love an apple or banana with Simple Truth organic peanut butter.
5. Trail Mix
There are so many different types of trail mix that you can buy or make yourself. While I do have a few store-bought favorites that I’ll get every now and then, I highly recommend a homemade mix so that you can have control over the ingredients. One of the main things to remember with trail mix is portion control. I don’t know about you, but I could easily sit down with an entire bag or recipe and munch until I’ve eaten the whole thing. To keep from doing that, measure out one portion into a bowl and put the rest away. Here’s the link to one of my favorites – Healthy Homemade Nut Free Trail Mix from Better With Cake.
6. Rice Cake with Peanut Butter
I was reminded of this easy and healthy snack by Carol Aguirre as well. Talk about a simple and satisfying energy boost! Most peanut butter says that 2 tablespoons is a serving, but honestly, I think that’s a lot. One tablespoon is all I usually need to give my rice cake a thin covering that adds taste, flavor and protein.
7. Cut Up Veggies and Hummus
The sky is the limit as far as I’m concerned when it comes to veggies that are good to dip in hummus. You have sliced bell pepper, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and many more. Making your own hummus is so easy and budget friendly. It also puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding which ingredients you do and don’t want. If you need a good recipe, be sure and try Linda Watson’s Hummus from Wildly Affordable Organic (Affiliate Link).
8. Crackers and Bean Dip
Crackers and some type of bean dip are a fantastic, portable healthy snack for adults that gives you both some energizing carbs as well as protein. The key is making sure that your crackers are whole grain or made with a grain-free flour so that they provide you with complex and not simple carbs. My favorite cracker and bean dip combination is the Irresistible White Bean Dip with 4-Ingredient Paleo Crackers by Dreena Burton and published on the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s website.
9. Boiled Egg
A boiled egg makes a great protein-packed snack. Simply boil a bunch at one time, peel them when they’re cool and have them ready so that you can pull out one at a time when you need it.
10. Spicy Chickpeas
Spicy chickpeas are a fabulous way to add flavor, protein and plenty of other healthy stuff to your afternoon. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, chickpeas are rich in protein, folate, fiber, iron, phosphorus and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Just like with everything else though, portion control is key. My favorite version is this Spicy Roasted Chickpeas recipe from Natural Chow.
Bottom Line on Healthy Snacks for Adults
The bottom line on healthy snacks for adults is remembering that the point of a snack isn’t to be another meal. It’s to take the edge off your hunger and boost your energy so that you can do everything that you want to do until it’s time for your next meal. If you find that you’re consistently wanting heavier snacks, you may want to re-think what you’re eating for your meals. If it is a true snack that you’re looking for, hopefully the suggestions listed here will give you some ideas. Happy healthy snacking!!