Do you love to snack? Are those mini meals between meals your favorite? Snacking can actually be a good thing, keeping your blood sugar stable and your metabolism going, but when you snack on the wrong foods, it can mean extra pounds before you can say mini pretzels.
It doesn't matter if you crave salty or sweet snacks, there are healthy alternatives out there to take the edge off hunger without derailing your diet. Some of these snacks you may have heard of and some not, but they're all worth reaching for instead of greasy chips or sugar-packed cookies:
1. Dried Seaweed -- Popular types of seaweed for snacking include nori and wakame. They can also be added to soups and salads. These sea vegetables provides vitamins like A, C, E and K along with minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron. Lastly, seaweed provides antioxidants that protect the cells from free radical damage.
2. Brazil Nuts -- Native to South America and the Amazon River basin, brazil nuts are big in size and nutrition. These nuts are packed with the mineral selenium, a potent antioxidant for free radical protection and immunity. You can also get 25 percent of your recommended daily magnesium.
3. Kale Chips -- If you're a potato chip fan, you'll love the salty, hearty taste of kale chips. Baked or dried without any oil, kale chips provide flavor as well as nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium. Greens like kale help fill you up and keep you satisfied.
4. Dried Peas -- Another amazing dried vegetable, peas, make a great substitute for party mixes that can be loaded with sodium and fat from frying. Peas are a great source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and also keeps the body's tissues healthy. Snack on plain dried peas or go for a zesty flavor, like wasabi.
5. Ume Plums -- Could a snack really relieve a hangover, settle your stomach and help you beat fatigue? Ume plums may be just the ticket. Similar to an apricot, this fruit is dried, packed with salt and shiso and then allowed to age for up to six months. Low in calories and fat free, they have a sweet and sour taste.
6. Olives -- A beloved staple of Mediterranean diet, olives are full of healthy fats like omega-3s. With so many varieties to choose from, including queen and kalamata, you'll never get bored. Give them a spin in the food processor and spread them on whole wheat bread for a savory bite.
7. Dried Pineapple -- Pineapple is sweet, refreshing and delicious and makes the perfect dried snack food. Grab a few rings and enjoy a dose of bromelain, the digestive enzyme found within pineapple. Some varieties can be high in sugar, so pay attention to nutrition labels.
8. Edamame -- Defined as soybeans within their pods, edamame area a staple of Asian cuisine. Soybeans provide protein and are low in calories with virtually no fat or carbohydrates. Just pop the beans out of the pod and you have a convenient, satisfying snack that will give you energy to get through your day.
9. Kimchi -- Another favorite item in Asian cooking is kimchi, which is pickled, spicy cabbage. Pickled vegetables contain healthy bacteria, probiotics, for a balanced gut and proper digestion. Try some kimchi on its own or try it with a protein -- it has a kick from chilies that also keep your metabolism burning.
10. Pumpkin Seeds -- These seeds contain zinc which supports a healthy mind as well as prostate function in men. Eat them on their own or make them a complement of trail mix -- combine them with cacao nibs for a hint of chocolate and additional antioxidants.
Snacking smarter is an easy way to improve your health. eVitamins carries a wide selection of healthy snacks to choose from, so you can make healthier choices that are still delicious!