Healthy Snacks for a Midday Energy Boost

If you’ve committed yourself to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, snacking might be the last thing on your mind. The truth is, though, that depriving yourself of a midday munchie can be detrimental to your dieting success. Allowing yourself to go hungry in the afternoon can cause you to reach for the first food in sight the minute you walk in the door in the evening, which may not be the healthiest option.

Snack portions should be fairly small, in the 100 to 200 calorie range. Anything larger than that might fill you up too much and prevent you from eating an ideal dinner. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a snack that is full of nutrients, so read on for a few quick ideas that offer the right mix of nutrition and taste.

Fruits and Veggies for Fiber

Perhaps the most natural snack of all, fresh fruits and vegetables are a leading source of digestible fiber, and contain a variety of vitamins necessary for good health. When searching for the best snacking options, choose the ones that are the most portable, offer the most crunch, and are slightly sweet. A baggie of snap peas, baby carrots, or sliced red bell peppers can fit the bill nicely. Apples and bananas are also easy to pack, and have the added benefit of being prepackaged in their own skins.

Nuts About Protein

Protein is a critical component of a healthy diet, and nuts supply a good dose of it. Nuts are easy to drop in your bag, or keep a stash of them in your desk for a snack that is easy to eat while you’re working. Crunchy and flavorful, a handful of nuts can make you feel awake and satisfied. Peanuts and tree nuts also supply fat and vitamin E, which are good for your skin and hair. Keep in mind that plain nuts, not salty and sweet nuts, are the healthiest option.

Cookie Break

If you are committed to a healthy diet and stick to the rules most of the time, there is nothing wrong with a simple indulgence now and then. Many people find that the sweet, crumbly crunch of a cookie in the afternoon is the ideal snack. Of course, not all cookies are created equally, so be sure to seek a natural variety such as the ones produced by Hampton Creek. Cookies, whether they are peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, or chocolate chip, have the power to evoke happy memories and feelings of well-being in most people.

Dairy Goodness

For a smooth and creamy treat that is full of nutrition, reach for something in the dairy case. Yogurt, string cheese, and low-fat milk can boost your energy level while nurturing your body with protein and calcium. However, take care to avoid dairy snacks that are high in sugar, such as chocolate milk. If you are working out at the gym, or going for a jog after work, dairy products are an excellent choice.

Snacking, when it is pre-planned and prepared ahead of time, can be a healthy part of your diet. Sticking with natural foods that offer fiber, protein and calcium are your best options. Rewarding yourself with a fun snack, such as a cookie now and then, is a good idea as well.
Image courtesy of marin's portfolio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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