Top 10 Nutrient Dense Snacks
Breakfast... Snack... Lunch... Snack... Dinner... (Sometimes) snack or a little something to tie us over... It's the natural progression of the day! These little meals are important as they help to maintain your blood sugar levels, keep your metabolism firing and they assist with boosting your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and antioxidant compounds (especially when it contains food as brightly coloured as the ones in the picture above!)
Many people are stumped with how to fill those moments of hunger between their 3 main meals; some choose to avoid eating at all, & UNlike myself (always thinking about delicious food) some forget to eat at all. These, most commonly are the people who suffer the repercussions of their blood-sugar levels acting like a rollercoaster ride. The moment where you reach for that naughty mid-afternoon, sugar-filled treat (majority of women heading straight for chocolate) and think, "f*ck it i need the energy to get me through the rest of my day" is the point where you then suffer the consequence of heading right back up to the top point of the roller-coaster. Here you will then get ready for that steep decline/low you just felt not so long ago, which made you reach for that naughty snack in the first place. This is how your blood-glucose levels will act if you aren't fuelling your body properly roughly every 3 hours and will result an array of the following: weight gain, fatigue, dizzyness, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, nausea, hunger, impatience and many more. For some people, when these isues are not addressed a number of problems can occur over time.
BALANCE is the key, inside & out! So in order to try and share my personal and now clinical experience as a nutritionist and seeing improvements to energy levels, emotional balance, improved food choices, satiety levels and boosting a persons daily nutritional profile, i feel it's important to share with you my top 10 go-to snack choices!
Firstly here are some tips
What to look for in a snack:
- Protein rich: whether this be plant or animal protein, it's important to boost your daily protein intake at snack times as well as your main meals.
- Healthy fat: both protein and fats are what is going to keep your fire lit for longer and maintain balanced energy levels. Carbohydrate rich snacks will do excatly what I was speaking about above- get you back on that roller-coaster. *Note: No Carbohydrates are not "bad"! They are important & needed by our body as well! However, there are better times than others to consume them and better sources than others e.g. sweet potato or pumpkin, legumes or beans & wholegrains such as quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, brown rice and carbs that come from other fresh fruit & vegetabes.
- A great way to think of it is: Fats, they are like the logs on your fire. Proteins, are like the kindling. Carbohydrates, are like the paper. Carbohydrates are broken down quickly & are a great, quick energy source however, if this energy isn't being experted by us, the energy (that has come from that food) will be stored as fat.
My Top 10 Snack Ideas!
1. NUTS & SEEDS
(activated if possible) Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds. Almonds are top of the list for me because I LOVE their flavour & they boast the highest protein content!
* 1 small handful (based on your own palm size or 1/4 cup) of mixed nuts and seeds. If you need a little extra, have a small piece of fruit. The good fats from the nuts & seeds will assist to slow down the fruit sugar absorption, assisting to balance your blood sugar levels & reduce an insulin spike.
2. HUMMUS, TAHINI OR ALMOND BUTTER with vegetable sticks
Chickpea or white bean hummus, tahini or almond butter with a variety of vege sticks i.e. celery, cucumber, fennel, capsicum, carrot or other veg.
* 2tbsp nut butter or tahini, or 2tbsp-1/4 cup hummus (depending on your needs). Head to my roast pumpkin hummus recipe!
3. CHIA SEED PUDDING
With your choice fruit puree, fruit slices, avocado chocolate mousse or sprinkled with a few nuts.
*Click here to find my chia seed pudding- 4 WAYS recipe selection or click on the "Snacks & Sweets" page
4. A BOILED EGG, As simple as it sounds. So easy, great for transportation & a little nutrient powerhouse!
5. A PIECE OF FRUIT
LIke I said above, eat with a couple of nuts or a slather of nut butter to get some good quality protein & fats in, to help satisfy you for longer.
*Eat organic (especially those that you consume their skins) & most definately seasonal fruit! You don't want your fruit to have been heavily sprayed with pesticides or products that make it last longer/look better, because you will be consuming these chemicals! You also don't want your fruit to have been shipped from across the world, the fruit will be old, damaged & nutrients will have been lost.
6. THE LIFE CHANGING LOAF
The amazing recipe created by Sarah Britton from My New Roots. The loaf is a must-try & is jam packed with goodness. Everyone has their own version and is an easy recipe to tweak to suit your needs. *1x slice of the life changing loaf toasted, with a slather of berry chia jam, nut butter, tahini, hummus or just toasted by itself! DELICIOUS. Click here to head to her website.
7. YOGHURT Full fat yoghurt sprinkled with nuts & seeds or berries or turn it chocolate w/ some added cacao or carob!
*100-150g yoghurt mixed with 1tbsp cacao/carob or sprinkled with a small handful of berries (frozen or fresh) or nuts & seeds.
*For those who cannot tolerate dairy opt for organic/natural/full-fat coconut yoghurt with added good bacteria strains.
8. PROTEIN SHAKE
*1 serve of a natural organic pea, whey OR 1x egg blended with 1/2 cup frozen berries or 1/2 banana + 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup milk of choice (full fat, almond, coconut...) or coconut water. Add cinnamon, vanilla powder or a couple of drops of liquid stevia.
*Or head to my breaky smoothie recipes & have 1/2 as a snack size.
1/2 an avocado mashed in its own skin with a drizzle of lemon juice, cracked peppe & a pinch of pink himilayan rock salt. Enjoy with vegetable sticks, nori sheets, or my seeded crackers!
10. POWER BALL
Make a big batch & pop one in a container to help curb your afternoon sweet craving! Head to my "Nutella" bites for a delicious recipe.
There are plenty more ideas that can be adapted to snacks such as:
- Sweet Spinach Pancakes
- Zucchini Pikelets
- A slice of The Complete Breaky Loaf
AND Many more options on the Snacks and Sweets page