The Best Snacks for A Midday Pick-Me-Up
May 28, 2015
Need a little boost? These snacks will do the trick
Try These Snacks for a Midday Pick-Me-Up
A good approach to snacking is to consider snacks as important as regular meals. Oftentimes, meals are planned in advance to balance a diet. Snacks should be included in this plan, as they provide an ideal opportunity to consume daily fruit and vegetable requirements. Snacking is essential for retaining energy throughout the day, as well as maintaining a healthy and balanced diet overall. The best course of action is to think ahead, pack healthful snacks, and take care to eat at regular intervals to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Here are some healthy recommendations from experts!
Banana with Almond Butter
Bananas pack a huge amount of health benefits. Naturally fat-free, one medium banana contains 30 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. McDonald pairs the fruit with almond butter for additional protein intake, noting that because protein is slower to digest, the nut butter will keep you full longer.
Ficek recommends eating edamame between meals for a pick-me-up. They offer high protein and fiber, and the process of eating steamed edamame from the shell also may trick your body into thinking it’s full faster.
Greek Yogurt with Berries and Chia Seeds
This snack unites the trifecta of health foods. Greek yogurt packs an enormous punch of protein to keep you feeling fuller longer, and chia seeds contain energy-boosting carbs, nutrients, and antioxidants. Elkiam reports that berries can improve cognitive function due to the anthocyanin compounds they contain. Because they are low on the glycemic index, they also provide blood sugar stability. Macdonald advises choosing this healthy snack over a visit to the vending machine when the 3 o’clock slump sets in.
Fruit and Nuts
“When eaten raw and unsalted, nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein to balance blood sugar levels and keep energy up throughout the day,” reports Ficek. Pairing a handful of nuts with fruit —apple slices, for example — spikes blood sugar and keeps the levels high for longer periods, giving you a sustained energy jolt.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, medical director at the Nutritional Magnesium Association, points to egg yolks as being rich in protein and B-vitamins, which convert food into energy. While the yolk contains more fat than the lean, protein-rich white, the fats are heart-healthy and help regulate insulin to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
Dehydration can be a serious source of fatigue. Elkaim suggests adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to ice water for a fresh, citrusy kick that kick start the body’s natural energy. He notes that other added bonuses of lemon water include a boost in vitamin C, digestion benefits, and increased liver function.
This highly nutritious grain is rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, which should keep you full and energized well into your next meal, according to Ficek. She suggests packing this lunchtime-side-snack instead of rice, pasta, or even oatmeal with quinoa.
Whether you choose sunflower, pumpkin, or flax, consumption of magnesium-rich seeds will boost your energy. Dr. Dean explains that magnesium is an excellent example of an energy nutrient that is required for the body to produce and store energy.
Turkey Jerky and Apple
Vegetables and Hummus
Macdonald suggests eating vegetables, such as carrots or broccoli, as a source of carbohydrates that boost blood sugar levels. Hummus also provides protein, which maintains the blood sugar spike for continued energy.