Staying focused for an entire day can feel impossible. By the afternoon our attention spans have gone south, and along with it, our moods. But a quick snack break could be an easy fix to your mid-day hump. While some may worry those extra calories can lead to extra pounds, healthy snacking can actually fight weight gain, curb cravings and boost your energy and brain power during the day. It all depends on what you eat. So instead of grabbing that tempting chocolate bar, opt for one of these wholesome top 10 snacks.
The top 10 snacks to fuel your day
Natural Sugar Boosts
Many people who snack are looking for something sweet. But processed foods like cookies and candy are known for short energy boosts and harsh lows. Instead, try pleasing that sweet tooth with something a little more nutritious. Fresh fruits have natural good-for-you sugars that provide energy, without the unwanted crash.
Sweet, crunchy and easy to pack, grapes are perfect for long days at work or school. They’re low in calories, but rich in antioxidants and other nutrients such as potassium, which can help to negate the effect of sodium in the body for those with high blood pressure. You can eat this snack guilt-free.
The perfect balance of sweet and tart, pineapple is another great snack for those never-ending work days. Chop them up and place them in a small Tupperware for later. This fiber and nutrient-rich powerhouse is full of vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system.
A good snack should curb your hunger. Studies show that eating protein helps keep you fuller, longer. While fruits are light and refreshing, this next group of foods on our list of top 10 snacks will help to get you ready to power through the day.
Peanut Butter and Apple Slices
Salty, sweet and crunchy, this snack has it all. Protein from the peanut butter and natural sugars from the apple will provide that needed energy boost. Try this combo with a Granny Smith apple for something a little tangier.
Peanut Butter Banana Toast
Loaded with potassium and protein, peanut butter banana toast is one of the most filling snacks around. The bananas add a nice sweetness, while the toast provides the crunch. Pack the ingredients separately to avoid soggy bread.
Tackle those mid-day munchies with some nuts. Just one ounce of almonds (or a small handful) has 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber, plus other health benefits. This small snack packs a big punch.
Depending on the brand, some Greek yogurts can have 13 to 20 grams of protein per serving. With the added bonus of calcium and those gut-friendly microbes, this snack is not only filling, but great for you.
Mozzarella String Cheese
With lots of calcium and protein packed in each pre-portioned serving, this tasty snack will provide some bone-building nutrients. But not all brands are created equally. Be sure to check the nutrition labels for sodium content.
Most of us probably aren’t eating enough vegetables. By adding a few veggies in between meals, you’ll add more of those essential vitamins and nutrients to your diet. Plus, like fruit, vegetables are a lightweight snack that won’t leave you feeling too full. Check out this next section on our list of top 10 snacks for fun ways to eat your veggies.
Vegetables and Dip
Skip the ranch dressing (which can have 122mg of sodium in just one tablespoon) and explore healthier options like hummus. This chickpea-based dip is traditionally lower in fat and sodium, and high in protein and fiber. Baby carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers will all pair great!
Ants on a Log
You probably haven’t had this snack since you were a kid, but this oldie is definitely still a goodie. The celery, peanut butter, raisin combo has a nice crunch and sweetness. Plus, this snack is nice and light.
This delicious tropical product is loaded with potassium, vitamin A, fiber and other key nutrients. Slice them finely and try this recipe for a healthy alternative to traditional chips.
Snack attacks can get the best of anyone. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just remember, it’s all about what you eat. So be sure to rid those pantries of temptation and stock up on some fresh, healthy alternatives. It’s a lot easier to snack healthy when the options are available.
What are some of your favorites from our list of top 10 snacks? Let us know in the comments below.