Want to curb overeating and be more productive? Swap that afternoon chocolate bar with a healthy snack, which will not only satisfy your hunger pangs but give you a a consistent source of energy. And best of all, regular consumption of nutritious snacks helps better mental focus and concentration, as they provide the brain with the nutrients it needs for optimal function. Here, nutritionist Alexandra Pell lists her five favourite healthy snacks.
1. Hummus with seed crackers or veggie sticks: Made from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is rich in protein, resistant starch and fibre. It's low GI so can help to stabilise blood sugar levels and can help you feel fuller for longer.
One serving of hummus is about 1/4 cup. Serve on good quality seed crackers or veggies sticks like sliced carrot, celery, capsicum, cucumber, snow peas, mushrooms, or green beans.
2. Greek yoghurt: Choose a variety that is low in sugar and high in protein for a versatile snack that will quickly satisfy hunger while delivering important nutrients.
Serve with fresh or frozen berries or passionfruit for sweetness, and top with natural muesli or hemp seeds for some crunch.
3. Seed crackers with cheese and salad: While this snack requires a little more preparation, it's a great option when hunger levels are high and you want to sneak in a serving of veggies too.
Choose a wholegrain seed cracker variety, top with slices of your favourite hard cheese (tasty, gouda or colby), or two tablespoons of spreadable cheese (cream cheese, cottage cheese).
Next, add your salad vegetables (aim for 1/2-1 cup to achieve 1 serving) - sliced tomato, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts all work really well.
You can always add a serving of protein if desired - sliced ham, cooked chicken, tinned sardines or tuna, or sliced boiled egg.
4. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Nuts are a good source of protein and essential fatty acids.
They can help manage blood sugar levels and promote satiety so will easily see you through to your next meal.
Aim for a three-finger serve (about 1/3 cup or 30g) of raw unsalted nuts.
5. Boiled eggs: You can enjoy eggs whole, sliced on rice cakes, or in a mountain bread wrap.
Eggs are a good source of protein and are a nutrient-dense snack. They can easily be prepared in bulk, so you can have a grab-and-go snack ready in the fridge. One to two are a great snack.
Find out more about Alexandra Pell @goodthoughtco