7 Energizing Snack Foods for Optimum Health

good foodToday’s nutrition message is ‘dump the junk; eat real food’.  I heard the call to eat healthy and enjoy life and acted on it.  Have you?

Obesity, heart disease and strokes are prevalent. It’s clear that many people aren’t either wise or moderate when it comes to the variety of foods and quantities they consume.  So it’s no surprise the nutrition pendulum has swung back toward eating unaltered food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it.

Get snacking but do it right

Foods or drinks eaten between meals are referred to as snacks.  When your energy level is flagging it’s time to fuel your body with a nutritious snack, rather than processed food products or junk foods that lead to health issues. Avoid intake of sugars for quick energy boosts as sugar highs lead to crashing.

Any activity can become a meditation.  …  So when the world beyond your kitchen is in chaos, you can create a healing happiness-filled oasis, where chaos does not reign. In the kitchen, we can create harmony, order, wellness, the antithesis of everything in our lives that stresses and exhausts us. — How to find the Healing Happiness in Cooking

Selecting healthy energizing snack foods and eating the correct amounts to restore your energy balance is a life preserving habit. it’s important to choose high quality nutrient-dense carbohydrates and  add healthy fats and lean protein to your ‘energy snack’ to give you long-lasting energy. Everyone ought to learn how to do that in childhood, but it’s never too late to learn how to snack right by energizing your body with real foods.

Food Cravings, Sensitivities and Allergies

Late Summer Picnic RecipesIt’s common knowledge that food cravings associated with sensitivities and allergies can incline one to over eat. But did you know that underweight people with food sensitivities and allergies find the opposite is true ie. they find it difficult to gain weight?

I have always been a slender person, who has never had a strong appetite.  I’m a light eater and have never eaten large portions of meat or fish. I’m not a sugar junkie and have no interest in commercial drinks. Eating three large meals each day has never been my preference. Instead, I prefer to snack frequently throughout the day.

Maintaining optimum weight and health is a challenge because my low to no-appetite level is complicated by arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia symptoms, and food cravings associated with sensitivities and allergies. There are seven food groups fibromyalgia sufferers may want to consider avoiding. Educating myself about how my body reacts to those food groups helped me uncover which foods are likely to trigger allergy reactions and/or pain, so I can avoid eating them.

smoothies

The good news is that both overweight and underweight people can meet and keep up their ideal weight and  enjoy optimum health, when they choose to take a few lessons from the experts and go on to make the right diet and lifestyle changes. Below are my 7 favorite energizing snack foods for maintaining my ideal weight and optimum health.

7 Energizing Snack Foods for Optimum Health

1.   Fruits loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber are healthy energizing snack food choices.  I have an avocado, apple, banana, peach, pear, apricot, orange or a cup of berries when my energy level drops.

2.  Vegetables and sprouts loaded with nutrients, vitamins, carbs and fiber are another healthy energy boosting snack choice.  I nibble raw veggies (eg. carrots, celery, peas, beans, zucchini, etc.) and a fat-free dip or protein-rich humus made with olive oil to  restore my energy level.

3.   Juicing fruits and vegetables together and making smoothies help me make drinks that kick my energy level up a notch. I combine 80% organic vegetables (eg. carrots, celery, cucumber, ginger root) and 20% fruits (eg. lemon, lime, apple, honeydew melon, watermelon, etc.)  in my energy boosting drinks.

4.    Greek style non-fat yogurt is protein rich and has minimal sugar. It’s an excellent energy booster and combining it with fresh berries in a parfait will kick my energy level up a notch in short order.

5.   Dairy products contain protein, carbohydrates and fat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.  Many people with fibromyalgia find dairy products trigger their flare-ups. Thankfully, I am not among them. I add dairy products like milk and cream to soups and smoothies. I also eat low-fat cottage cheese, cream cheese and other cheeses with salt-free crackers or rusks to energize me and help me keep up my ideal weight.

6.  Seeds and nuts in small servings are high fiber foods, a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. I often choose to energize my body with a raw and unsalted seeds and nuts snacks (eg. flax, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans,  etc.) when I’m feeling low. If I  combine the seeds and nuts with dates, figs or raisins then I decrease the portion size.

7. Eggs are another of my favorite energy boosters. A single large egg (soft boiled, hard boiled, coddled or poached)  has only 78 calories (62% fat, 3% carbohydrates, 35% protein).  I hard boil eggs and I keep a few refrigerated and ready to eat when I need a quick energy fix. I also add a raw egg to my energy drinks when I feel the need for more protein.

Four Fabulous Avocado RecipesOptimum Health and Ideal Weight

For optimum health we ought to drink plenty of water, eat balanced meals and exercise.  A balanced diet will include complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. Exercising daily is a must for achieving and maintaining our ideal weight. The longer the time between meals and exercise, the more we can eat, but watching what we snack on to boost our energy level is key to establishing and maintaining optimum health.

What are your favorite energizing snack choices?

References:
Healthy Snacks for Adults
Health and Vegetarian Diets

15 thoughts on “7 Energizing Snack Foods for Optimum Health

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  5. I love fruits and veg because they are ready to eat and prepackaged by nature. I always plan to make juices but generally stop at lemon juice and sweet lime. Everything else seems easy to just eat directly :-)

    Great post. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hi Vidya,
      I like fruits too but I tend to eat a variety of snacks I divided into 7 groups in this post. You are right. Fruits are perfectly pre-packaged by nature for instant eating. The same can be said of nuts and vegetables too.

  6. Interesting, titi if you find mangoes too sweet. Would lichees, longans be in the same category? I actually find watermelon abit too sweet. As part of power drink, how about red beet juice? Not that I make it. Easier to buy it elsewhere.

    I’m not great on healthy snacks –fruit, tea, more tea and ….sugar-free cornflakes with skim milk. Which I will have in the middle of the day or later.

    • Hi Jean,
      I don’t know why I placed fruits first in this list. I lean more towards eating vegetables and nuts than I do towards fruits. I’m not keen about kumquats, longnans and lychees. I’d rather eat a crisp green apple than any of them.

      Red beet juice is good for juicing and very nutritious (high in iron). I tend to include beet juice when in summer when beets are small and fresh.

      I like various kinds of teas too and will be publishing a post on my favorites soon.

  7. Love this subject! Great snacking tips. I recently learned how to make a nutritious pudding with chia seeds, any kind of milk (so far I’ve tried lite coconut, cow, and almond), a sweetener (I’ve used agave, brown rice syrup and honey) and a flavoring agent (I’ve tried vanilla and lemon zest — on separate occasions, of course). It’s a filling treat, but if you hate tapioca pudding, you probably won’t appreciate the gelatinous yet still slightly crunchy texture of the chia seeds.

    The ratio of milk to seeds is important or the pudding won’t thicken. It should be 5 parts milk to one part seeds (e.g., 2.5 cups milk, half a cup of seeds). Make it in a jar by shaking the milk & sweetener together, then adding the seeds and flavoring(s) and giving it another shake. Store it in the fridge, shaking or stirring from time to time until set (about 4 hours). Easy-peasy!

    • Hi Tina,
      Thanks you for sharing your Chia seed pudding snack idea. It sounds good to me and it’s easy to make so I may try it. I happen to be a tapioca pudding lover.

    • Hi Susie,
      I’m gradually getting back to normal again. It’s taken me almost a year to regain the weight I lost and I’m happy with my progress as I’m feeling good and looking good too.

      You probably won’t believe this but I don’t like mangoes. Yes, I know everyone likes mangoes but they are just too sticky and sweet to appeal to me. But I am sure they do have enough fruit sugar to boost anyone’s energy level.

      • Woohoo!
        I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better! I am going to look into the vaccine for shingles. It sounds like a horrible disease…
        Mangoes aren’t my favorite either, but I bought two of them and expect to be glowing and looking 20 years younger about a week from now… :)

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