Do you LOVE a good snack around 3 pm?
Join the club! :)
We all need to know about yummy snack foods that won't pack on the pounds. So, here are REAL foods that you can snack on throughout the day and know that you're giving your body energy, your mind clarity, and your complexion a healthy glow. Good stuff, huh?!
1. Celery-Celery reduces inflammation, so if you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief. It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better. It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity. Celery aids digestion. Some say celery tastes like “crunchy water,” which is why it is so good for your digestive system. The high water content of celery, combined with the insoluble fiber in it, makes it a great tool for easy passage of stool. Note: because celery has diuretic and cleansing properties, those with diarrhea should avoid eating it. It contains “good” salts. Yes, celery does contain sodium, but it is not the same thing as table salt. The salt in celery is essential for your health. Add a little natural almond butter, sunbutter, or peanut butter on top and you've got a good & tasty afternoon snack!
2. Bell peppers-One cup of bell peppers will give you more than your daily quota of Vitamin A and C. The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety. Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which lavish you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The capsaicin in bell peppers has multiple health benefits. Studies show that it reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation. The bell pepper is a good source of Vitamin E, which is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful. Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. My kids love red bell peppers, too. Grab a few at the store, wash them, cut them up, and have them ready for after-school snacking. They are perfect all by themselves or with a little hummus.
3. Kale-The fiber found in kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Kale is a detox food. It’s filled with fiber and sulfur which are great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy. Kale is rich in organosulfur compounds which are known to fight cancer, especially colon cancer. Kale is full of sulforaphane which helps which nourishes the immune system. It is very high in fiber and has more iron than beef per calorie. It's also very high in in Vitamin K, full of powerful antioxidants and much more. Add kale to your green smoothie to get all the benefits! Or make some delicious kale chips. (No one can eat just one!)
4. Broccoli-Its deep green hue is a dead giveaway that it’s full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Broccoli is also packed with gut-filling fiber which helps you to feel fuller longer! Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. Broccoli is anti-inflammatory because of the phytonutrients. It's a smart carb and its high fiber content aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories. It's also alkalizing to the body. Grab a little tree today and eat up! One of my favorite ways to eat broccoli is to toss with a little olive oil, sea salt, and lemon pepper. Roast it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Soooo good!
5. Cauliflower-fights cancer, boosts heart health, is anti-inflammatory, iis rich in vitamins and minerals, boosts brain health and is good for digestive health. You should Google "cauliflower recipes" and see what comes up. There's so much you can do with this delicious veggie! One simple thing you can do is roast it. Also delicious raw with a homemade veggie dip.
6. Cherry tomatoes-yummy, juicy, sweet and contain vitamin A. They help maintain eye health and boost your immune system. Another vitamin in cherry tomatoes, vitamin C, also impacts your immune system. Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, can impact prostate health. Great for snacking...these are my youngest daughter's favorite thing to eat! In fact, I sent some to school with her today for her snack! Juicy, nutritious, and delicious.
7. Spinach-you gotta eat those alkalizing greens! The bounty of vitamins and minerals in spinach can bring you quick relief from dry, itchy skin and lavish you with a radiant complexion. (Ask me about my husband's spinach/complexion story!) Regular consumption of fresh, organic spinach juice has been shown to improve skin health dramatically. Everyone talks about the benefits of spinach in nourishing the eyes and building bones. It's also excellent for digestion. Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that you stay free of ulcers. It also flushes out toxins from the colon. Spinach is a go-to in my green smoothies, and a green smoothie is the perfect afternoon snack.
These foods are delicious, nutritious, and perfect to snack on without packing on the pounds. Eat the rainbow!! This is the way God intended for you to snack. I recommend that you buy veggies, wash them, and cut them up so they're ready to eat when the urge hits. I promise you that if they're ready to eat, your family will eat more of the good stuff! Now, excuse me while I go eat some broccoli. :)