We all like to snack, and depending on our mental health, some of us may snack more than others. Whether you deal with depression, or you deal with anxiety issues with mental health, snacks are never far away. The more we struggle with mental health, the more we may reach for the snacks.
But snacks aren’t all bad. It is important to make sure the snacks you eat are healthy and nutritious, or you will pile on the pounds, which can not only affect the heart, but can raise cholesterol levels too. They can also help balance blood sugar levels and are good if you struggle with your blood sugar.
When it comes to snacking, we know sugary snacks are not healthy for us but if you allow yourself to get too hungry between meals, this can deplete your energy and make you feel even hungrier, which means you’re more likely to reach for a quick fix.
Instead, try to choose nutrient-rich healthy snacks and filling combinations of protein and fibre. Here is half a dozen of my favourites.
Below is a list of healthy favourite snacks:
Baked sweet potato fries
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre as well as containing lots of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and B vitamins and vitamin C.
One of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that they’re high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Preheat the oven to 220c (450f).
Cut five sweet potatoes, peel and slice into 12/cm long slices. Toss the sweet potatoes in large bowl, with just enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of a salt, black pepper, and garlic powder mixture.
Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown.
Crispy kale chips
I was introduced to these a few years ago and this snack is a great source of vitamins K, A, and C. Place 1 large bunch raw kale leaves, stems removed, on a baking sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Cook at 180c (350f) until crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Turkey is extra lean and high in protein. To make a low calorie, healthy and delicious snack spread 2 teaspoons of honey mustard on 3 thin slices of turkey, top with sliced apple and wrap in lettuce.
Cinnamon-spiced baked apples
Core a large baking and place on a pyrex dish with 1cm water in the bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of brown sugar or sugar alternative and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, then toss to cover. Cover the bowl with a plate and cook in the oven on 180 degrees, until baked. Be careful not to overcook as exploded baking apples can make a mess!
Feta and tomato bruschetta
Top think slices of tomatoes with crumbled feta cheese, then sprinkle with olive oil and chopped herbs such as chives, basil, or parsley.
Bagel with ricotta and strawberries
Spread half toasted whole grain bagel with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta, then top with sliced strawberries and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar.