Even if you’re great at planning healthy meals, it can be hard to stick to your improved diet between those carefully thought-out meals.
For example, what should you do when you need to grab a quick snack between meetings? And what if you’re on a long journey? In these moments, you might deviate from your healthy eating plan, and that can make you feel less motivated more generally.
Fortunately, it turns out that there are plenty of fast and effective snacks that can give you the energy boost you need while helping you to stick to a nutritious diet that keeps you in great shape.
In this article, we’ll work through the best examples of the healthiest snacks – all of which are vegan-friendly.
We’ll explain the benefits each provides, and we’ll close by looking at how HealthyEating.com can give you a healthy eating plan that works.
When you’re feeling peckish, it can be tempting to go off your healthy eating plan – especially when options are in short supply.
However, it’s entirely possible to keep up a diet on the god.
Here, then, are the 14 best healthy snacks, all of which don’t only help you avoid sugary and fatty alternatives but also actively promote your health.
Some make your immune system better at fighting disease, while others promote heart health or help you get a better night’s sleep.
Many can be combined, too, to create super nutritious snacks and meals at short notice and with very few ingredients.
Apples – one of the top vegetarian snacks – are packed full of fiber and antioxidants, both of which boost digestive health and reduce your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
If you combine your apple with a little peanut butter, you add protein (which is a good source of long-lasting energy).
Further, some promising studies suggest peanut butter reduces LDL (i..e, “bad”) cholesterol, making your snack even better for your heart.
However, peanut butter is high calorie, so stick to a tablespoon or so.
A handful of mixed nuts comes in at around 180 calories, and they don’t need refrigeration so they’re an ideal snack when you’re traveling.
Nuts with low fat are rare, but the fat they do include promotes cardiovascular health.
They also give you an excellent dose of fiber, and there is a proven connection between consuming nuts and reduced cancer risk.
When it comes to chip alternatives, kale chips are as good as it gets.
Kale itself is one of the healthiest vegetables around, containing loads of fiber and two key antioxidants (kaempferol and quercetin).
These antioxidants can reduce your blood pressure, improve digestive function, and may even lower your risk of colorectal cancers.
It’s easy to find kale chips in stores, and you can also make your own easily at home by baking kale with olive oil and salt.
Sometimes just having a single, plain piece of fruit is all you need.
Good examples of a simply healthy snack include pears, bananas, apples, satsumas, and grapes.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring – and cucumber with hummus is a great example of a tasty mix that is undeniably good for you.
Cucumbers give you the anti-cancer compound cucurbitacin E, and hummus is a mix of ingredients that lower inflammation.
The average serving of this snack is around 180 calories.
Often advertised as part of a healthy snack, chia seeds are dense little sources of fiber. They’re versatile and compatible with just about every diet plan (from animal-free to ketogenic).
Research on the health benefits of chia seeds shows they can boost heart health, too.
And while they are virtually tasteless, if you soak them in water and cocoa powder you can create a fun snack that has fewer than 200 calories. Add peanut butter to taste.
If you’re looking for tasty healthy drinks to replace sodas and sugar-heavy coffees, it’s hard to beat protein shakes.
Whey protein shakes are especially good for you, as they give you sustained energy between meals – and can even work as small meals in themselves.
They support muscle building after exercise and they promote fat loss as well.
Make one at home by adding a scoop of whey powder to 8 ounces of almond milk and a handful of crushed ice.
Edamame is steamed soybeans, and it has an unusual taste that can be quite addictive once you get used to it.
One reason edamame is the perfect snack is that it promotes weight loss by providing you with powerful antioxidants that help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Edamame also provides you with folate, iron, and magnesium – all vital nutrients that you need for everything from healthy pregnancy to maintaining high energy levels every day.
One of the most versatile and lovely foods, artichokes can be eaten marginated in brine or olive oil.
Each serving is less than 200 calories and keeps you feeling full for hours due to the large number of fiber artichokes contain.
In addition, artichokes support the production and maintenance of healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
They even assist in protecting the walls of your arteries, which can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Dried coconut can scratch the itch for something sweet-tasting, and it is a filling snack that you can easily carry around.
It contains large amounts of heart-healthy fats that keep your heart in good condition and even help you lose weight.
There’s even evidence that people with memory problems may enjoy improved cognition when eating coconut.
However, make sure you buy unsweetened coconut, as the sweetened kind will add empty calories through refined sugar.
Another potent source of healthy vegetable fats, plain olives are at the center of the famous Mediterranean diet (which is said to promote healthy hearts, good skin, and slowed aging).
They provide you with more antioxidants as well, including oleuropein – an antioxidant linked to protecting brain function.
Additional plant compounds in the oil help to control blood sugar, may reduce cancer risk, and lower inflammation associated with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
A true vegan superfood, the avocado is delicious and filling. Its benefits are vast – one of the most well-established is the reduction of LDL (i.e., “bad”) cholesterol, which translates to a lowered risk of heart disease.
Avocados are high in magnesium healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. Avocados also lower bodily inflammation and counteract sun damage to the skin.
For variety, try eating halved avocado with cayenne pepper sprinkled on each half to add flavor and heat.
Tomatoes are good for you, but sun-dried tomatoes are even better.
For one thing, just a single 100g serving of sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil gives you 170% of the vitamin C you need in a day.
Further, Oil helps your body take in large amounts of lycopene.
Lycopene is the cancer-fighting antioxidant that gives tomatoes their characteristic redness.
As with avocados, you can also sprinkle on pepper, salt, or herbs to vary the flavor of this snack.
Mixing red peppers with healthy guacamole gives you the best of both ingredients.
Guacamole brings heart-healthy fats and is dense in fiber that boosts digestive system function.
And bell peppers themselves are spectacular sources of antioxidants (including capsanthin, beta carotene, and quercetin.
A singular bell pepper can give you three times the amount of vitamin C you need in a day, maintaining bone health and helping your body fight off disease.
As you’ve seen throughout, there are dozens of examples of healthy, nutritious snacks that help you stick to a healthy diet while satisfying your appetite.
However, to really get the most out of your food, it’s best to have a clear diet plan that is tailored to your needs. At HealthyEating.com, we help you create your first meal plan as soon as you join us – we have a huge selection of meals and snacks that suit every possible goal.
We also provide you with an accurate calorie counter to make sure you stay in the right parameters every day.
So whether you’re trying to lose weight, strengthen and bulk up your muscles, or protect yourself against common health worries, we’ve got your back.