When you think of snacking, images of potato chips and candy bars likely come to mind. But what if we told you that snacking on vegan food could actually improve your health?
Vegan snacks can be packed with nutrients that boost your metabolism, improve your mental health, and increase productivity.
Surely you're just waiting to snack on some juicy new knowledge, so without further ado, let's start on the many benefits of snacking on vegan food!
Vegan snacks are packed with nutrients.
People are often under the impression that snacking is bad for you. However, it can have many benefits, especially if you choose healthy, nutrient-packed options. It can also help you reach your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. For example, a simple snack of carrot sticks and celery sticks provides a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre and antioxidants. Add some hummus for a more filling snack, which can help fight inflammation, improve blood sugar and promote better digestion!
You could also try a whole grain bagel with almond butter and banana slices for another filling option. This snack provides complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, healthy fats for satiety, and valuable vitamins and minerals. The ideal healthy combination of snacks should contain a good balance of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Fruits like watermelon, for example, contain magnesium, Vitamins A and C, and lots of water, making it one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. Avocados and coconut are excellent sources of healthy fats, which can keep you feeling satiated for longer. So next time you're feeling peckish, reach for a nutritious fruit or veggie instead of heading for the vending machine.
It can boost your physical and mental wellbeing.
When you're feeling sluggish, it's tempting to reach for unhealthy junk food. Smart snacking choices can give you the energy to power through your day. A "good snack" will provide your body nutrients it needs to function at its best. Studies have shown that eating small, frequent meals/ snacks helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevent overeating.
What you eat can also affect your mental health. The positive effects of healthy snacking were studied by a group of researchers at Cardiff University. They found that eating several smaller meals at frequent intervals (also known as "grazing") was linked with improved cognitive performance and mood than eating fewer and larger meals at longer intervals. The participants given fruits like apples, clementines, and bananas showed lower anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. At the same time, those who ate unhealthy snacks like chips were more susceptible to fatigue and cognitive difficulties.
Indeed, something as simple as an orange or a handful of nuts can give you a much-needed mental boost. The next time you're feeling down, reach for something healthy and see how much better you'll feel. Indeed, as we know, chocolate is a known mood enhancer. But, instead of milk chocolate, you could keep these fudge brownies handy to satisfy that sweet tooth while maintaining a healthy diet.
Vegan snacks can make you more productive.
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a high level of productivity. There's no denying that vegan snacks can be a great way to rouse you from that afternoon slump and help fuel your body and mind. Unlike processed snacks full of sugar and empty calories, vegan snacks can help stabilise your blood glucose level, keep you focused, and help you think better. For example, a handful of walnuts, almonds, or a piece of fruit can give you sustained energy and help raise your metabolic rate. At the same time, a bowl of oatmeal or a green smoothie can provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, vegan snacks are usually lower in sugar than their non-vegan counterparts; they are less likely to cause an energy crash later.
Which healthy vegan snack to choose?
Now that we've discussed the many benefits of snacking on vegan food, you might be wondering what combination of snacks is the best. Here are some tips:
Pack fun snacks
If you are packing snacks for kids, make them more appetising and fun by cutting them into shapes with cookie cutters or adding healthy dips. For example, you could cut celery sticks into "ants on a log." To do this, cut the celery sticks into small pieces. Then, put peanut butter on them. Finally, add raisins or Medjool dates on top to look like ants. For an alternative version, you could replace the peanut butter with a vegan dip like white bin dip or hummus. Healthy doesn't have to be boring! Plus, remember that a fun snack is not just for kids - it's for adults too. Treat yourself.
Granolas and seeds
Granolas and seeds make a great snack because they are easy to pack, and they provide a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For example, you could try a mix of granola, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. This combination will give you sustained energy, and it will help you stay full until your next meal. Many store-bought granolas are plant-based, so you could just buy a few energy bars and granola bars to keep as an emergency stash. You can also make it at home if you have the time.
Roasted chickpeas and sunflower seeds
If you're looking for a savoury snack, roasted chickpeas and sunflower seeds are a great option. Chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, and they contain complex carbohydrates that will give you sustained energy. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. This combination is perfect for when you need a quick pick-me-up. You can make roasted chickpeas at home:
If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil them until soft. You can also use chickpeas out of a can. Wash it to get rid of any loose skins and let the chickpeas airdry for some time. Transfer the dried peas to a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp,
Vegetable chips and white bean dip
Vegetable chips are one of the best vegan snacks you can eat when craving something salty. They are gluten-free, a healthier alternative to regular chips, and can be made with vegetables. Some ideas include kale chips, sweet potato chips, and beet chips. They are usually baked, so they are lower in fat. You could pair them with a white bean dip or guacamole for a complete snack.
Fruit and nut butter
This classic snack is always a good choice. It is easy to pack and provides a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For example, you could try an apple with macadamia butter or a pear with cashew butter. If you are packing this snack for later, put the nut butter in a separate container, so it doesn't make the fruit soggy.
Some other options
Trail mix, dried fruit, and soup are other great snacks to keep at hand. Nuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats, and dried fruit is a great way to get your ‘sugar fix’ without all the calories. But watch your portions, as dried fruit can be very high in sugar.
Vegan snacks are a great way to maintain your productivity. They are usually lower in sugar and calories, providing essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, they can be a lot of fun to eat! When you're packing snacks for yourself or others, remember to include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. And most importantly, don't forget to enjoy it! If you want to learn more about plant-based eating, read our beginner's guide to eating plant-based. Also, don't forget t follow @HerbiDoor on Instagram for tips on vegan eating and to check out our range of delicious vegan meals.
What are your favourite vegan snacks? Let us know in the comments below!
Q: What are some of the benefits of snacking on vegan food?
A: Some of the benefits of snacking on vegan food usually include lower amounts of sugar, calories, and fat. Plus, it provides essential vitamins and minerals.
Q: What should I include in a healthy vegan snack?
A: A healthy vegan snack should include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Q: What are some good vegan snack ideas?
A: Some good vegan snack ideas include trail mix, dried fruit, soup, nuts, and fruit and nut butter. You could also try vegetable chips with white bean dip or guacamole.
Q: Why should I snack on vegan food?
A: You should snack on vegan food because it is a great way to maintain productivity. Plus, it is usually lower in sugar and calories, and it provides essential vitamins and minerals.
Q: Are there any risks associated with snacking on vegan food?
A: No, there are no risks associated with snacking on vegan food, as long as you avoid any food you are allergic to. However, you should watch your portions, as some vegan snacks like dried fruits can be high in sugar.
Q: Is popcorn okay on a plant-based diet?
A: Yes, popcorn is perfectly fine on a plant-based diet. Popcorn is a great and healthy snack because it is a whole grain, high in fibre, and low in calories. Just be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn't have any dairy products or other animal-derived ingredients.