If you’re like me, it’s hard to get through the day without having a snack or two. However, it’s what you snack on that makes a difference. I’m hoping that this post will inspire you to re-think what you munch on so I came up with “The 12 Best Snack Foods for Baby Boomers”
Unless, of course, you’re not into snack foods or never snack at all.
Nah. . . that wouldn’t be fun, right?
Eating small amounts of healthy snack foods during the day is important to regulate blood sugar levels.
Why you may be eating unhealthy snacks
The problem is; the food industry knows we like to snack and that’s why grocery stores tempt us with junk food at every turn. Those delicious salty or sweet tasty treats are conveniently packaged, easy to pop in your mouth and make you cry out for more.
Crackers, Pop-Tarts, Cheese Whiz, candy, pastries, deep-fried chicken nuggets, instant Ramen. . . oh, my!
Then there’s the “health food” aisle. There you’ll find packaged snack foods with health-conscious names that are also loaded with garbage. Take your fried kale chips and power bars and replace them with honest to goodness, ingredient free . . . REAL FOOD.
The 12 Best Snack Foods for Baby Boomers
The snacks mentioned below are simple, yummy, and full of nutrition. Keeping them on hand in your fridge will save you time, money, and health.
1. Raw Almonds
Almonds are one of the world’s healthiest snack foods especially when they’re raw. They help reduce heart attacks, lower cholesterol, protect artery walls from damage, build strong bones & teeth, regulate blood sugar, insulin, and keep your brain healthy. The healthy fat in almonds will also help you lose or maintain weight easier.
Almonds are an alkaline food and will prevent osteoporosis, build your immunity, and give you energy. You can’t go wrong with a handful of raw almonds. Just don’t devour the entire bag in one day.
I know it’s hard.
I recommend you put a daily serving (about 7-12 almonds) into a small baggie so you don’t over-indulge.
Olives contain oleic acid, which is a mono-saturated fat. Like almonds, they lower cholesterol. The oil from olives will strengthen your bones and increase marrow growth. They also help balance your metabolism and fight oxidation, which is an underlying cause of major diseases. Olives are a great source of vitamin E, polyphenols, and flavonoids that reduce inflammation, delay aging, restore body tissues, prevent infection, and guard against diseases such as atherosclerosis, and liver disease.
Delicious Middle Eastern style hummus is made out of chickpeas. Chickpeas lower cholesterol, are high in antioxidants and are an excellent source of fiber. Spread hummus on whole grain flatbread or a mini whole-grain pita round for a healthy snack. You can also dip crunchy raw vegetables into your hummus bowl.
Pre-made hummus has become popular lately and can be found in most grocery stores. (Always look at the label’s ingredient list) For the best-tasting hummus look for authentic Middle Eastern hummus at a middle eastern market if there’s one in your area. Or make a batch yourself.
4. Carrot Sticks
Pre-sliced and cut up carrots are easy to grab from the fridge for a quick snack, but organic carrots are the healthiest. Pre-packaged baby carrots are sometimes washed in chlorine so you have to be careful. Organic carrots provide a rich supply of beta-carotene, which improves vision, but carrots also contain other antioxidants that prevent heart disease and cancer.
Avocado is another alkaline food that has a small amount of protein. Although one single avocado contains approximately 320 calories, its many vitamins and “healthy fats” make it a fabulous snack. When avocado is added to certain foods it helps to increase the absorption of nutrients. Avocados will keep you young, regulate blood sugar, improve eye health, and are heart-healthy. Did you know you can make chocolate pudding from an avocado? And, there’s nothing better than fabulous guacamole or avocado toast.
Guacamole tip: Instead of spreading your guacamole on tortilla or potato chips, try whole-grain Crispbread, such as Rye Crisp, which is rich in fiber. It will help keep you stay regular. Dry flatbread is recommended for diabetics. And, of course, dipping fresh-cut veggies into guacamole is lower in calories than chips or crackers and healthier.
6. Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato
Enjoy a simple Caprese salad made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and olive oil. The antioxidant lycopene in vine-ripened Roma tomatoes helps prevent heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are excellent for maintaining healthy bones, lowering blood pressure, and cholesterol. Plus, they prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
Fresh mozzarella is a light and tasty source of protein which is necessary for energy and muscle health. It prevents gout, breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, and because it is a source of calcium that promotes bone health. Mozzarella comes from Naples, Italy, and was originally made from the milk of water buffaloes.
“Here’s a sandwich for members of the sandwich generation: A whole-wheat baguette topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, arugula, a slice of ripe tomato and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Eat one regularly—instead of, say, a cheeseburger—and it just might cut your risk of heart attack, stroke and other “cardiac events” by 30%”
Eat a handful of grapes to help regulate your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In summer try frozen grapes. One of the many phytonutrients contained in grapes, resveratrol, increases the expression of three genes that are related to longevity. They are SirT1s, FoxOs, and PBEFs. Activating these genes and lowering calorie consumption gives us a much better chance to live long and well.
Grapes also contain the hormone melatonin and other molecules that are anti-bacterial.
That said; drinking red wine high in resveratrol as well as other nutrients will give you significant health benefits if it’s consumed in moderation.
Cherries battle belly fat!
According to a research study, rats who were given whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet didn’t gain as much weight or increase their body fat and had less inflammation than those that didn’t have the cherry powder. Inflammation sets the stage for diabetes and heart disease, Cherries will also lower your blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Another benefit of eating cherries is that they may relieve the pain of gout. For those who work out hard, consuming cherries makes it easier to recover. Cherries also decrease pain from osteoporosis, reduce stroke risk, and even help you sleep better.
9. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy and low-calorie snack that is an excellent source of protein and healthy fat. Eggs help stabilize your blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart attacks.
The protein in hard-boiled eggs builds muscle mass, which is something that Baby Boomers start to lose as they get older. The nutrients in eggs help repair body tissues and provide structure for cellular walls.
Eggs are high in vitamin A. Vitamin A absorbs light in your retinas, protects membranes around the cornea, and lessens night blindness.
Eggs also contain Vitamin D, which will keep your bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D allows calcium to be absorbed in your body and it regulates the calcium levels in your blood.
10. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt that has been strained of its liquid whey, lactose, and sugar is high in protein. It’s filling and is a perfect source of protein for vegetarians. Because Greek yogurt is strained, as opposed to regular yogurt, it’s usually better tolerated by those who may be lactose intolerant. If you are sensitive to cow’s milk, try Greek yogurt made with sheep or goat milk because it’s easier to digest.
Since the fat content in Greek yogurt is high, (Fage full-fat Greek yogurt has 16 oz. of saturated fat) you may want to purchase it at zero or 2% fat.
Greek yogurt contains other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium that protect your bones. Because those nutrients are combined, Greek yogurt is more effective for bone health than taking a calcium supplement.
It contains natural probiotics that will balance your digestive system. Probiotics contain good bacteria that help fight infections which could cause diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Apples are high in fiber, pectin, and antioxidants. and are a perfect fruit to aid in weight loss, prevent coronary heart and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidants in apples oxidize and reduce inflammation which helps in preventing strokes.
Eating “an apple a day” will make you less apt to suffer from metabolic syndromes like diabetes.
Bananas contain tryptophan which is converted to serotonin and helps if you are prone to depression. They regulate blood sugar and are perfect to eat before working out. Bananas protect against muscle cramps, build strong bones, improve mood, reduce swelling, protect against type 2 diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, aid in producing white blood cells, prevent anemia, lower blood pressure and protect against heart attacks and strokes.
The pectin in bananas aid digestion and detoxifies the body from heavy metals. They stimulate healthy bacteria in the body and produce digestive enzymes to help absorb nutrients. The fiber in bananas will keep you regular, but also soothe the digestive tract and help restore electrolytes that may be lost due to diarrhea. They are a natural antacid and help relieve acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.
In other words, monkeys are smart to eat them.
Next time you get a craving,try foods that are healthy snacks
You’ll feel better, stay healthier, and live longer.
What are your favorite foods to nosh on? Please leave a comment below.