For so long, we’ve been led to believe that snacking is unhealthy- but did you know that by grazing on healthy snacks between meals can actually deliver your body with some serious health benefits? The right snacks can actually be really good for you!
First, change your perception of what the word “snacking” means. We’re not talking about keeping a chocolate bar and a packet of chips in your desk drawer. We’re talking healthy, natural snacks- not processed junk food!
By keeping healthy, natural, preservative-free snacks (like our Chibbs) on hand throughout the day, you’ll be able to physically feel the health benefits in your body and in your mind. Unconvinced? Here are 7 unexpected benefits of snacking.
- Increased Energy
Have you ever experienced the 3pm slump? It’s that lethargic feeling that sucks the motivation from us between meals if we haven’t made the healthy choices necessary to sustain our energy all day long. Think of food as fuel. Having a healthy snack on hand can give you a natural energy boost without you having to resort to a strong coffee, sugary snack or energy drink. Naturally protein rich foods make for a particularly effective energy boosting snack, but steer clear of heavy carbs that can cause you to feel sleepy, or sugary snacks that can give you a quick boost then cause you to crash.
- Improved Focus
Healthy snacks can also improve our focus and concentration- if we choose the right ones. If you find yourself unable to focus on the task at hand, opt for snacks like blueberries, avocados, nuts, flax seeds and dark (at least 70% cocoa) chocolate to boost your mental clarity.
- Better Mood
“Hangry,” a hybrid of hungry and angry, is a real thing! After eating, our blood sugar begins to drop. When our blood sugar drops, our body releases hormones called cortisol and adrenaline in an attempt to raise those blood sugar levels, however these hormones happen to be the ones associated with increased irritability- so that bad mood isn’t just in your head! By keeping your body fuelled with healthy snacks, you can work to keep your blood sugar levels up and keep yourself in a better mood.
- No More Bingeing
When we deny ourselves the nutrients and fuel we need to keep our body going throughout the day, our cravings grow and grow. To curb those intense, panging cravings, we tuck into the nearest craving curber – and then we binge. By grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day, you’ll keep yourself full and, in turn, your cravings at bay, which means you’re far less likely to find yourself binging on junk foods. Who knew snacking could help you lose weight?!
- A Metabolism Boost
Snacking can help you lose weight in another way- by boosting your metabolism. When we stop eating, our metabolism slows down. When we start eating after a prolonged period of no food, it takes our metabolism that bit longer to kick itself into gear. By snacking on healthy foods, our metabolism will keep working throughout the day. Healthy snacks with a bit of spice to them are particularly good for a metabolism boost- like our Hot & Spicy Chibbs!
- Lowered Cholesterol
If you choose the right foods to snack on between meals, you can actually lower your body’s cholesterol levels. How? By having small, healthy meals more often throughout the day rather than limiting yourself to a couple of big meals. Studies have shown that those who eat six small meals each day had lower cholesterol than those who eat a small breakfast, big lunch and big dinner. This is, most likely, because those who limit themselves between meals have a slower metabolism (as per point 5), so their bodies are storing those calories and absorbing cholesterol and fat. If you want to choose snacks to lower your cholesterol, choose foods like oats, beans and whole grains, and avoid snacking on anything rich in saturated fats.
- Greater Nutrient Intake
Depending on how healthy and considered your choices are, you can increase and improve your nutrient intake through regular snacking. Take a look at your average daily meals and focus on their nutrient content- are you getting your recommended daily intake across all nutrient groups? If not, choose healthy, natural snacks to help you reach those quota each day.