During the weekends, almost everyone feels lazy around and has his/her lunch very late in the afternoon. And somewhere during the late afternoon, a strong craving strikes. Even if during weekdays, you have been eating healthy and clean all day, if not controlled properly, it is these afternoon cravings that will cause you to overload on sugar and salt. In this article, we will be discussing about the healthy snacks to curb afternoon food cravings.
One of the best ways to fight the afternoon snack craving is to plan ahead. Pack your own lunch and make sure to include some healthy snacks to have in hand in the afternoon.
Many health experts are now saying that in addition to three healthy meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyone should enjoy a healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon as well. And after dinner, either a small dessert or late-evening snack also makes you feel good.
The more healthier the food, the more you can eat. For instance, an entire cucumber is about 45 calories and it takes five potato chips to get you to that threshold.
Read on to know the healthy snack options for afternoon cravings.
1. Protein Shakes
Carry a protein shake with you, if you are craving for an afternoon snack. Drinking protein shakes will help to keep your tummy full for a longer period of time as well as provide nutrients to your body. You can make a healthy protein shake by adding bananas with quarter cup yogurt and quarter cup of milk in a blender. Add honey, cinnamon powder and chia seeds, as it will give you plenty of energy and will keep your stomach full.
2. Hummus And Vegetables
Hummus is made of chickpeas, which is rich in protein and fibre. The chickpeas are also packed with iron, folate, phosphorous and B vitamins. Lemon juice is also added in the making of the hummus, which will provide vitamin C and antioxidants. Hummus and raw or steamed vegetables when paired together will make for a filling snack and it's extremely healthy too. This healthy snack aids in controlling the blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
3. Dates, Peanut Butter And Sea Salt
Whether you are at your work desk or at home, keep these ingredients by your side to curb the afternoon cravings. Take dates, top it with peanut butter and sprinkle little sea salt on it and eat it. This perfect combination will satiate your sweet and salty craving while being full of healthy fats, fibre and protein. Or you can add these ingredients in a blender and make it into a smoothie.
4. Yogurt, Almonds And Fruits
Yogurt, almonds and fruits are one of the healthy afternoon snacks that you can opt for. Take plain yogurt, top it with seasonal fruits and almonds. Avoid adding sugar, and you can add little honey for sweetness, if you want. Around 23 almonds provide 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre, 35 percent of vitamin E, 20 percent magnesium, 20 percent riboflavin, 8 percent calcium, and 6 percent of potassium.
5. Baked Banana Chips
If you are craving for chips during the mid-afternoon, why not opt for a healthy chips packet? Baked banana chips makes for a healthier version, as it is packed with potassium. You can make it at home by yourself. Just slice bananas finely, place them on a baking pan and brush them with oil. Bake it for 10 minutes at 180 degrees and add salt and pepper for garnishing.
6. Sliced Tomatoes With Olive Oil And Cheese
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. You can simply cut tomato slices, drizzle olive oil and add your favourite cheese like cheddar cheese, feta cheese and blue cheese. This will make for a perfect healthy afternoon snack, as it is filled with good fats, lycopene, calcium and protein.
7. Banana Bread
Banana bread is made from mashed bananas, which is perfect for a healthy sweet snack. One slice of banana bread without walnuts contains 196 calories. The rest of the calories in a banana bread come from the 6.3 grams of fat and carbohydrates. Banana bread contains essential vitamins and minerals, like potassium, copper, selenium, manganese and vitamin B6. If you add walnuts to it, the bread would provide more than 20 percent of copper and manganese.
8. Roasted Spiced Almonds
A handful of roasted spiced almonds will make for a healthy afternoon snack. Almonds provide vitamin E, fibre, protein and healthy fats. In a bowl, add almonds, stir in the cumin powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir the spices in the oil until warm for about 30 seconds.
9. Brown Rice Pudding
Brown rice is healthier than white rice, because brown rice is a whole grain that contains the bran and germ. This provides fibre and several vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, manganese, protein, fat, selenium, magnesium, calories, etc. You can combine brown rice, milk, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Place it in an oven and add honey or berries for taste.
Raisins are sweet, healthy and packed with vitamins and minerals. They are loaded with energy and rich in fibre too. Raisins can help in digestion, boost iron levels and keeps your bones strong. These sweet treats have healing properties that soothe the stomach as well. About 3 tablespoons of raisins which is roughly about 75 raisins will help you get through the day even better.
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