It's getting colder and darker outside, and when you feel tired after a long day at work or hunger strikes in the middle of your day, it can be tempting to turn to unhealthy snacks to boost your energy levels. But stop right there! There are loads of great alternatives to crisps and sweets which will ensure you survive the mid-afternoon slump. These great snacks to boost your energy levels are sure to leave you feeling inspired, and they're just a starting point - there are so many awesome healthy snacks out there that there's no reason to ever snack on salty, fatty or sugary foods ever again!
Almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack - you should choose plain skin-on almonds where possible, although occasional indulgence in sweet or salted snack packs is ok too! Smokehouse almonds are a particularly tasty treat! Almonds provide vitamin E and magnesium as well as protecting against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Oh and they help lower your blood sugar, making them number one on my list of snacks to boost your energy.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Plain or toasted pumpkin seeds are the ideal energy boosting snack, and it's the perfect time of year to make your own! Lightly toasted seeds taste great on their own, or you can use them as a topping for cakes, muffins and salads. Pumpkin seeds will help maintain your energy levels as well as keeping your blood sugar stable, so you'll be raring to go!
3. Cereal Bars
Avoid the sugar-laden supermarket varieties and opt for a high protein bar, or make your own muesli bars! Combine your choice of dried fruit, oats, grains, seeds and nuts and ensure you're keeping your heart healthy whilst avoiding the dreaded 4pm slump!
4. Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus
Complex carbs help to fill you up whilst avoiding that sluggish feeling, making crackers and hummus an ideal snack to munch at work or on the go during a busy day. Hummus is full of fibre which stops hunger pangs dead in their tracks. Just watch your portion size; around 4 crackers and 1 tablespoon of hummus is perfect!
5. Non-fat Yogurt and Granola
This is a really great anytime snack and combines dried fruit, nuts and grains. If you have time add a sliced banana or berries for a boost.
6. Hard-boiled Egg
Eggs are a great source of protein, provided you don't overindulge! Enjoy your hard-boiled egg plain or stuffed with super-healthy guacamole. You could even add a slice of rye or whole meal bread for an open sandwich!
7. Dried Fruit or Trail Mix
Trail mix is great to keep in your desk for those mid-afternoon cravings, and you can make your own with your favourite dried fruits and nuts. A tasty combo I love is whole almonds, unsalted roast peanuts, chopped pitted dates and dried cranberries.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to bin your unhealthy chocolate bars and enjoy a more energetic and healthy autumn. Just a few changes to the way you snack will ensure that you have more energy even when it's cold and dark outside! Making healthier snack choices also ensures that your body has all the nutrients it needs to stay fit and healthy all winter long - and that means glowing skin, shiny hair and strong healthy nails! Maybe you could share with me some of your favourite healthy snacks for an energy boost?