I tend to stick with three meals a day and rarely get hunger pangs. But when I do, I used to lean on a heap of dried fruits and prepackaged trail mixes.
After some time experimenting around, I found that for someone as lazy as me, these incredibly filling combos are the best choices for snacks to boost satiety (admittedly, it’s mostly because they only take seconds to whip up).
While I’m no expert at nutrition, you can expect to dote on the mood-regulating effects of the following snacks, as well as the steady energy levels you’ll have even after hours since you last munched on them:
1. Raisins + cashews
I was raised with 100-calorie packs of Sunmaid’s raisins as my daytime + evening snacks. My whole family enjoys raisins regularly, especially if they’re still cool when pulled right off the fridge.
Even without added sugars, the wrinkly fruit are sweet as candies, giving you an instant kick of energy. Pretty soon, its high fiber content will fill you up before you grab another bag of candies, which we all know are just empty calories.
For women who are menstruating, raisins are packed with iron and copper – two minerals essential to the formation of new red blood cells, as well as calcium and boron – nutrients that strengthen your bones.
Like raisins, cashews are rich in iron and copper, plus a slew of other essential minerals, namely potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium to boost the antioxidant activity in your body. They’re also one of the sweeter-tasting varieties in the nut family, at least as I taste it. High in protein and essential fats, the kidney-shaped nuts make the perfect sidekick alongside the carb-rich raisins.
2. Greek yogurt + mixed berries (optional: flaxseeds)
If you ask me, I’ll always have this classic combo with the extra crunch from flaxseeds. There is no gray area to my taste buds – I love anything silky-soft and chewy in texture. But if you’re sticking with having yours without the seeds, there’s virtually 0% fat in this snack.
For a light meal, the yogurt-and-berries mix is slightly high in calories – mostly coming from the tart, luscious, protein-rich yogurt. However, your belly won’t be growling for the next few hours. Together with the fiber-packed berries, these two make a great team to boost the health of your gut. Aside from its high fiber and high water content (read: extra hydration), berries are also a delicious way to fight midday fatigue and to alleviate overall stress, thanks to all that antioxidants working for ya.
Just make sure you’re basing the berries with 100% Greek yogurt, lest those added sugars/artificial sweeteners wreak havoc to your mood for the rest of the day.
3. Honey + cinnamon ginger tea
If you lead a pretty athletic lifestyle, you’re in for a big treat: The spicy duo are a manna from heaven when it comes to fighting inflammation. A recent study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine found that when given cinnamon and ginger powders daily, female taekwondo players experienced a significant decrease in the dreaded muscle soreness that normally occur post-workout, whereas the placebo fare did not see any changes during the 6-week intervention.
Cinnamon is long known in the medical community to be a potent spice for regulating blood glucose levels and reducing oxidative stress in the body, whereas ginger is a medicinal powerhouse for treating a wide variety of ailments, from healing a mild headache to preventing tumor growth that leads to cancer. Another study conducted by the same authors also showed that ginger significantly enhances athletic performance as well.
Coated with the antibacterial properties of honey, not only will your sweet herbal concoction relax your worn and torn muscles in no time, it’ll also help you wind down, ward off seasonal allergies, curb existing inflammation in your system, and keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day.
P.S. Did you know that ancient Olympians used to dose on honey to boost their performance?