Snacks play an important role for those of us who want to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. In general, a snack keeps up our energy levels and, more importantly, may prevent us from consuming too much food at each meal. But we must pay attention to what kind of snacks we choose. Vegetables, fruits, nuts or whole grains are always good choices that provide many of the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs. Healthy 100 calorie snacks are ideal for weight control and managing the in-between meal hunger pangs we may feel.
Having a healthy balanced diet is an essential part of maintaining optimum nutrition and health, but to know which foods are not damaging to your diet or finding snacks that are low in calories can at times seem a daunting undertaking. Have no fear! There are certain foods that fit into the 100 calorie category, offering excellent options in different situations.
- 2-3 slices of melon like cantaloupe or honeydew or a single watermelon slice contains about 60 calories. Watermelon is rich in lycopene (the natural pigment that gives it its red color), antioxidants as well as B vitamins essential for energy, and is an excellent source of vitamin A due its beta-carotene content. It is also a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
- A cup of tomato juice contains about 70 calories. As with watermelon, tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that is essential to combat formation of certain cancer cells. The consumption of tomatoes may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar.
- A small banana contains about 90 calories. Bananas are mainly composed of fibers and sugars (fructose, glucose, and sucrose), so they are a great source of instant energy. They also contain iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. A banana can help reduce depression, anemia and constipation. It is effective in the prevention of hypertension and can improve nerve function and maintain healthy bones.
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds contain about 95 calories. A pumpkin seed is one of the most healthful seeds. This seed is a natural resource of amino acids, carbohydrates, and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K and are loaded with B vitamins. They are rich in niacin, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. They are also known to have many health benefits including protecting the prostate, the treatment of depression, osteoporosis prevention and treatment of parasites. I always keep a small packet of nuts or pumpkin seeds in my handbag to snack on. This way, I won’t be tempted to reach for other, less healthy snack options.
- A slice of gingerbread contains about 95 calories. It can be difficult to find a healthy dessert. You should choose those that are low in calories and bad fats and high in fiber and vitamins. Gingerbread can be a good alternative to sweet snacks. There are many healthy recipes available online if you choose to make your own gingerbread at home. This is always my recommendation since the conventionally processed brands contain additives and sugars that you are much better off without. And, gingerbread is a holiday favorite.
Keep it light and keep it healthy. 100 calorie foods can be easy to take with you on the go. The options given here are nutritious and readily available but they are not all inclusive. A little research and legwork can give you with all the knowledge you need when choosing healthy snacks.