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Creative Snacking

Updated on July 13, 2009

Tasty ways to eat healthfully

It's often a challenge to eat healthfully, particularly given the abundance of processed foods at our disposal. This is especially true for those working as our options at nearby cafes rarely provide truly healthy choices. And today's society is naught without the average office building or public facility sporting the latest fast foods in snack machines and many other venues.

Packing lunch is critical and can save a trundle for anyone. Yet, that mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack can make all of the difference between productivity and the desire for an afternoon nap. It can also impact how well we remain nourished. A recent read, "Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-Rich Food and Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health" by Abram Hoffer and Jonathan Prousky outlined how the hunting and gathering mentality of most animals does not exhaust itself until they become nutritiously satisfied. The same trends hold true for malnourished human beings, as is often exhibited in impulsive behaviors manifested by persons with ADHD, bipolar and a number of other related disorders. Without appropriate nutrition, the difficulty to attain impulse control is near possible to manifest.

One good snacking choice includes blueberries, which have been recognized for their ability to assist with memory, retention and cognitive function. In fact, rats with Alzheimer's were recently tested and shown to experience a reversal in the disease with the inclusion of blueberries in the diet. Celery is largely water, and a wonderful filler. It also is a wonderful replacement for tortillas if one wishes to add a topping, such as humus or peanut butter. Go with the light peanut butter made organically, and opt for lower fat. There's a delicious Chile Pepper Humus available at Trader Joe's that is excellent. Sugar snap peas are also a nice snack, either plain or with a topping. Remember, when we feed ourselves live food - that is, food off of the vine that hasn't been processed - we are providing ourselves with enzymes and other nutrients we need to rejuvenate our constantly evolving cells. These foods will fill us more quickly since they will address our nutritional needs far more effectively than processed foods lacking essential nutrients. Good nuts to consider would include almonds and walnuts which are plentiful in Omega3s. These fatty acids are critical for brain development and are beneficial to the heart also. Keep the amount to a small handful as too much fat can tip the scales to the opposite extreme. Above all else, try to enjoy each snack, and make it last. Taking twenty minutes to enjoy something has been shown to curb appetite later in the day.

Always carry a water bottle during the day. As human beings are largely made of water - a good 70%, we are in constant need of hydrating ourselves. By satisfying this essential need, we eliminate much snacking that for many is engaged in when hydration is the true issue needing to be addressed. For those who prefer a specific taste over water, adding fresh lemon or lime is an excellent alternative, and healthy for the heart. Tea is an excellent option, though some teas are better than others. Consider green tea and dandelion root as both have healing properties and naturally ward off a long list of illnesses.

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