Healthy Snacks for Winter: Christmas Treats!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the food is so delightful!
There’s a chill in the air as Christmas draws nearer. Mince pies and mulled wine are starting to make an appearance and the time for stuffing your face with festive goodies has arrived! The cold weather is a prerequisite for snacking, which can help us acquire the energy and nutrients we need to get us through these winter months.
Unfortunately, the temptation is often to fill ourselves with sugar-filled and starchy foods, but this needn’t be the case. It is possible to snack on healthy treats, without sacrificing taste...Christmas time is about indulgence after all!
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy festivities, such as invigorating walks, ice skating, fireside gatherings and feasting on Christmas snacks. However, the accompanying cold and dark weather presents its own set of challenges.
The combination of winter’s drier climate and the widespread central heating leads directly to skin dehydration. Smothering your body with moisturizer will create a protective barrier, but drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy snacks can help prevent dry skin altogether. Vitamin C & vitamin E, Omega 3, healthy fats, isoflavones and antioxidants all play a role in maintaining skin health.
Lack of daylight, a tendency to sleep too much, cold weather and snacking on unhealthy treats can all induce fatigue. Swapping the toffee apples and sausage rolls for some more nutritious snacks can provide you with long-term, sustainable energy. Eating a balanced diet, with foods that are low in sugar, but high in vitamin D, protein and iron can help you beat those winter blues!
Cold weather leads to winter illnesses. Ensuring you eat healthy will ward off those nasty viral infections. Boost your immune system by consuming healthy snacks with essential nutrients, such as protein, vitamin A & D, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.
Healthy Winter Snacks
Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious snacks that will help you contend with these winter challenges. Here are just a few ideas you can try:
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of unsaturated fats, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Not only will these improve the condition and appearance of your skin, but they will also support your immune system in fighting off those winter infections. The significant levels of iron and protein will keep you energized and the high fibre content will keep you feeling fuller for longer this Christmas.
Canadian Living recommends approximately a handful of these every day. Eating a variety of seeds and nuts will ensure you get a good mix of nutrients, bolstering your health and well-being. For a quick snack, try eating a spoonful of nut butter on toast. If that’s not to your taste, gently dry fry/roast nuts and seeds, then add a splash of soy sauce before serving.
As an alternative, you could try our Chocolate Almond Coconut bar, which contains almonds and sunflower seeds. Our nutritionally balanced energy bar is a delicious protein blend, full of vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, calcium and healthy fats.
Dried fruit and berriesIf you have a sweet tooth, then eating dried fruit and berries is a great alternative to sugary Christmas snacks. The health benefits of fruit are manifold, as they contain a huge variety of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. These play a role in maintaining the condition of your skin and bolstering your immune system.
The fibre content helps slow down the rate of glucose digestion, which prevents an insulin spike and decreases the likelihood of a sugar high. It also means that your body has more time to use glucose as fuel, instead of storing it as fat!
This winter, you could eat dried fruit and berries as they are. Alternatively, you could enjoy them as part of a nutritionally balanced snack, such as one of our Lemon Goji Berry bars.
You read that correctly...chocolate! Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content can provide all sorts of nutrients, including iron, zinc and healthy fats. Studies suggest that eating it (in moderation) will protect your skin against the elements, as well as supplying your body with long-lasting energy to beat winter tiredness. Furthermore, cocoa is a considerable source of antioxidants, which has been touted as beneficial towards skin ageing, oxidative stress and blood pressure regulation.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the chocolates in your Christmas advent calendar will provide you with any health benefits. We suggest choosing a dark chocolate snack with a high percentage of cocoa and low in sugar and fat. To avoid the resulting bitterness, you could try it as part of our Chocolate Quinoa Coconut bar, which contains all of the nutrients without the harmful additives.
So check out our range of delicious Eat Nagi organic snack bars and choose your perfect winter companions!
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