It’s Day 16 of our April Weight Release Challenge! Today I want to share some plant-based snack ideas with you. I know that you may not be a vegetarian, but there are some benefits to eating like one.
Studies show that people who primarily eat fresh plant foods and exercise enjoy improved psychological health and lower body fat on average than those who don’t. Healthy vegetarian snacks can boost mood and help reduce stress related issues. They can also lower blood cholesterol, and strengthen cardiovascular function. Below are some vegetarian snacks for those who want to add more plant-based foods to their healthy lifestyle.
Avocado Salad – Avocado helps reduce certain skin conditions, as they appear to help decrease inflammation and stimulate collagen repair. In France, avocado is mixed with natural herbs and soya bean, and given as prescription drug. Check out this great recipe…and this one.
Walnuts and Flaxseed Mix– These foods are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, which is crucial in helping decrease inflammation. This mix is a good alternative for fish oil and supplements. Add dried fruit and other nuts for homemade trail mix.
Orange and Apple Fruit Salad – Vitamin C, dietary fiber and folate in these fruits are found helpful in lowering urate levels (which can contribute to gout, arthritis and kidney stones) in a study conducted by medical researchers. Vitamin C in orange is an anti-oxidant that can prevent the breakdown of food into free radicals. People who ate the least amount of Vitamin C rich foods were twice likely to develop inflammation compared to those who ate the most.
Vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Balsamic Vinegar Dressing – Consumption of both vegetable and olive oil is associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a large study. Using oil and vinegar instead of traditional dressing will help you to
Dry Cranberries – Cranberries are one of the most researched foods for the prevention of UTI in women. They are also good source of vitamins and minerals. They also inhibit the growth of E.coli bacteria in the body.
Stuffed Mushrooms – There is a growing evidence that a calorie-restricted snack that is low in carbohydrates is more effective in treating weight-gain related symptoms than the conventional diet. Mushrooms contain selenium (good for the bladder) and vitamin D. Mushrooms are also low in calories.
Bean Salad or Soup – Fiber works wonders to add the bulk and water your body needs to stay regular. People who consumed more than twenty grams of fiber are more physically active than others. One cup of bean salad is a great way to get fiber every day as well as protein. You can add bouillon cubes for more flavor in soups. Add tofu for additional protein in salads.
Almond Snack – Eating a snack with protein as opposed to sugar before and during vigorous exercise can give a lasting energy. Think a handful of almonds instead of energy drinks before going to gym.
Hummus – Hummus is a great replacement for dairy-based or sweet dips. You can dip whole wheat crackers, breads and fresh vegetables in it. You can find hummus with a variety of ingredients like peppers and spinach. Since it’s made with chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), hummus is a great source of fiber. Fiber helps your body regulate sugar levels and keep cholesterol low.
Peanuts – Research has shown depressive behavior associated with poor zinc intake. Peanuts are a good source of zinc as well as other minerals that the body needs.