Over the last 25 years, veganism has risen by 360% due to a combination of increased environmental awareness as well as growing reports of the potential health benefits. In this same period, our lifestyles have gotten busier and more people are snacking on the go. Whilst finding a healthy plant-based snack may be challenging, we’re here to help make things easier. Read on for our top 5 choices.
Trail mix is the perfect snack for when you’re on the go, as you can either pre-mix your own or buy ready-made packets. Dried fruits are a great source of natural sugars to give you an energy boost, whilst nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, protein and fibre to keep you feeling full until your next meal. Try adding chia seeds or walnuts for essential omega-3 fatty acids, and goji berries for a dose of vitamin C.
Soy and nut mylk yoghurts
A nut mylk (think almond or coconut) or soy yoghurt is fantastic if you’re craving a bit of sweetness between meals or for dessert. High in filling protein, a small 125g pot is the perfect size to keep you feeling satisfied. It’s also a great post-workout alternative to protein shakes or bars for supporting muscle growth and maintenance. Make sure a serving contains 15g of protein or more to get the full benefits.
Fruit and nut butter
For the perfect pre-workout snack, reach for a piece of fruit topped with a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter. Fruit provides slow-release carbohydrates and is a great source of potassium and vitamin C (among other nutrients); our favourites are apples, pears and bananas. Meanwhile, nut butter is rich in protein and healthy fats to keep you going. Heading to the gym straight from work? Pack a nut butter sachet with your fruit for the ultimate in modern-day convenience!
Veggies and hummus
Hummus and vegetable sticks is a great snack for all ages, requires minimal preparation and is highly nutritious. Hummus is a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fibre, whilst veggies are full of key micronutrients. For example, carrots are high in fibre as well, but they also have beta-carotene; an antioxidant that’s important in keeping our immune system and vision healthy. Meanwhile, cucumber has a high water content, so is the perfect choice for topping up your hydration.
Smoothies are both convenient and delicious. Be aware though that blending fruits and veggies into purees can remove some fibre and increase the amount of extrinsic sugar in smoothies. However, adding a source of protein (for example yoghurt) and healthy fats (for example nut butter or avocado) can slow the release of this sugar into our bloodstream. Make your own at home or carefully check the ingredients list on shop-bought smoothies.
Snacking can help keep our metabolism and blood sugar balanced, prevent over-eating at our next meal and fuel our workouts. A nutrient-dense snack that’s high in fibre and protein and low in added sugar is ideal. Next time hunger strikes, reach for one of the above simple, cost-effective and highly nutritious options.