Advertising
Advertising

Published on July 31, 2020

21 Best Vegan Snacks for The Afternoon Slump

21 Best Vegan Snacks for The Afternoon Slump

The food industry has seen a monumental rise in the past few years. The idea of “fast food” and “snacks for munching” has replaced the traditional meals and food dishes. These flavor-packed foods have attracted the attention of young ones and adults likewise.

However, over the years, as a result of awareness, people have chosen to shift to healthier and vegan alternatives for snacking. Luckily, food experts have come up with unique flavors and combinations that will serve your cravings through healthy ingredients. The best vegan snacks have managed to gain popularity amongst vegan and non-vegan consumers.

If you are looking to fill up your snack rack with delicious vegan munchies, then keep reading as we have the “ultimate vegan snack” list prepared for you, which will make every serious foodie fall in love.

This list includes options from Fair Trade Certified chocolate bars to Non-GMO flavorful and real ingredients. From serious foodies to professional dieticians, I have taken each of their recommendations into consideration and have made sure to present products that are clean, full of nutrients, and delicious enough to give you a food coma. 

1. LARABAR

    First on our list of vegan snack bars is the Larabar, though it’s not technically a bar. The company promotes this particular brand as a cashew cookie as well.

    Regardless, it’s made out of whole foods and uses 2 core ingredients: cashews and dates. It’s not going to taste like a traditional cookie, but it is vegan friendly since it’s Gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free.

    Buy this vegan snack!

    2. RAW REV

      For those getting into their vegan diet and in need of a quick snack on the go, a simpler option is Raw Rev’s bars. These are more on the sugary side with flavors like birthday cake and double chocolate brownie batter.

      However, they also have other unique flavors with their own benefits. For example, the peanut butter and sea salt bars have lots of protein in them.

      The whole emphasis of these bars is to have good taste wrapped in a bar that’s still vegan friendly. I’d recommend these for those getting into a vegan diet as a middle ground since there are 2 grams of sugar in each bar, which is high for nutritional bars.

      Buy this vegan snack!

      3. WICKEDLY

        Straying a bit away from nutritional bars, you’ve got Wickedly’s peanut butter pretzels. This is an Amazon brand exclusive so you won’t find these in other stores. That said, these best vegan snacks have no sugar in them. Their main ingredients are wheat, peanut butter, and salt.

        Buy this vegan snack!

        Advertising

        4. BARNEY Almond Butter

          The food industry has changed a lot. For the longest time, companies pushed peanut butter and only that. But now that there has been more research and we’ve uncovered that some are allergic to peanuts, there are lots of alternatives. Almond butter is one of those alternatives.

          Even if you don’t have a peanut allergy, almond butter is still incredible and healthy as well. Barney’s particular brand focuses on providing only the essential ingredients, avoiding the addition of sugar and salt to most other kinds of butter around.

          Buy this vegan snack!

          5. LUNA BAR

            Plant-based products have also grown in popularity with plant-based meat making a huge wave in recent years. Luna’s bars are along the same vein as they focus on making plant-based health snacks.

            They offer between 8 and 9 grams of protein per bar and a host of flavors to pick from like lemon, sea salt caramel, and white chocolate macadamia, among others.

            Buy this vegan snack!

            6. NOCOW

              For those who are on the plant-based vegan snack train but want more protein, I’d turn to Nocow’s brand. With a single bar providing 21 grams of plant-based protein, you can easily reach your protein amount with no problem. If the amount of protein is concerning, rest easy because these bars are certified kosher, dairy-free, low on carbs and sugar, and Keto friendly as well.

              Buy this vegan snack!

              7. PURE BARS

                Another good contender for high protein is the Pure bars. These gluten-free bars boast 21 grams of protein per bar and come in a pack of 12. They also offer a wide range of flavors.

                Regardless of the flavors though, you do have to be mindful of the sugar intake. Funny enough, the flavors that contain fruit have higher sugar count than the bars that are chocolate flavored. If you want the least amount of sugar, try the Lemon Cake with only 2 grams of sugar per bar.

                Buy this vegan snack!

                8. KELLOG’S NUTRI GRAIN

                Advertising

                  These bars have been around for decades. You probably have had these growing up as well. Well, these bars are still around and they are still quite healthy. The fruit in the bars is pureed, and the bar itself it’s wrapped around provides 8 essential vitamins. It’s perfect for morning fuel.

                  Buy this vegan snack!

                  9. KELLOG’S RICE KRISPIES

                    Another staple to kid’s lunch boxes is the Rice Krispies squares. Similar to the Nutri-grain bars, these are higher in sugar than others. However, these are still vegan friendly considering the few ingredients that are used to make these.

                    As an adult, these are still quite sweet and a good alternative for those who need a sugar fix and don’t want to feel guilty about it later.

                    Buy this vegan snack!

                    10. GOLDFISH SNACKS

                      The classic fish that smiles back is another childhood familiar for those who had kids or grew up in the early 1990s. These of course don’t have any sugar, but they do contain salt. Though considering the size of each goldfish, it’s not something to be overly concerned about if you’re having them as a snack. The pack I suggest is the 30 pack which comes with a mixture of three flavors – including the classic cheddar flavor.

                      Buy this vegan snack!

                      11. SNYDER PRETZEL STICKS

                        If you love goldfish but are looking for something with less gluten in it, one option is Snyder’s pretzel sticks. They don’t have any cheese flavored ones, but you can still get your salt needs while having something slightly healthier to munch on. Each bag contains 100 calories, so be mindful of how many bags you take.

                        Buy this vegan snack!

                        12. QUEST COOKIES

                          Vegan cookies are hard to come by with many companies opting for bars. That said, Quest Cookies is one that makes cookies that you’ll be sure to fall in love with. What’s also surprising is that despite this being a cookie, there’s less than a gram of sugar per cookie and about 15 grams of protein!

                          Buy this vegan snack!

                          13. LOTUS BISCOFF

                          Advertising

                            Another one of the best vegan snacks you can look to is Lotus’s brand of biscuits. These are certified vegan and GMO-free. The flavor is different from other biscuits because it follows European cookie making. Regardless, these are light and easy to snack on for yourself or guests.

                            Buy this vegan snack!

                            14. POPCHIPS

                              Normally, chips wouldn’t make it to these lists, but similar to plant-based products on the rise, chip companies have also put in the effort to provide other chip alternatives. They are no longer covered in an insane amount of salt and artificial flavoring.

                              While the chips will certainly have salt, Popchips and other healthy brands will be cutting back considerably on the amount of salt. In this case, these chips have 150 to 160 mg of salt which is about 7% of your daily intake of salt. Furthermore, they also have fewer calories than traditional chips.

                              Buy this vegan snack!

                              15. HEALTH WARRIOR

                                Another good contender in our healthy vegan snacks is the Health Warrior brand of bars. The big thing you need to know about them is their prime ingredient is chia seeds. Despite their size, seeds are surprisingly filling and offer a wide variety of nutrients. The only thing you may need to be wary about is that each bar contains about 3 grams of sugar.

                                Aside from that, these can easily be considered as healthy granola bars considering they are plant-based, kosher, vegan-friendly, and verified non-GMO.

                                Buy this vegan snack!

                                16. GOGO SQUEEZE

                                  One other good snack is apple sauce. It may have been a while since you’ve had some, but it’s still quite tasty. But since then, a lot of companies have emerged to provide their own brand of applesauce. For this section, I want to focus on GoGo’s. They have a unique package (requiring you to squeeze the container to get to the apple sauce) but also ensure the apple sauce is 100% fruit-based.

                                  Buy this vegan snack!

                                  17. YUMEARTH

                                    Lollipops can be a dentist’s nightmare, but you won’t run into that situation with Yumearth’s brand. They provide lollipops that are organic. They avoid artificial flavors, dyes, and take pride in having no fructose syrup in them either. They offer a wide range of flavors as well and, above all, are free from the top 8 allergens you can find in most traditional healthy snacks.

                                    Buy this vegan snack!

                                    Advertising

                                    18. HAPPY BABY

                                      Despite the name, this is not baby food of any sort. That said, these are foods that even babies can enjoy if you’re the type of parent who gives sugar-free vegan snacks.

                                      What’s nice about these particular products is these are packed with various superfoods, typically a combination of fruit and a vegetable. Despite the unusual combination, these are very healthy, considering the fruits and veggies being superfoods and quite tasty.

                                      Buy this vegan snack!

                                      19. BELVITA BREAKFAST

                                        Another option for breakfast biscuits is Belvita’s brand. These have no high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors or sweeteners, making them ideal for vegans and also great in general for breakfast.

                                        Buy this vegan snack!

                                        20. KASHI BARS

                                          Have you been searching for the ideal healthy granola bar? Well, look no further than Kashi’s brand of granola bars.

                                          \Kashi offers a wide variety of flavors for you to munch on and are overall a feel-good snack. it offers 23 grams of whole grain, 4.5 total fat, and 3 grams of fiber per 40-gram serving. Furthermore, these are quite filling since they also throw chia seeds into the mix. 

                                          Buy this vegan snack!

                                          21. CLIF ENERGY BARS

                                            The final item on our best vegan snacks list is the Clif energy bar. This brand is everywhere in stores with the iconic man climbing up the side of the cliff. Clif is designed to give you a lot of protein and fuel.

                                            The brand offers a wide variety of flavors and each bar provides roughly 9 grams of protein. The only thing is, convenience does have a price and the only serious drawback from these bars is the 21 grams of sugar in each bar. Consider these as a treat at the end of the month if you really need sugar.

                                            Buy this vegan snack!

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            As you can see, there are loads of options for vegan snacks to try out. From familiar brands to other brands you haven’t heard of, each company offers quality bars or other vegan snacks for you to consider.

                                            The only thing to be mindful is to not indulge in these too much as some of them have decent sugar and salt amounts but can get out of hand if you munch on too many.

                                            More Tips About Vegan Diet

                                            Featured photo credit: Anna Pelzer via unsplash.com

                                            More by this author

                                            Samantha Aloysius

                                            Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

                                            8 Best Essential Oils for Stress Relief best probiotics for women 10 Best Probiotics for Women for Urinary and Digestive Support 10 Best Kombucha Brands To Improve Gut Health 21 Best Vegan Snacks for The Afternoon Slump 10 Best Fitness Trackers to Improve Your Health

                                            Trending in Health

                                            1 Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It) 2 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 3 How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide) 4 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 5 10 Books On Health That Increase Your Eating And Body Awareness

                                            Read Next

                                            Advertising
                                            Advertising
                                            Advertising

                                            Last Updated on November 12, 2020

                                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

                                            If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                            If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                            In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                            What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                            If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                            Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                            • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
                                            • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
                                            • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                            • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
                                            • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                            • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
                                            • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                            Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                            Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                            Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

                                            1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
                                            2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                            3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                            The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                            Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                            You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

                                            Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

                                            If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                                            Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                                            Advertising

                                            Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

                                            Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                            • Difficulty concentrating
                                            • Low stamina
                                            • Difficulty sleeping
                                            • Anxiety
                                            • Low motivation

                                            These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                            Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                            How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                            The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                            Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                            Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

                                              The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                              Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                              Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

                                              If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                              It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                                              Advertising

                                              4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                              Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                              1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                              2. Exercising regularly
                                              3. Using stressbusters
                                              4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                              After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                              I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                              Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                              • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
                                              • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
                                              • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                              • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                              The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

                                              Living Healthy

                                              Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

                                              In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

                                              As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                              Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                              1. Unplug

                                              Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

                                              Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                              2. Unwind

                                              Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                                              Advertising

                                              3. Get Comfortable

                                              Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                              Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                              Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

                                              This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                              Exercise

                                              Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                              That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

                                              I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                              If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                              Attitude

                                              Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                              When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

                                              But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                                              Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

                                              Advertising

                                              1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
                                              2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
                                              3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
                                              4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
                                              5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
                                              6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

                                              This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                              When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

                                              Nutrition

                                              Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                              If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

                                              Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                              Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                              1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                              2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
                                              3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
                                              4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
                                              5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                              6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
                                              7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
                                              8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
                                              9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

                                              Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                              That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                              Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

                                              The Bottom Line

                                              If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

                                              If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

                                              Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                              More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

                                              Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

                                              [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                              [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                              [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                              [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                              [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
                                              [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
                                              [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                              [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                              [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
                                              [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                              [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

                                              Read Next