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15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

Healthy snacks can be hard to find, especially when you come home from work after a long day and just feel like eating junk food for a quick fix. But have no fear! There are more and more healthy snack options today than ever before. This article will shed light on some new products and ideas to help beat those horrible cravings. And instead of leaving you with a sugar crash, you will feel clean and energized.

1. Coconut Chips

Yep, coconut is now in a “chip” form! Why try these? Coconut chips are made from a nutrient-dense superfood – coconut – and are naturally full of flavor! Some brands take fresh slices of young coconut and roast them until they have this perfect crunch. Watch out for brands that have too many ingredients, though. My favorite are the kinds that include just three things: coconut, cane sugar, and salt! I would describe coconut chips as not too sweet, slightly savory, creamy and refreshing; they are super tasty. Lastly, a quarter of a cup contains about 4% of the average recommended daily iron intake.

Coconut has a high content of saturated fats. Saturated fats are very important for our health and even our brain function. In fact, saturated fat composes 50% of our cellular membranes and plays a necessary role in strengthening our cell walls and protecting the inside of each cell.

If the coconut chips you snack on were prepared with virgin coconut oil, they would be considered even more healthy for you. Virgin coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fat, and because of this can actually speed up weight loss, lower cholesterol, and reduce your risk of a heart attack.

coconut chips

    2. Walnuts

    Walnuts are something I have recently discovered and are super good for your heart. You really only need a quarter to a half cup to start feeling full. Not only are they high in omega-3s, but new research has suggested that the omega-3 ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal.

    walnuts

      3. Ginger Chews

      Ginger has long been thought of as a powerhouse for your body. Not only will it fire up your digestive juices, improve the absorption of essential nutrients in the body, and reduce nausea, but it can even help reduce joint pain with its anti-inflammatory properties. Confused about which ginger snack to try? Try starting with mango-flavored ginger – it’s decadent.

      Ginger may also help increase insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the findings of a recent study conducted by researchers from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran and published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

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      ginger chews

        4. Dried Mangoes

        Dried mangoes have limited calories and are super tasty! Mangoes are also rich in polyphenols. Mango polyphenols, like other polyphenolic compounds, work mainly as antioxidants, a property that enables them to protect human cells against damage due to oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and many degenerative diseases. Of the many polyphenol antioxidants in the mango, the most studied and popular one is called mangiferin. Mangiferin is a special polyphenol in the mango that continues to attract much attention because of its potential to combat degenerative diseases, like heart diseases and cancer.

        Just make sure to buy your mangoes without sulphites. Sulphites are regulated food additives that are used as preservatives to maintain food color and prolong shelf life, prevent the growth of micro-organisms, and to maintain the potency of certain medications. Many people who consume sulphite products experience unpleasant side effects (which is why the government is making a law that states all products with sulphites have to be labeled: “May contain sulphites”). For example, do you ever get wheezy and experience asthma-like symptoms when you eat dried fruit? You may not even realize this but it could be the sulphite preservative!

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          5. Apple with Almond Butter

          Almond butter is very rich and creamy, just like peanut butter, and tastes amazing with apples. The sweetness of apples is quite complementary to the nutty flavor of almond butter. Also, with this snack you will be getting some protein and fiber. In fact, did you know that almond butter has more fiber than peanut butter? Pretty great! Lastly, almond butter has a low glycemic index, meaning it will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep you feeling full longer. This is crucial because regular blood sugar spikes and drops slow down your metabolism.

          6. Veggie Sticks

          Heard of these before? Basically, they are vegetable chips. These are to die for and are definitely one of my new favorite snacks! It’s also amazing how many nutrients are shoved into these little chips. Indeed, Veggie Stix are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, D, and B6, and a good source of vitamins E and K. If you have problems with digestion, you may want to consider upping your vitamin B6 intake as it is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions associated with your metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy, as well as immune function.

          Veggie Stix are also made with all natural ingredients: potatoes, tomatoes and spinach, pure sea salt and non-hydrogenated oils. That means 0 grams of trans fat and the chips have 30% less overall fat than regular chips! Wahoo!

          veggie

            7. Chocolate-covered Roasted Inchi Seeds

            Heard of Inchi seeds? You have now! What’s so special about these power seeds is that they have 17 more omega-3s per ounce than wild sockeye salmon – that’s insane! Indeed, they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 on the planet.

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            inchi seeds

              So, how can these Amazonian seeds have such a high antioxidant level? It’s all in the roasting process. Inchi seeds are roasted at a low temperature to preserve their high omega-3 content. Then the unmatched combination of taste and nutrition – that’s also gluten-free and packed with complete protein – makes them the perfect healthy indulgence. Lastly, you can often find this seed in many delicious flavors; my favorite are those covered in chocolate.

              8. Sliced Tomatoes Sprinkled With Feta and Olive Oil

              This snack will definitely make your taste buds happy. If you don’t like feta or olive oil, you can always sprinkle another type of cheese on top, or a light salad dressing.

              Professor Teruo Kawada and his team of researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food in Kyoto have found a substance in tomatoes called 13-oxo-ODA, which is a special type of unsaturated fatty acid. This chemical was found to help decrease the amount of neutral fat in your body and prevent metabolic syndrome from setting in.

              tomatoes with feta

                9. Dark Chocolate (90% Cocoa)

                I know, I know, most of you think dark chocolate is gross, but I have discovered a way to mask the bitter flavor while still getting all the health benefits: buy a brand that has coconut flakes mixed in!

                Dark chocolate is really good for your health because it has a low glycemic index, lots of antioxidants (antioxidants fight free radicals and damaged cells, preventing cancer), and can even improve your mood. Dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. According to Natural Highs, a book on supplements and nutrition, this is because chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.

                Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.

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                coconut flakes

                  10. Hummus Dip with Vegetables

                  If you are unsure what hummus is, it can contain many different ingredients but the base is always chickpeas and tahini, a sesame seed paste. Chickpeas are nutritious because they do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fat, and are rich in protein. Furthermore, they are also known to be quite effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in your blood vessels. Apart from that, chickpeas also help to maintain the correct blood sugar levels. By preventing that blood sugar spike, you will actually feel full longer! All you need is some vegetables to dip in and voilà – a filling, healthy snack to help you get through the day!

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                    11. Celery and Peanut Butter

                    Celery is an undervalued vegetable. It is loaded with nutrients and contains almost no calories – one large stalk has maybe 10 calories. Celery is great because it can lower your blood pressure, 100g contains about 8% of your RDI of vitamin A (great for your eye health), it aids in digestion because it’s high in insoluble fiber, and it even lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol). One Chicago University research study showed that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points.

                    healthy snack

                      12. Zucchini Pizza Bites

                      I know, I know, when you hear the word “pizza” the last thing on your mind is health. However, there is nothing wrong with sprinkling some cheese and tomato sauce over zucchini and baking bite-size zucchini pieces for 30 minutes. Cheese is high in calcium, and most people don’t realize that zucchini is high in vitamin C, which protects your cells from free radicals (damaged cells that can lead to oxidative stress in the body – and possibly cancer).

                      Zucchini is also high in two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, which belong to the carotenoid family, the same nutrient family that includes beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. In fact, the American Optometric Association notes that intakes of at least 6 milligrams per day can reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes blindness. A cup of chopped zucchini provides 2.6 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin, or 43% of this intake goal.

                      zucchini pizza

                        13. Strawberries Dipped In Yogurt

                        Just dip some strawberries in yogurt, then put them in the freezer for 20 minutes and voilà! Easiest snack ever! If you want to go even more healthy, try using Greek yogurt. Not only does Greek yogurt have half the sodium of regular yogurt, but it also has more protein – about 20 grams of protein per serving, whereas regular yogurt provides around 11–13 grams. Greek yogurt’s high protein content makes it a favorite among people trying to manage their weight as it helps ward off hunger.

                        strawberries

                          14. Pickles In a Blanket

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                            If you’re like me and love pickles, why not try “pickles in a blanket”? Pickles are a great snack as they are low in both fat content and calories – after all they are just pickled cucumbers, and cucumbers are loaded with goodness. The typical dill pickle wedge contains less than one gram of fat and four calories. While the pickle won’t knock your socks off in regards to calories or fat content, it will pack a punch with its vitamin K content. One pickle slice contains as much as 20% of your daily vitamin K requirement, which is known to prevent blood clots after injuries. Pickles also contain sodium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Note, however, that the odd brand is high in sodium, so don’t consume too many.

                            If you aren’t sure how to eat pickles in a blanket, why not try wrapping them in salami or turkey with a bit of cheese? Yum.

                            15. Edamame Sprinkled With Sea Salt

                            In case you don’t know, edamame is the Japanese word for sweet, green soybeans. They are harvested at the point when the beans are well developed but still soft and green. In North America, they are most often served hot with sprinkled salt; however, in Japan they are often chilled before serving.

                            Edamame make such a great snack and are super tasty! Not only do they contain both protein and essential trace minerals, but according to an article published in the Critical Reviews in Food and Nutrition, soy isoflavones (plant-based chemical similar to estrogen) play a role in your gut microflora and thus digestion. Furthermore, phytoestrogens help lower cholesterol, according to MedlinePlus, and research published in the March 2012 issue of Menopause indicates that they reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

                            edamame

                              So there you have it: 15 fantastic healthy snacks you should always have at home. Snacking should be fun and never boring. Hopefully these snack options make you realize how simple and tasty eating healthy really can be.

                              Featured photo credit: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home via eco-savy.com

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                              Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                              20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                              20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                              Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                              If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                              1. Create a Daily Plan

                              Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                              2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                              Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                              3. Use a Calendar

                              Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                              I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                              Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                              4. Use an Organizer

                              An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                              These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                              5. Know Your Deadlines

                              When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                              But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                              6. Learn to Say “No”

                              Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                              Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                              7. Target to Be Early

                              When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                              For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                              Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                              8. Time Box Your Activities

                              This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                              You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                              9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                              Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                              10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                              Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                              You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                              11. Focus

                              Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                              Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                              Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                              12. Block out Distractions

                              What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                              I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                              When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                              Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                              13. Track Your Time Spent

                              When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                              You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                              14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                              You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                              Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                              15. Prioritize

                              Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                              Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                              16. Delegate

                              If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                              When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                              17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                              For related work, batch them together.

                              For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                              1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                              2. coaching
                              3. workshop development
                              4. business development
                              5. administrative

                              I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                              18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                              What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                              One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                              While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                              19. Cut off When You Need To

                              The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                              Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                              20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                              Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                              More Time Management Techniques

                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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