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(StatePoint) With summer in our midst, people will be heading outside to soak up the sun. It’s only natural to want to enjoy the fresh air with the longer days and warmer temperatures. As more activity is added to your daily routine, it is important to engage in more nutritious snacking as well.
Light, nutrient-rich options in the summer months can help boost energy levels, so individuals have all the verve needed to hike that trail, run that race, swim across a favorite lake, or simply enjoy time spent with loved ones. With this in mind, here are a few helpful tips to consider when selecting delicious snacks this season.
1. Choose nutrient-dense foods.
Foods boasting essential nutrients like protein and fiber help stave off hunger. Eat foods rich in micronutrients, including vitamin E, iron, magnesium and zinc.
2. When opting for plant-based options, protein is key.
Protein helps to keep people full, focused and energized. Seeds, lentils and legumes -- beans and peas -- are all great sources of plant-based protein.
3. Sugar is not always sweet!
Be on the lookout for excess added sugars -- they are in more foods than many people realize. Natural sweeteners, such as honey, or foods that are naturally sweet, are the best bet.
4. Keep healthful snack options at arm’s reach.
Whether packing for a road trip, sitting at an office desk, or out and about doing daily activities, it is important to have a nutritious snack option handy to avoid impulsively choosing items that are packed with sugar, saturated fat or empty calories.
5. Look for pantry staples that can be used alone or in recipes.
The best snacks are those that can be used not only alone but also in recipes, expanding your options. Fruit, for example, can be incorporated into a variety of great dishes and salads or enjoyed as a standalone snack.
While nut butters are excellent plant-based sources of protein, they present a challenge for those who suffer from food allergies. Consider SunButter, which uses U.S.-grown sunflower seeds to create a delicious spread that packs in as much protein, and more micronutrients, (such as magnesium, vitamin E, zinc and iron) as traditional nut butters. Plus, sunflower butter contains less saturated fat. Sunflower butter is a tasty choice that can be enjoyed by everyone as a standalone spread and in your favorite recipes. To learn more about SunButter and find great recipes, visit SunButter.com.
This summer, make smart snacking a priority to better fuel your active lifestyle.
Photo 1 Credit: (c) Oleksandra Naumenko - Shutterstock
Photo 2 Credit: (c) SunButter
Photo 3 Credit: (c) Dani Vincek - Shutterstock
Photo 4 Credit: (c) SunButter
Photo 5 Credit: (c) SunButter