10 Healthy lockdown snacks
Helping you avoid sugary (pro-inflammatory) snacks.
Following on from my article explaining why too much sugar may be worsening your symptoms of inflammation, I’ve rounded up a list of my favourite low-sugar, nourishing snacks. While those sugar-filled biscuits or bars of dairy milk may be offering a sense of comfort and temporary moment of pleasure during this time, eating them regularly could be exacerbating symptoms linked to inflammation, leaving you feeling low in energy, foggy minded and irritable, and you may be noticing aches and pains worsening – to understand more about what is happening inside, take a look at my previous article here. By switching up your snacking routine, you can help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, reduce inflammation and in turn improve how you feel, in both mind and body.
Lockdown can be emotionally tough and some days, you just don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen – I get it - so I’ve chosen these snacks specifically as they are super easy and quick to prepare. For the most part, the shops are pretty well stocked now so you shouldn’t have any problems grabbing these ingredients, but many of the ideas are really flexible so feel free to experiment and work with what you have available. Happy snacking!
1. Banana coins and peanut butter
This takes minutes to put together and will provide you with long-lasting energy. Simply slice the banana down the middle, spread peanut butter inside and sprinkle with cinnamon. Try swapping the banana for apple slices or dates and the peanut butter for almond or seed butter.
2. Homemade flapjacks
Shop-bought flapjacks are usually packed with added sugar which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Instead, try making your own and packing with fruits such as apples and raisins to provide the sweetness. Keep an eye out for my Fabulous Flapjack recipe coming soon.
3. Hummus and veggie sticks
This fibre-filled snack can be enjoyed by the whole family and will keep you going until lunch. The fibre will also support the health of your gut which is vital for lowering inflammation in the body. You can buy ready-made hummus from the shops or it is really easy to make your own.
4. Avocado half
A favourite in my household! Simply add a squeeze of lemon juice or dash of balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and eat straight from the skin with a spoon. Not only will its high fat content keep your blood sugar stable, as a nutritious bonus the type of fat in avocado is high in oleic acid content (a mono-unsaturated fat) which has anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Yoghurt bowl
You can do a sweet or savoury version depending on what you’ve got in the fridge – try a bowl of natural coconut yoghurt or Greek yoghurt (a great source of probiotics to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria) topped with berries, seeds, tahini and cinnamon or cherry tomatoes, olive oil and turmeric – get creative!
6. Full-fat cheese and a handful of grapes
You can’t make a snack much quicker than this! Cheddar is great but again feel free to use whatever you have in the fridge. While the grapes contain sugar, they also contain fibre to slow digestion, and eaten alongside the cheese (a source of fat) will slow it further, resulting in a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream.
7. Rosemary roasted almonds
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants - a fabulous anti-inflammatory snack. Simply sauté almonds in coconut oil with fresh rosemary until golden.
8. Kale crisps
These are a fab alternative to your usual crisps. Simply rub kale leaves with olive oil, season and bake for around 10 minutes at 150C – the crunch is incredibly satisfying! Olive oil is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient to use in your cooking (LINK to olive oil post) and kale contains phytochemicals known for their antioxidant properties which are important for reducing free radical activity and inflammation.
9. Hard boiled eggs
One of my go-to snacks are hard boiled eggs and I love to keep a few in the fridge for snacking emergencies. The high-quality protein and healthy fat content are perfect for balancing your blood sugar.
10. Tinned fish
I LOVE tinned fish. Choose oily fish like sardines or mackerel to up your intake of anti-inflammatory omega-3 – either pile onto a slice of whole wheat or sourdough toast or eat straight from the tin for a super nutritious snack in a hurry!
What is your favourite go-to snack? Share your ideas with me by commenting below.