Change snacks, change your life

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health.

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - Dr Libby is speak­ing through­out New Zealand in Oc­to­ber. For more in­for­ma­tion visit: dr­libby.com WITH AU­THOR AND NU­TRI­TIONAL BIO­CHEMIST DR LIBBY

Ques­tion: Can you please give me some quick and sim­ple snack ideas? I’d eat much bet­ter if I had good-qual­ity snacks. Thanks, Michelle.

Hi Michelle, eat­ing the right snacks can trans­form your day.

I so of­ten find it is snack foods where peo­ple get stuck.

They can start with a nour­ish­ing break­fast, grab what­ever they can for lunch and then all of a sud­den the 3pm sugar crav­ings kick in and any bar of cho­co­late, packet of lol­lies, bis­cuits, muf­fin or cof­fee stall bet­ter be ready for you!

Be­ing or­gan­ised and hav­ing home­made snacks ready and avail­able can truly change your health. Here are a few quick and easy op­tions to get you started.

Nut but­ter Eaten by the ta­ble­spoon or on your choice of good-qual­ity crack­ers or raw veges, al­mond, cashew or ABC spread (al­mond, brazil and cashew) pro­vides good fats and pro­tein to keep you fu­elled for longer.

A great af­ter­noon snack, chose good-qual­ity brands that only use nuts and salt, with no added other in­gre­di­ents.

A nour­ish­ing smoothie If you have ac­cess to a blender, a smoothie is a great way to eat ad­di­tional serv­ings of veg­eta­bles and fruit.

Try a quick green smoothie with spinach, banana, pars­ley and co­conut wa­ter (or wa­ter) – blend and en­joy. Or try a salted caramel smoothie with nut but­ter, a pinch of salt, banana, dates and al­mond milk.

Soup Prob­a­bly not the first thing you think of when you think of quick snack foods but leftover soup makes a nour­ish­ing snack.

A great way to pack in ex­tra veg­eta­bles dur­ing the day – a soup with ku­mara, pump­kin or potato as well as plenty of greens can be par­tic­u­larly sat­is­fy­ing.

Fruit and seed truf­fles

A tasty and cost-ef­fec­tive snack, use pump­kin and sun­flower seeds, dates, co­conut and ca­cao pow­der (to make them cho­co­late-flavoured) for a quick and tasty snack idea. A great al­ter­na­tive to bought snack bars.

Dark cho­co­late Two squares of good-qual­ity dark cho­co­late (prefer­ably or­ganic) in the af­ter­noon is a great snack, es­pe­cially com­bined with a hand­ful of raw nuts.

Dark cho­co­late is a good source of an­tiox­i­dants; it also con­tains tryp­to­phan, an amino acid pre­cur­sor for sero­tonin, the neu­ro­trans­mit­ter as­so­ci­ated with hap­pi­ness. Hence the old adage that cho­co­late makes you feel good!

❚ The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional.

PHOTO: 123RF.COM

A green smoothie made with spinach, banana, pars­ley and co­conut wa­ter is a great quick snack.

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