Healthy snacking between meals helps in keeping blood sugar levels and energy levels steady. This helps in preventing cravings, binge eating, mood swings and as well as overeating. Here is a list of healthy Indian snacks that are nutrient dense and can be consumed regularly.
1. Kala chana: This is a healthy Indian snack that can be added as a filler to your daily diet. It is a complex carbohydrate and rich in fibre which helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels and prevents the insulin spike associated with weight gain. At the same time, it is rich in protein, low in fat and is a good source of vitamins like B6, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and minerals such as iron and phosphorous. These can be boiled and mixed with onion, tomatoes, herbs and spices to add flavour. Pulses usually are considered anti-inflammatory foods, are filling and being high on soluble fibre help in digestion.
2. Healthy nuts like almonds and walnuts: Almonds are rich in magnesium, riboflavin and vitamin E. There are quite a few benefits of almonds and nuts - they help lower LDL cholesterol, promote heart health, support strong bones and teeth and help in weight loss. Almonds can be had as a snack by itself, or as a smoothie made of almond milk with a fruit, and the benefits of almonds are high. While walnuts are rich in calcium, manganese and phosphorous. They are beneficial for heart health, support blood sugar regulation and insulin response. Walnuts also help reduce inflammation and help in fertility. These can be had by itself as a snack.
3. Red rice poha: It is a low glycemic food that is rich in fibre, Vitamin B and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, manganese and magnesium. Being rich in antioxidants, also helps to fight free radicals in the body. It can be made by adding onions, peanuts, herbs and spices. It can also be made as a salad.
4. Fruits: This is an excellent snack. Fruits are rich sources of flavonoids and carotenoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits that are low in sugar and high in fibre such as apple, pear, orange, sweetlime, guava, papaya, plum, peaches and berries can be consumed regularly high sugar fruits like banana, chikoo (sapota), grapes and mango can be consumed twice a week to keep a check on the body fat percentage. The ideal time to eat fruits is first half of the day to minimize fat storage. Try not to eat fruits over a meal to avoid high blood sugar levels and also to prevent indigestion. Fruits are best consumed as whole fruit rather than a fruit juice.
5. Moong bean sprouts: Moong beans are rich in B vitamins, folate, potassium and magnesium. Sprouted moong beans contain fewer calories and are rich in fibre aid digestion and antioxidants that help lower inflammation, making it a perfect food for healthy gut. Moong bean sprouts make an excellent weight loss snack since it helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels and has a high satiety value. Sprouting is a process of germination that makes beans easier to digest with increasing its nutritional profile. Try Tata Sampann Green Moong as it is unpolished. It doesn’t undergo any artificial polishing with water, oil or leather. There is no inorganic foreign matter such as stones, sticks, chaffs etc.in the packet, making sure you get clean and pure ingredients.
Snacking, by itself, doesn’t lead to weight gain or ill health but indulging into processed and packaged foods as snacks might. Making correct food choices as snacks and it can actually have a host of benefits that help in optimal health. This is enough a reason to experiment into healthy Indian snacks made of whole foods, isn’t it?
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