Many of us are particular with the snacks that we consume in the summer: ice cream, milkshakes, popsicles – these treats can easily help us keep cool during hot temperatures. However, these options are usually not the healthiest.
Fear not! In this blog, I will briefly mention some quick and easily accessible snacks that are healthier, while still satisfying those cravings in the summer heat.
1. Vegetables with Hummus Dip
With no doubt, vegetables are an essential part of any healthy diet as they provide us with lots of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Dietary fibre helps maintain an efficient metabolic rate and a healthy digestive system to prevent constipation, which reduces the risk of bowel cancer. Hummus is commonly made through blending chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor. Inflammation is the body’s way to protect us from infection, illness or injury.
Chronic inflammation is a very common issue that many of us may not be aware of. This tasty dip has been linked to help the body fight against long-term body inflammation due to its ingredients being rich in antioxidants. Hummus is also a great source of plant-based protein. Due to typically being associated with healthy crunchy foods, this dip has been found to satisfy potato chip cravings.
Vegetables that are typically dipped in hummus are bell peppers, carrots, celery, zucchini and avocado. This snack is perfect for wherever you go as all you need is hummus and vegetables in two separate containers! With this addictive snack, you do not have to worry about your parents, friends and loved-ones nagging you to eat vegetables anymore!
2. Frozen Grapes
With just freezing this fruit overnight, you can meet your daily nutrient intake in which you could munch on these cool, nutrient-filled grapes in the hot blazing sun. Grapes are filled with vitamin B, C, and K and can prevent the future onset of chronic disease. They also contain copper, iron and manganese, which are all essential in the formation and strengthening of bones.
Despite being individually small, these fruits are linked to negating high blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes due to its high potassium content. The refreshing frozen fruit snack is highly addictive and will keep you cool during the hot outdoors.
Many individuals are not fond of the idea of consuming pickles. However, pickles contain several of benefits, such as improving digestive health and relieving stress to improve mental health. A link is present between having higher probiotic bacteria levels and lower cortisol levels. Since pickles provide an excellent food source for the bacteria in our GI tract, our probiotic levels will increase, which results in lower cortisol levels when a pickle is consumed. By having lower cortisol levels, the effects of stress felt by an individual is minimized. One thing to watch out for in pickles is their high sodium levels, which could affect health adversely if over-consumed.
Edamame can be served hot or cold, but the shell of the soybean is typically not eaten. This quick and easy-to-eat soybean offers various health benefits by being rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and fibre. By containing folate, the delicious soybean may also help minimize the depressive symptoms as folate prevents excess homocysteine from forming in the body.
High levels of homocysteine can interfere with the production of some feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Edamame can also promote a healthy skin complexion and can boost energy through the day. Having this snack on a hot day will let you enjoy the blazing sun to its maximum potential!
Give these few snacks a try the next time you crave a cool, summer treat! As with any type of snack, always remember to be cautious of the amount you consume in one sitting. Want more snack ideas? Be sure to let us know down below!
Jeffrey Wu – Client Care Manager/Cardio Trainer
Jeff has been physically active ever since kindergarten and believes that enhancing overall health allows one to achieve their complete potential. He hopes to create an everlasting impact within the community by emphasizing the importance of consistent exercise routines, adequate nutrition and regular health checkups to create the brightest future possible.
This post has been developed by studio contributors which include Co-Op students, kinesiologists, therapists and our expert colleagues