Nutrition

Healthy Snack Ideas for Your Car

I don’t know about you, but I often get hungry around two or three o’clock almost every day, especially if I am sitting in a car line or running errands. But, like most things related to food, the type of snack you choose can make a huge difference in how you feel. Do you know the quick energy rush and subsequent crash that happens when you eat a candy bar or cookie? Well, that may be fun for a while, but that often leads to a feeling of hunger again an hour later, and then, if you are anything like me, you reach for more empty calories. Well, I know I can do better, but the stress of the day, the holidays, or just the temptation to eat bad things like fast food and the like often keeps me from behaving. I decided that I needed to get back on track for some healthy snack ideas to eat while riding in my car.

Carrots 

Eating carrots will do more than improve your vision. The antioxidant that gives carrots their bright orange color also has the potential to fight cancer. They make the perfect snack because it doesn’t take many of them to make you feel full. Eating a handful of them beats getting a bag of, well, almost anything else because you won’t take in that many calories.  

Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas are not just a tasty snack; they’re also healthy ones. They are loaded with fiber, which helps keep your digestive system happy and your cholesterol levels in check, as well as vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to any diet.

Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Pepper

You can cut up and eat as many red bell peppers as you want because they’re quite low in calories. They contain double your recommended dose of vitamin C as well as vitamin B and beta carotene. If you have trouble getting indigestion after eating the green ones, try the red and yellow ones instead. You’ll need to eat them raw if you want to reap the rewards.  

Broccoli 

Broccoli is delicious in almost any form, and it has cancer-fighting potential. They offer heart protection and help with certain chronic diseases as well. On top of these amazing feats, broccoli is bursting with vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. You can steam them in a bag and carry them along with you to dive into any time you are feeling hungry.

Apple Slices 

Apples promote heart health due to high potassium and low sodium content, help regulate blood sugar with high fiber content, and provide anti-cancer protection with antioxidants like quercetin. One medium-sized apple (200g) provides 104 calories, 0.5 grams of protein, 27.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.3 grams of fat. Apples also provide fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, according to the USDA. They are also fat-free and cholesterol-free, and they help with healthy weight balance. 

Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks are a portable and convenient snack perfect to help curb cravings on the go. And they are low-carb. Though the exact nutrient profile varies based on the brand and type of cheese, cheese sticks typically supply 5–7 grams of protein in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. Protein is the most filling macronutrient, making cheese an excellent choice for a satisfying vegetarian snack. This snack is also a good source of calcium, a key mineral that helps strengthen your bones and teeth.

Roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like manganese and folate. Best of all, roasted chickpeas are easy to make at home by tossing cooked chickpeas with olive oil and your choice of spices or seasonings before baking them at 400°F (200°C) for 20–30 minutes. You can add some cayenne pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg if you like. All of these are tasty options to help spice up your chickpeas.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a nutritious, low-calorie snack that is a great source of minerals, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It’s also high in manganese, which is a mineral involved in digestion, immune function, energy production, and brain health. Be sure to select air-popped popcorn rather than pre-packaged or microwave varieties, which are usually packed with extra calories, fat, and sodium. For extra flavor, try seasoning your air-popped popcorn with paprika, onion powder, vegetarian Parmesan, or parsley. I purchased the Orville Redenbacher’s Presto Hot Air Popper on Amazon so I could avoid all the store-bought popcorn chemicals. I am very happy with the quality of the air-popped popcorn. Click here to order one if you are interested. 

Nuts

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios can provide a wealth of important nutrients, including heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, and calcium. In addition to being incredibly nutrient-dense, research shows that adding nuts to your diet may reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain types of cancer like colorectal cancer. However, keep in mind that nuts are high in calories, so enjoy them in moderation and stick to about 1 ounce (28 grams) at a time as part of a healthy diet ( https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetarian-snacks#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7). 

Kale Chips

I haven’t tried these yet, but I found this to be an interesting idea. Kale chips are an easy and delicious way to squeeze a serving of leafy greens into your daily diet. Kale is an especially good source of vitamins C and A — important nutrients involved in immune function and disease prevention. You can make them at home by tossing kale with olive oil and sea salt, then baking it at 275°F (135°C) for 15–20 minutes until crisp. Watch them closely, as they can easily burn.

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