Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Superfood of the week: Flaxseed

By: Snap Fitness

Flaxseed is one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. Not only has it been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, it is also good for the skin, hair, and proper cell function. Can you believe all of that goodness comes from a tiny little seed?

 


Flaxseed is found in a variety of foods such as frozen waffles, crackers, oatmeal, and salad dressing. Flaxseed is a wonderful addition to your morning smoothie, or you can take it as a daily supplement.

 


Although flaxseed contains all sorts of health benefits, it’s best known for these three:

 


-Omega 3 fatty acids: Also known as the "good” fats. These acids have been shown to provide heart-healthy benefits. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s.

 


-Fiber: Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet. Each tablespoon of flax contains about 8 grams of fiber. This helps keep your bodily functions regular and promotes proper digestion.

 


-Antioxidants: Contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants are also good for cell rejuvenation, clear skin, and acne.

 

What's your favorite way to enjoy flaxseed? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Best Pre and Post-Workout Fuel

By: Snap Fitness

Eating before and after your workout is a must! However, you shouldn’t eat the same thing both pre and post-workout. Did you know your mini-meals should differ a little depending on your type of exercise?

 

Use this helpful guide in determining what you should eat when:

 

High-Intensity Cardio

Pre-Workout: Don’t stuff yourself before running! Go for easily-digested carbs and a little bit of protein. We recommend a banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter. The banana is a great source of energy to keep your performance high and has potassium to prevent cramping. The protein and fat in peanut butter will keep you satiated for the tough workout.

Post-Workout: Whew! Your body is spent after sprinting. If you don’t refuel within 45 minutes, your body burns muscle tissue instead of fat. Boost your glycogen levels and feed your muscles with a carbohydrate-protein combo. We recommend eight to 12 ounces of chocolate milk. It’s like you’re a little kid again!

 

Total-Body Strength Training

Pre-Workout: Have a balanced combination of carbohydrates and protein. We recommend a whey protein shake with fruit. Simply shake or blend, and you’re good to go!

Post-Workout: Replenish the hard-working muscles you worked with a carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat. A parfait is perfect! Try a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of cacao seeds, and a sliced banana. 

 

Combination of Strength and Cardio

Pre-Workout: If you’re doing both strength and cardio training, carbohydrates are needed for energy and stamina, and protein for muscle repair. You’ll need a snack rich in both. Eat plain Greek yogurt with fruit and a 1/4 cup granola an hour before your workout.

Post-Workout: Both complex and simple carbohydrates are needed to boost your glycogen levels. You also need (you guessed it!) protein for muscle repair. Do one scoop of whey protein mixed with 1/2 cup of oatmeal.

 

What’s your favorite pre or post-workout snack? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Superfood of the Week: Goji Berries

By: Snap Fitness

Goji berries are a nutrient-rich fruit containing high levels of antioxidants. People have been eating goji berries for thousands of years, but they have only recently become a popular superfood. We recommend adding dried goji berries to your smoothie or cereal. They are also perfect as a snack by the handful.

Here are a few health benefits:

Sun protection: Goji berries reduce sunburn reaction by supporting the skin's immune response, thanks to special compounds in the fruit’s antioxidants.

Tons of nutritional support: Goji berries contain 19 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, protein, vitamin C, the B family of vitamins, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. They are also shown to regulate metabolism.

Protect the eyes: According to a recent study, goji berries contain a compound related to vitamin A that has been shown to protect the eye retina.

Low-glycemic index: The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food affects your blood-sugar levels based on its ability to be digested. Diabetics are often told to consume foods that have low glycemic indexes, which deliver sugar in a slow, but steady stream to the blood. The sweet goji berry has a glycemic index of only 29, which is extremely low compared to most fruits. Goji berries won’t spike your blood sugar and keep insulin levels low.

Best Green Foods

By: Snap Fitness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The best things in life are green – especially when it comes to food. Green foods are loaded with nutrients that help you fight disease and stay healthy. Go green with your meals today with these five foods! 

 

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy these superfoods:

 

1. Kale: Have you tried the healthiest salad green? Forget iceberg or romaine lettuce, kale is all the rage these days. Kale is great because it’s high in fiber, low in calories, and zero-fat. One cup of kale has 36 calories and five grams of fiber. It’s high in iron, vitamin K (good for your bones!), vitamin A (good for your immune system!), and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

2. Brussel Sprouts: True, they’re not a popular vegetable, but they’re so good for you. An excellent source of protein, potassium, and iron, brussel sprouts aid in preventing heart disease and maintain a healthy digestive system. We recommend roasting them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

 

3. Kiwi: The perfect addition to your salad or yogurt, kiwis are nutrient-dense and extremely high in vitamin C. Surprisingly, a kiwi has more potassium than a banana! It’s also a good source of vitamin E, folate, and fiber.

 

4. Green Beans: You can steam them, roast them, or eat them plain; they’re delicious any way you like them! Green beans are packed with fiber; they’re a great choice for diabetics because they can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Green beans are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.

 

5. Green Tea: One of the healthiest drinks in the world, green tea has a ton of antioxidants that can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health problems. Trying to lose weight? Green tea increases your metabolism; the polyphenol found in green tea works to changes the levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.

 

What’s your favorite green food? Share it with us on our Facebook page.

Superfood of the Week: Walnuts

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know that walnuts can do wonders for your overall health? Walnuts are not only delicious; they pack a nutritional punch. Add them to salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or as a snack on-the-go. They’re a perfect addition to your diet.

It’s scientifically proven that people who eat walnuts on a consistent basis have a lower body mass index and smaller waistline. Here are some other health benefits:

-High in Omega-3s: a diet rich in omega-3s is beneficial in reducing depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

-High in antioxidants that boost heart health.

-Feeling stressed? A recent study found that walnuts and walnut oil lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress. The researchers said the study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies respond to stress better.

-Beneficial for hair growth: Walnuts contain biotin which helps strengthen hair and improve hair growth to certain extent.

-Prevent diabetes: According to a study, women who consumed 28 grams of walnuts twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop type II diabetes. Even though the study was conducted on women, experts believe that the benefits would be similar for men, too.

Superfood of the Week: Blueberries

By: Snap Fitness

Blueberries are little low-fat fruits that pack a ton of health benefits. They should absolutely be part of your meal plan. You can eat them a variety of ways: plain; on cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal; and they are the perfect addition in muffins, smoothies, and pancakes. The possibilities are endless! 

 

Here are five reasons why blueberries are the essential Superfood:

 

1. Improve heart health: Blueberries have a high fiber content, which helps get rid of LDL (or the “bad cholesterol”) that is a key factor in heart disease. 

 

2. Great source of Vitamin C: One serving (1/2 cup) of blueberries gives you almost 25 percent of your daily value! Vitamin C is beneficial for your vision; it reduces intra-ocular pressure and decreases your chances of getting glaucoma.

 

3. Better brain function: Blueberries help keep your memory sharp. They keep your central nervous system healthy and can even heal damaged brain cells.

 

4. Reduce cancer risk: Free radicals can cause cellular damage – a big factor in cancer development. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids; both keep free radicals in check.

 

5. Tons of antioxidant support: Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. They’re rich in anthocyanin, vitamins (A, C, and E),  copper, iron, and zinc – which boost your immune system and prevent you from getting sick.

DIY Salad Dressing

By: Snap Fitness

Instead of loading on ranch dressing on your dinner salad tonight, make your own! It's an easy way to control your caloric intake while adding a fun taste to your greens. It’s an easy way to monitor your caloric intake; You control what goes in your salad and your body. 

 

1. Pick your oil.

2. Pick your acid (vinegar, lemon, lime, etc.), 

3. Pick your flavoring (herbs, garlic, or fruits). 

4. Mix together until smooth and pour over your salad.

Peach Pie Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

Why is it that every time you choose to watch your diet, your favorite treats become insanely irresistible? There is good news, though: you CAN have your cake and eat it, too! Can’t resist the taste of a juicy peach or the deliciousness of fresh peach pie? It’s your lucky day because we’ve combined all of the delectable flavors in a peach pie and made them into a protein shake. It's packed with so much peachy goodness, you’ll forget you’re actually drinking something that’s good for you. The protein in the powder and almond milk will keep you full and help build muscle. Now, isn’t that just peachy?

Let’s get blending!

Ingredients

8 oz. vanilla almond milk (or your favorite milk)
1/2 of a peach (skin removed and diced)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional additions: Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, wheat germ, agave nectar, or honey
Servings: 1 • Size: 9 oz. (approximately)


Directions

1.Put all ingredients into blender and blend to desired consistency. Top with crumbled graham crackers for an extra peach pie taste!

Calories: 279 • Fat: 4.6g • Carb: 28 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 27.1 g •
Sugar: 23 g • Sodium: 285 mg • Cholesterol: 20 mg

Protein Balls

By: Snap Fitness

Tired of the same old pre-workout snack? If your answer is yes, you’re in luck! These little balls of goodness are packed with all natural ingredients, are easy to make, and contain the ideal blend of protein and carbs you’ll need before an intense workout. Make these ahead of time and carry them with you when hunger strikes.

Ingredients (makes six balls):

- 1 serving of protein powder
- 4 dates
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1/2 shredded coconut

Instructions:

1. Add dates, walnuts, and macadamia nuts to a food processor and blend.
2. Once blended, add coconut oil and protein powder. Blend again.
3. Allow it to set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
4. Once the batter is at a consistency to be made into balls, mix in the blueberries and shredded coconut and form into balls.

Quinoa Granola

By: Snap Fitness

Looking for a new way to do breakfast? Allow us to introduce you to the perfect addition to your morning routine: quinoa granola!

We know quinoa isn’t typically a breakfast item, but one taste and you’ll be hooked. All you have to do is add some uncooked quinoa to your favorite granola recipe, bake it up per usual, and you’ve got a perfect addition to your yogurt parfait or bowl of cereal!

If you already have a favorite tried-and-true granola recipe, we’d recommend just taking out half of your oats and subbing in a cup or two of quinoa. Spice up your quinoa granola with your favorite nut mixture, dried fruit. Coconut, and spices. Experiment with the recipe and find your go-to combination.


Yields: About 8 cups

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup slivered or roughly-chopped almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup shaved coconut (or 2/3 cup grated coconut)
6 oz. dried cherries or cranberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, quinoa, almonds, honey, coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon until combined. 3. Spread the mixture out on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway.
5. Remove sheet and sprinkle the shaved coconut evenly over the top of the granola.
6. Bake for an additional three to five minutes (watch closely) until the coconut is toasted.
7. Remove and let cool, then stir in dried fruit, and toss to combine.

To preserve freshness, store in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Posts 1 - 10 of 14