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Snack-smart strategies

You can say goodbye to the mid afternoon slump if you start snacking smarter. Learn what composes a good snack and discover some of the top energizing foods to stock up on.

Oatmeal with bananas and nuts

Finding you’re in need of a boost of energy come mid-afternoon? That coffee and doughnut are not going to help matters — you’ll only get a brief sugar high and then come crashing down. Your best strategy is to be prepared with energizing foods that keep you well fueled.

Keeping snacks handy will help ensure you’re not enticed by the sweet and salty snacks in the vending machine. The best snack is composed of a complex carbohydrate and some lean protein. Carbs fuel your body (as they can quickly and easily be transformed into glucose). When you combine protein with your complex carbs, the protein helps slow down the rate at which you absorb them. Also, protein will help give you a greater sense of satiety.

As for specific foods that can be part of a wholesome, energizing snack, read on for the items you should be stocking up on regularly to keep your metabolism humming along smoothly and efficiently.

Oatmeal

Whole-grain oatmeal, such as steelcut oats, is a good source of fibre, which helps your body absorb the carbs at a nice steady rate. It’s also got vitamin B, which is beneficial for converting carbs into fuel for your body. Prepare a batch and heat up individual portions in the microwave as a filling snack, especially pre-workout.

Banana

This fruit is great in terms of portability (get a banana guard — a protective case for a single banana — if you find it’s getting bruised a lot in your bag) making it convenient as an energizing snack on the go. The sugar in this fruit is digested easily, too, which is why you’ll often find it handed out at the finish line at marathons. Slice up a banana and put it in a whole-grain bread sandwich (complex carbs) with some peanut butter (protein).

Egg

Egg is high in protein (try a boiled egg as a simple, protein-rich snack). To combine it with a complex carb, take a slice of flax-seed bread and mash up a protein-rich boiled egg with a tiny bit of mayo to make half an egg salad sandwich.

Nuts

Ideal for toting around in a small container or sandwich bag, nuts boast healthy fats and protein. Enjoy a small handful mixed with dried, unsweetened fruit for your balanced carb/protein snack.

More healthy eating tips

5 Ways whole grains are good for your mood
How to incorporate superfoods into your diet
7 Super spices for super health

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