This year many have chosen the mantra, “New Year, New You,” to help them stay motivated and achieve their new weight loss goals or other healthy lifestyle resolutions. Snacking (in moderation) is a great way to replace heavy, fattening meals and to fend of hungry attacks that can hinder you from achieving your resolutions. Here are a few nuts and dried fruits that you can easily incorporate into your new lifestyle to help jump start your metabolism, improve your overall health, and help accomplish your “New You,” goals this year.
- Almonds: These are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects heart health, and magnesium, a mineral that’s important to metabolism. For best results, eat a daily serving before you exercise because almonds are rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fats and carbs during physical activates.
- Brazil nuts: A serving of Brazil nuts is a good source of selenium. Selenium not only plays a key role in metabolism, immunity and reproductive health, but also helps the body absorb vitamin E, which can help ward off cataracts later in life. Brazil nuts are packed with health-boosters like copper, zinc, potassium, riboflavin, heart-healthy fats and magnesium.
- Walnuts: These are the best nut source of omega-3 fatty acids, which improves satiety and have been shown to help with cognitive function. Eating walnuts with you morning meal can help you feel full longer and stay focused on tasks at hand.
- Pistachios: Pistachios contain B vitamins, specifically B6, which help with energy metabolism. However, pistachios should be eaten in moderation, they have a higher fat content then other nuts, so portion control is very important while enjoy this delicious nutty snack.
**It is important to make sure you don’t OVER EAT dried fruits because they tend to have higher number of calories per serving. However, they do last longer then fresh fruits and a small portion can satisfy your craving for something sweet, instead of reaching for a candy bar!
- Peaches: A serving size of about half of a cup has 6.5 grams of fiber and contains 34% of your daily vitamin A needs and 18% of iron recommendations, as well as being a good source of potassium, niacin and copper.
- Apples: In a half of a cup of dried apples there is about 104 calories. Dried apples are the perfect snack choice for those who want a low calorie snack option.
- Apricot: One serving of apricots has 47% of your daily vitamin A needs, are a good source of potassium, vitamin E and copper, and has about 4.5 grams of fiber.
- Figs: A half of a cup of dried figs there are 185 calories and 7.5 grams of fiber. Also figs are a good source of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
- Raisins: Raisins are good addition to any “average,” recipe you are making, like a stew, a porridge or even a great addition to a simple salad. One serving has 2 grams of protein and is a good source of many minerals like potassium and manganese!
- Pears: In one serving size of dried pears, there are 7 grams of fiber and are a good source of vitamin C, iron, vitamin K and copper. With their sweet and tangy natural, they are also a great addition to a salad just like raisins.
While dried fruit and nuts are great snacks on their own, they are also great snack together! Try mixing a few of your favorite dried fruits like raisins, apples, or apricots with nutrient rich nuts, like pistachios or almonds. The different texture and flavor components will keep your taste buds interested in what you are snacking on and help you stay AWAY from high fatty snack foods that will hinder you from achieving your “New You,” ambitions.
It’s a new year and that means it’s time to look at the food trends for 2016. We all know snacking is going to continue to rise each year as consumers eat traditional meals less and less. What other industry trends are continuing to growth in strength and what new trends will explode in 2016?
SNACKING HAS BECOME MORE THAN A SMALL PORTION BETWEEN MEALS
- More and more Americans are snacking 4-5 times a day, often eating snacks in place of traditional meals. Because of this, consumers are looking for high-carb and high-protein snacks to keep them full.
- Snack flavor profiles are changing too.There is a shift away from sweet (less sugar is an ongoing industry trend) and salty, to spicy and sour. Compound flavors are hot with the sweet and heat combo expected to be big in 2016. Tropical’s Sweet Heat is the perfect example of this flavor combo working well.
- The bitter flavor profile is especially gaining momentum. Many are calling turmeric the spice of the year and research is showing that the spice might help to ease inflammation in the body. Tumeric has a bright yellow color and a warm, bitter taste which is just in line with the flavor trends.
PLANT-BASED PROTEIN MOVING BEYOND VEGETARIANS
In our monthly feature, Meet the Tropical Team, we’ll introduce you to some of the people who make Tropical such a wonderful company. This month meet Jennifer Lewis, Territory Manager. Jennifer works out of our Orlando office.
Rocky Mount, NC
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT TROPICAL?
A TYPICAL DAY AT TROPICAL CONSISTS OF:
There really is not a typical day; every day is different and that is something that I really enjoy! I visit customers introducing new products while promoting existing products, prospect for new business and provide the best customer service possible to maintain and grow our current customer base.
FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT WORKING AT TROPICAL?
Tropical is very much a family environment and that is what I love the most! The Orlando OC is very much a team with everyone helping each other to get the job done.
FAVORITE TROPICAL PRODUCTS:
Sunburst™, Dark Chocolate Energy Boost™, Diet Delight®
IF YOU COULD CREATE YOUR OWN CUSTOM TROPICAL SNACK MIX, THE INGREDIENTS WOULD BE:
I would love anything containing our butter toffee peanuts.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Spending time with my husband and our 3 boys, traveling, biking/spinning, and shopping.
Interested in joining the Tropical team? Contact us at our Careers page.
This little piece of Tropical Food’s history shows our original logo, and our love for all things tropical! Even to this day, many of our snack mixes and dried fruits that are most popular our among customers have strong tropical flavor influences. Like our ever popular Tahitian Gold™ snack mix, which is filled with pineapple, banana chips, Turkish apricots, pecans, golden raisins, papaya, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts it is a burst of tropical flavors in every handful. Another tropical influence snack mix, Mango Tango™, doesn’t just have tropical flavors from the mango, but also a hot element from the chili & lime noodles and an extra amount of crunch from the cashews, coconut toffee peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Not only are our snack mixes filled with fruits and flavors from the tropics, but our bulk dried fruit shows how much we really love the tropics!