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.