Be it working from the office, or home, sudden hunger pangs, boredom hunger are quite common and often push us into a dilemma if one should eat or not eat?
While most nutritionists and experts agree that snacking is equally important as the normal meals. But they often emphasize the rules one must follow to be healthy. Also Read: Evening Snacks For Kids: Healthy Snacking Options To Prevent Boredom During This Period Of Lockdown
In literal terms, snacking is just having a smaller portion of food in the wee hours of the day when you feel super hungry, but it is still not the time for lunch or dinner. A healthy snacking in between meals not only satiates those sudden hunger pangs but also prevents one from overeating during the bigger meals.
Snacking though sounds tempting creates a bad image in the minds of many people. Although the word snack may bring the image of warm samosas, oily pakoras, pani puris, chats, etc, these are just some of the unhealthy ones one must refrain from. However, by opting for a nutritive snack from the wide spectrum of snacking options available in the Indian dietary regimen and having it at the right time, one can truly achieve a well-balanced diet, a sound mind, and a healthy body.
Wondering How These Indian Snacks May Affect Our Body?
Well, whether you are just a student, working personnel, stay at home parent, an athlete or an elderly, healthy snacking at proper intervals offers numerous benefits:
Mitigates Sudden Cravings
Hunger throws the body into a starvation mode, slowing down metabolism, body activity, which will eventually cause overeating and lead to an increase in body weight. Snacks such as fruits, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains contain lots of vital minerals and nutrients that keep you satiated for a long time. Choosing healthy Indian snacks also prevents one from succumbing to the sweet tooth or caffeine addiction.
Maintains Blood Glucose Levels
Having healthy Indian snacks at timed intervals is quintessential for maintaining the blood glucose levels especially for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. Even people without diabetes should have a well-timed healthy snack every day, since keeping the stomach empty for long hours may cause a sudden spike or dip in blood sugar levels making one resistant to insulin over time.
As long as you opt for the correct food from the list of healthy options, snacking can offer you with healthful nutrients and essential minerals just like any other meal. Although it's acceptable to have a guilt-free less-than-healthy snack every once in a while, however, most of your snacks should consist of nutrient-dense, fibre-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and nuts or seeds.
Quite often you might have noticed, that due to work or other priorities you might have missed your meal and withhold your hunger for a long time and later satisfied yourself having loads of carbs. This unhealthy food choice though seems satisfying for the time being ultimately ends up with you gaining a few kilos that become arduous to lose. Snacking at an interval of 2-3 hours before or after a big meal prevents you from overeating and binging on unwholesome food options thus controlling weight gain.
Energy is extremely important for any work, be it for studying, working out, or doing any other activity. Reaching out to a bowl of fruits or a handful of nuts in between the day not only offers that extra boost of energy required for carrying out all the activities but also increases mental activity, and overall performance.
Healthy Indian Recipe
Chickpea and Kidney Beans Chaat
1 cup rajma or kidney beans (cooked)
1 cup chana or chickpeas (cooked)
1 cup chowli beans (cooked)
1 cup potatoes (cooked and sliced)
1/2 cup onions (chopped)
1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 cup cucumber (chopped)
1/2 cup pomegranate
For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander (chopped)
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper as per taste
Take a big mixing bowl and mix all the rajma, chana, and chowli beans.
Then add chopped potatoes, onion, tomatoes and cucumber to the lentil mixture and give it a whisk.
Beat the olive oil, lemon juice, chaat masala, salt, pepper, chopped coriander leaves to make a wonderful dressing.
Now add the prepared dressing to the lentil mixture.
Put the bowl in the fridge and allow the beans to soak in the dressing.
This healthy Indian chaat is not only beneficial for satiating sudden hunger pangs but also keeps the heart healthy, aids in digestion promote weight loss and provides energy. The addition of olive oil boosts the body with antioxidants and prevents various cardiac anomalies while the presence of coriander leaves not only manages diabetes and cholesterol but also beneficial for the eyes. Also Read: 2 Incredibly Easy & Healthy Snacks To Make On A Lazy Weekend
4 slices of whole wheat bread
2 cups of home-made thick curd
¼ cup sliced cabbage (steamed)
¼ cup sliced carrots (boiled)
2 tbsp finely chopped sprig onions
⅓ teaspoon black pepper
½ tsp dried herbs like oregano, thyme, basil or mixed herbs
1 tsp red chili flakes
Salt as required
Butter as required
Take a large mixing bowl.
Make the curd spread by adding all the boiled vegetables, salt, pepper, spices and curd in it.
Whip up everything to get a thick paste.
Now apply some butter onto the sliced bread.
Take a tbsp of the curd spread and apply a thick layer all over the bread.
Put another slice on top and put it in the sandwich maker.
Grill till crisp and golden.
Remove and serve the hot curd sandwich with any dip or sauce of your choice.
This healthy curd sandwich is a complete package where nutrition meets delicacy. Curd being an excellent probiotic improves digestion and helps in weight loss whereas the boiled veggies offer the body a boost of vitamin and minerals. This tasty sandwich is great as breakfast and can even be relished as a treat on those lazy afternoons while binge-watching movies.
Snacking although quite an essential part of a well-balanced meal has some shortcomings. It is important to remember to not snack right before a meal, and only have a snack once you are truly hungry. Snacking out of boredom or for other emotional reasons isn't healthy and can cause overeating, gorging on unhealthy food options, and ultimately leading to weight gain.