When it comes to choosing a snack that helps lessen inflammation in the body, there are certain types of ingredients you can look for. “Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, extra-virgin olive oil and fatty fish are known contributors to an anti-inflammatory diet,” says Ale Zozos, M.S., RDN. And when in doubt, just go for a plant-based option. “Virtually every plant has been shown to have anti-inflammatory impact,” Kirkpatrick says.
Here are some satisfying anti-inflammatory snack ideas for the whole family:
1. Veggies and Hummus
“A variety of colored veggies (carrots, bell peppers, radishes, cucumber, mushrooms, snap peas) is a snack filled with fiber and antioxidants that can help decrease inflammation in the body,” says Brynn McDowell, RD. The addition of hummus provides a dose of protein that will help you stay satisfied until your next meal. You can go store-bought for the ultimate convenience, or try making your own hummus at home and experimenting with different flavor combinations, like white bean and horseradish.
2. Plain Yogurt Topped With Blueberries and Walnuts
Whether for breakfast or a snack, yogurt is always an easy option. Stay away from sugary blends and opt for a plain variety (dairy-free or regular) that you can customize with your own inflammation-fighting toppings. “The yogurt provides fat and protein, while the blueberries and walnuts are considered anti-inflammatory superfoods,” McDowell says. “Plus the walnuts provide omega-3s, which help the body restore balance after inflammation.””
3. Smoked Salmon and Avocado Toast
A piece of hearty, whole-grain toast lathered with smashed avocado and slices of smoked salmon is a delicious way to keep midday hunger at bay. “Salmon is a fatty fish that’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and thought to help reduce inflammation in the body,” says McDowell. “It’s also a good source of protein, so combined with the healthy fats from the avocado, it’s a snack that will keep you full for a while. Choosing a whole-grain slice of bread for the toast will provide extra dietary fiber, something most people are lacking in the diet.”
4. Protein Power Bites (Or Balls)
. Protein power bites (or balls)Mixing up a batch of homemade protein power balls is easy to do in advance and the perfect snack to keep on hand for both kids and adults. “They can be the perfect bite of protein and fiber, and they’re filled with anti-inflammatory ingredients,” says McDowell. You can keep them basic or add in a whole food-based greens and plant-based protein powder to get in more inflammation-fighting superfoods.
McDowell’s favorite power ball recipe combines 1/4 cup oats, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut and a touch of honey and dried fruit, as desired. Add in 1 scoop of your favorite greens blend and mix together, roll into balls and let set in the fridge.
5. Produce-Packed Smoothies
The amazing thing about smoothies is that they’re essentially a blank canvas, ready to be filled with healthy, anti-inflammatory ingredients. The key to keeping your smoothie healthy is to avoid high-sugar ingredients (consuming too much added, refined sugar can cause inflammation). Skip the added honey, maple syrup and other sweeteners and rely on bananas, dates or berries for that sweet taste you’re after. Up the anti-inflammatory factor by adding in leafy greens like spinach, vibrant veggies like beets, and dark, antioxidant-rich blueberries.
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