11 Rejuvenating Superfoods

These nutritious snacks will give you an energy boost to get you through that afternoon slump.
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The First Five

The secret to staying energized is eating snacks and smaller, more frequent meals, according to Sharon Saka, a registered dietitian (RD) of Suffern, New York. You're simply refueling, keeping your energy levels constant, and regulating your blood sugar levels. Even better, eating the right combination of foods fuels your body all day and gives you that much needed boost -- especially for that late afternoon slump time. Since we're always on the run, we tend to rely on convenient, portable snack foods, like candy bars. But Saka suggests we ditch those high-fat, high-sugar snacks in favor of these healthier and rejuvenating options.

Dried Apricots and Almonds

This combination provides you with almost 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A, 20 percent of the iron you need, plus protein and dietary fiber. Both foods are low in cholesterol and sodium, and apricots are a great source of potassium, which is important in regulating your body's fluid balance. The vitamin A in apricots contributes to healthy vision, bone growth, and reproduction, and helps fight infection.

Recommended Serving Size:

4 dried apricots, about 67 calories. 1 oz. of almonds, about 164 calories, is also high in fiber and will provide you with almost as much protein as 1 oz. of meat.

Raisins and Yogurt

Raisins alone are a healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium snack with significant amounts of potassium, phosphorus, copper, and iron. Mixed with low-fat yogurt, you also get riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B12, as well as 20 to 40 percent of your RDA for calcium. We need calcium for strong bones and teeth, but it's also important for normal functioning of the heart and other muscles.

Along with regulating fluid balance, potassium helps maintain the electrical stability of the cells of your heart and nervous system and is important for cell and muscle growth. Vitamin B12 plays a role in red blood cell formation, nerve function, and metabolizing protein and fat.

Recommended Serving Size:

1.5 oz. raisins, 129 calories. 6 oz. yogurt, about 160 calories.

Fresh Peach

Any fresh fruit, especially with skins or seeds like peaches, apples, pears, oranges, and strawberries, is a great source of vitamins and fiber. In the summer you can choose a peach and get plenty of dietary fiber, niacin (vitamin B3), potassium, beta carotene and vitamin A, plus 20 percent of the RDA of Vitamin C. Niacin is important for providing energy for cell tissue growth.

Recommended Serving Size:

1 large peach, about 60 calories.

Continued on page 2:  6 Sensible Snacks


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