Snacking is a guilty pleasure if you choose the wrong types of foods. While snacking may be a small part of your diet, the snacks you choose have a huge impact on your health and gut microbiome. In this article, we are going to identify and discuss some of the best anti-inflammatory snacks. We will also briefly discuss the foods that trigger inflammation and the harm they can do to our bodies.
Why do we Experience Inflammation in the Body?
Our body’s immune system becomes active when it recognizes any foreign element. For instance, it could be a chemical reaction, an invading microbe, or plant pollen. As a result, our immunity triggers inflammation as a defense mechanism to protect the body from threatening invaders.
However, some people experience chronic inflammation. That’s when inflammation persists 24/7, even when there is no foreign invader present. That’s when we need to find ways to combat inflammation.
Some dietary choices can also trigger this mechanism, leading to other complications. Long-term effects of consuming inflammatory foods can result in heart diseases, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and depression. Hence, replacing these options with anti-inflammatory snacks is a great way to stay healthy.
Best Anti-inflammatory Snacks
Here are some of the healthiest and best anti-inflammatory snacks that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet.
Indulge in the goodness of avocado and benefit from its anti-inflammatory attributes. Researches show that avocado takes care of free radicals that harm health on a cellular level. Loaded with mono-saturated fats, guacamole is also a rich source of Vitamin E and fiber.
These essential nutrients combat inflammation and promote healthy gut flora. You can cook up this snack from scratch or buy packaged guacamole from a reliable brand. Pair it with tortilla chips, and you get a power-packed party snack.
If you are craving something crunch and salty, try munching on a handful of roasted chickpeas. Now that’s an appetizing snack that doesn’t contain excess salt content like your favorite pack of chips! The best part about roasting chickpeas at home is that you don’t add any spices or seasonings that lead to water retention.
The delicious chickpeas are a great source of complex carbs. Swap your crackers for roasted chickpeas whenever you need a quick snack.
There’s nothing healthier than a hard-boiled egg to give you an instant dose of energy. That’s why this gift of nature is the perfect replacement for savories containing added sugars and refined carbs. Another great thing about these healthy snacks is that they contain Vitamin D, choline, and selenium. These anti-inflammatory nutrients reduce bloating and inflammation, making eggs one of the best anti-inflammatory snacks.
Black Bean Soup
If you are a soup fan, try out the scrumptious black bean soup, which is a delicious treat for your taste buds. The filling and nutritious black bean soup is not only a great source of protein and fiber but also cuts down inflammation.
Don’t add too much sodium, or it will lose its anti-inflammatory benefits. If you want to avoid excessive calories and fat, stick to a handful of nuts a day.
Several types of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help your body to combat inflammation, tuna being one of them. While fish is not really a snack, a tuna sandwich can be a great way to quench your hunger. You can keep things light by making a tuna sandwich with whole wheat bread instead of brown bread to have a healthy snack. You can also use fish like sardines and salmon as a salad ingredient.
Replace sugary and salty dips with hummus. If you are on a diet, you can use hummus as a healthy dip for raw veggies like bell pepper strips and baby carrots. Create another healthy snack by taking a bowl of chickpeas and mixing it with some homemade hummus. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory capabilities of chickpeas, hummus is a fabulous snack for all occasions without causing any bloating.
If you are traveling or going on a camping trip, it’s easy to grab dozens of snacks. However, imagine the impact of all the hidden sugars, excess sodium, and unhealthy fats on your body. You will be too bloated or lethargic to do anything once you reach your camping destination.
That’s why nut butters serve as a delicious dip for your celery sticks, pear slices, and apples. You can also eat a spoon full of your favorite nut butter as a filling snack.
Salted Roasted Almonds
Nuts are excellent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s, fiber, and magnesium. They also play a crucial role in treating various chronic diseases that result due to inflammation.
Again, portion size is important. Buy 100-calorie packs to track your calorie count when munching on this deliciously healthy snack.
Don’t shy away from dark chocolate to keep your sweet tooth happy even when on a restricted diet such as the keto diet. Choose a one-ounce serving of dark chocolate but pick one that has a low content of sugar. Dark chocolate has flavanols, which offer anti-inflammatory effects. But go easy on the portion size.
Grab a dark chocolate peanut butter cup for enjoying a sugary snack without worrying about bloating.
Foods to Avoid
Researchers reveal one of the most effective ways to combat inflammation is not through drugs but your daily diet. When you choose the wrong foods consistently, your dietary choices speed up the inflammatory disease process.
In addition to eating anti-inflammatory snacks, you must eliminate the foods that trigger inflammation.
Limit or avoid these foods as much as possible.
- Pastries, white bread, or any form of refined carbohydrates
- Fried foods such as French fries
- Sugar-sweetened beverages or soda
- Processed meat or red meat
- Lard or margarine
We should incorporate as many anti-inflammatory foods into our diet as possible to stay healthy. Some cuisines such as the Mediterranean diet focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients. However, you can reduce your bloating episodes by including a good variety of whole grains, nuts, vegetables, healthy oils, and fish.
Apart from adding these anti-inflammatory snacks to your diet, avoid eating processed and packaged foods. A healthy diet featuring anti-inflammatory foods will offer significant benefits to your physical and emotional health.
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.