While in college, you’ll find that having a snack handy is essential, especially if you are studying for an upcoming test. But did you know that some nuts and seeds can be healthy snack options and are great add-ons, too? Most people have some nuts or seeds lying around the house – walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. By mixing them in with some other common ingredients, you can spice up this snack food and turn it into something truly delicious. We’ll explore here the importance of nuts and seeds in your diet and give you 5 great snack ideas using them.
Why Nuts and Seeds?
We all know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our physical health, but what about our mental health? There are certain foods you can eat that can really boost your brain structure and health to improve short – and long-term brain function. In fact, the brain uses about 20 percent of our body’s calories, so it’s important to eat a diet of good, healthy foods to stay alert and focused all day long.
Nuts and seeds are plant-based sources of healthy fats and proteins that are suitable, not only vegetarians and vegans, but for everyone. According to Laura Thompson, a blogger at Research Papers UK and Writinity, “Studies have found that eating more nuts and seeds is really good for the brain due to their omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. People who eat more nuts and seeds were found to have better brain function as they age.”
Another good benefit of nuts and seeds is that they are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress. Another study found a link between vitamin E intake and improve cognition as well as a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Knowing all this, it becomes even more important as students to eat diets with a healthy number of nuts and seeds. Those with the highest amounts of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts.
Five Great Snack Ideas
These are five different ways you can get some good nuts and seeds in your diet through your snacks.
1. Roasted and Spiced
The easiest way to prepare your nuts is by spicing them. You can get really creative here and invent some pretty exciting combinations. Think warm curry, herbs and honey, Sriracha and chocolate, and much more. Once you’ve decided what spices you’ll be combining, lightly coat the nuts or seeds with butter or oil, then your desired spice mix. At that point, you should pop them in the oven and roast them until ready. Keep them in an airtight container and don’t hesitate to bring them to school for a quick snack between classes.
2. Fruit Toast and Nut Sprinkles
Fruit toast is like making a toast, but instead of bread, slice some fruit like an apple or a firm peach into some rounds. Then, cover them with a bit of yogurt and sprinkle some crumbled nuts or seeds on top. This is a great snack that will keep those cravings at bay all day.
3. Yogurt and Nut Parfait
What better way to snack than with a delicious yogurt and nut parfait? Create layers with your favourite fruits, yogurt, and nuts, or switch it up for something more savory like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Whatever you choose, you can layer these in jars at the start of the school week and grab one to go whenever you feel like it.
4. Homemade Nut Bars
It’s actually really easy and quick to make some homemade nut bars, and the odds are good that you already have all the necessary ingredients at home. Myriam Darling, a business writer at Gumessays and Draft Beyond, explains that “you can mix and match ingredients depending on what you have handy, like bits of cereal, chocolate chips, and your favourite nuts and seeds. The possibilities are endless, from baked nut and fruit bars to no-bake nut bars or energy balls for the most convenient snack on-the-go.”
5. Guacamole and Nuts
You probably never thought to combine this, but add a twist to a healthy snack, guacamole, by topping it with some toasted and crumbled nuts and seeds. Or, sprinkle some whole toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts on top of a smashed avocado, and you’ll find you’re never able to enjoy plain guacamole ever again.
So whether you need something to munch on in between classes or find yourself in need of an energy boosting snack, these healthy snack ideas with nuts and seeds will surely do wonders.