Snacking may well be the great American pastime. Why not? Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up. In mom's day she was told to avoid eating between meals, but did you know that snacking on the right food can help keep your metabolism running high, and help you fight fatigue and disease? It’s true. So instead of reaching for the chips and dip or that butter-laden pound cake, try one of these snacks and rev up your health.
Pistachios. Just a handful of these tiny nuts daily can pack a real punch for your overall health and decrease your risk for some cancers and heart disease. Pistachios are a good source of gamma-tocopherol, a natural form of vitamin E, which can provide a degree of protection against lung cancer and prostate cancer, and potentially other forms of the disease, according to research by University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Pistachios are also known to provide heart-healthy benefits by lowering overall cholesterol levels and providing a natural source of antioxidants. They can also help regulate your blood-sugar level, and one serving provides 12 percent of your daily fiber requirement. Perhaps best of all, pistachios also have weight management benefits. According to a UCLA study, individuals who substituted 20 percent of their total calories with nuts rather than unhealthy snacks not only lowered their body fat, they did not gain weight or increase their caloric intake.
Yogurt with active cultures. While more study is needed, there is mounting evidence that eating yogurt with active cultures may help certain gastrointestinal conditions including colon cancer, boost your immune system, discourage vaginal infections, protect against osteoporosis and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. In one study, researchers from the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University concluded in a review article that yogurt may help lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, aid in the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer by fighting H. pylori infection.