Eating healthy is an important part of having good mental health, but it can be hard to stay healthy when snacks like candy, chips, and donuts are so tasty and tempting.
But unhealthy snacks are designed for you to keep reaching for them again and again, so they’ll never be as filling as you need them to be. Luckily, there are lots of options for nutritious snacks that fill you up and give you energy, which does wonders for your mental health.
High-protein snacks high in fiber and healthy fats can help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, while also helping in weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer. A healthy diet in general will help keep your mind sharp and your emotions regulated.
And just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean that your snacks need to be uninteresting!
Here’s a list of 30 nutritious, filling snacks that will help you lose weight:
Nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are nutrient-dense and will fill you up without you needing to consume a bunch of calories, and may also help you lose weight.
They can also reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, while being a source of high protein and healthy fat that your body needs.
Fresh fruit is a great choice for a snack, especially berry fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, which are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. They’re also high in fiber, and are a tasty way to get your nutrients.
While some fruits are high in sugar, when eaten in moderation, fresh fruit can help reduce your hunger and even hydrate you depending on its water content.
Sprouted grain bread is made from whole grains that have begun to sprout. This type of bread is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than typical flour bread, which means it can aid in weight loss and blood sugar control.
Avocado makes for a great topping on toasted sprouted grain bread. The popular fruit is also low-carb, and is full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. Pairing the two together makes for a nutritious – and filling – snack.
An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but either way apples are another great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber! They’re a filling, low-calorie snack, with the average medium apple containing less than 100 calories.
Apples pair perfectly with almond butter, which is high in monounsaturated fats that help to lower bad cholesterol while lowering your risk of heart disease. The snack will fill you up quickly while still helping you lose weight.
Celery is mainly made out of water and contains dietary fiber. It’s also both a low-calorie and low-carb snack, which makes it the perfect vehicle for a healthy dip like hummus.
Hummus is made from chickpeas and olive oil, which makes it a good source of heart-healthy fats. It’s packed with protein and fiber, as well as vitamins A, E, and C. The Middle Eastern dip can aid in reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control.
Plain Greek yogurt has many health benefits: it’s high in protein, calcium, and is overall very nutrient-dense. It’s also packed with probiotics, which can help improve gut health and regulate your digestive system. Research has also suggested that probiotics can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety when consumed regularly.
Honey is high in antioxidants that can help lower blood sugar, making it a healthy addition to your yogurt. Adding fruit or healthy sweeteners can stack the benefits while also enhancing the taste of your Greek yogurt.
Popcorn itself is low-calorie and has a lot of fiber, but not all popcorn is made equal. Lightly seasoned, air-popped popcorn is a healthy alternative to the butter-drenched mess you can get at the movies.
Since air-popped popcorn isn’t made with unhealthy oils, its benefits can shine through. Because it’s high in fiber, air-popped popcorn can make for a filling snack without a lot of calories, which means that it can help you with weight loss.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to make and are also very nutrient-dense, high in protein and low in calories. They’re rich in vitamin B and antioxidants, and since they’re not cooked with any oils or butter, it has less calories and fat than eggs cooked in other ways.
Tzatziki is made from cucumbers and Greek yogurt, which makes it high in protein and low in calories, making it the perfect dip for other healthy snacks as well! It’s often paired with pita bread, but this classic Greek pair can be made even healthier when you substitute traditional pita bread with a whole grain version.
Potato chips in all its flavors are a classic unhealthy snack, and they’re formulated with chemicals that could cause cancer. However, kale chips are a great, low-carb alternative to potato chips.
Kale itself is a superfood – it’s high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C, calcium and potassium. When roasted, kale doesn’t lose its nutritional value the way potatoes do. WIth some slow roasting and light seasoning, kale chips can help you snack healthily without adding too many calories to your diet.
Edamame is a popular appetizer that is most often served in Asian restaurants in the US. The snack is basically an immature soybean that is still encased in its shell casing, and is delicious when lightly seasoned.
While soy itself has been a source of debate among health experts, soybeans have still been shown to be a great plant-based protein and can possibly lower cholesterol.
While pretty much all chocolate is delicious, dark chocolate is the only one that studies suggest may help reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate, and is also rich in antioxidants and minerals. However, it’s also high in calories and fat, so while dark chocolate can still be a good snack, it’s best to do it in moderation.
Asian pears are crunchy and sweet, and they contain copper and dietary fiber, which promotes heart health and blood sugar control.
These pears also contain potassium, which supports the regulation of your body’s immune system, vitamins C and K, which supports bone health. One pear can provide you with a significant amount of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds are a great little superfood that makes it easy to sneak in healthy fats like omega-3 into your diet. Omega-3 fats promote heart and joint health and can help improve your memory. Chia seeds are also a source of fiber and antioxidants.
For a simple chia seed pudding recipe, simply add ½ cup of the milk of your choice with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and set it in the fridge for at least 3 hours, although overnight is best.
Chickpeas aren’t exclusively used for hummus – in fact, roasting them makes a delicious and healthy snack that’s full of health benefits! Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, as well as iron.
Since it’s high in plant protein and fiber, chickpeas can also help you keep your appetite under control, which makes them a good option for when you need a low-calorie, filling snack.
The right combination of fruits and vegetables blended together can make the ultimate healthy snack, but beware – too much sugar can offset the health benefits of smoothies. In fact, that’s a common issue when buying smoothies, but making them at home allows you to control what goes into your drink.
A healthy smoothie generally contains high fiber due to the amount of fruits and vegetables that go into it, which helps you curb your appetite and lose weight.
Another delicious alternative to potato chips are sweet potato chips. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of fiber as well as vitamins B and C and minerals like iron, calcium, and selenium. They help improve gut health by promoting a healthy digestive system.
You can make sweet potato chips at home by cutting a sweet potato into round slices, lightly drizzling them with olive oil and salt, and then baking them in the oven at 400F for 10-12 minutes on each side.
If you’re looking for a heartier snack that’s still low-carb, look no further than this classic Italian combo. Mozzarella is considered a healthy cheese with a high amount of calcium and a low amount of sodium and calories compared to other cheeses.
Combining mozzarella with tomatoes and basil to make a caprese salad is an excellent way to bridge your time between meals. Tomatoes also add a layer of health to this dish, as they are a major source of lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Salsa is a popular dip with a surprising amount of health benefits! It’s low in calories and full of fiber while being a great source of vitamin C, since traditional salsa is made mainly of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.
That means salsa can help boost your hydration, because tomatoes are 95% water weight, and can help burn fat, because of the capsaicin found in spices like jalapenos.
When paired with a healthier chip – like a whole-grain tortilla chip – salsa and chips are a great snack for weight loss!
High protein shakes can help aid in muscle gain and weight loss, but not all protein shakes are healthy for you. Protein shakes are often made with protein powder, which can vary from brand to brand. Check to make sure the protein powder you’re using is the right one for you!
Bananas are a very popular source of potassium, and they’re also a good source of vitamin B6. They also may help improve gut health due to its fiber, which comes from pectin and resistant starch.
Combining bananas with whole wheat toast makes for a great pre or post-workout snack. Both foods have a considerable amount of fiber, and whole-wheat bread is a good source of protein, giving you more energy for your workouts and aiding in weight loss.
Oats are incredibly healthy – not only are they gluten-free, but they’re also filled with important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They can also help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and eating less calories.
You can make a protein powerhouse snack with rolled oats and a few other ingredients! Just mix together rolled oats, a nut butter, a sticky sweetener, and an ingredient like dark chocolate chips. You can form balls from the mixture, and refrigerate them to snack on whenever you please.
Medjool dates are an underrated snack, but they come with a host of health benefits that shouldn’t be ignored. Medjool dates are a good source of magnesium, potassium, copper, and calcium, and come with a high amount of fiber.
These little dates can help you feel fuller for longer because of its high fiber content. Studies have suggested that they can help reduce inflammation and stimulate your immune system.
Combining these two healthy foods can make the perfect snack for before or after a workout! Bananas are high in potassium, which will help give you that energy boost you need. Peanut butter can help improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Kiwis are another underrated fruit that deserves more love! Kiwis are high in vitamin C and dietary fiber and have a host of health benefits, like supporting your immunity system and improving your gut health.
Combining this special fruit with dark chocolate, which has its own laundry list of benefits, makes for an easy, healthy and tasty snack that you can take anywhere.
Believe it or not, canned tuna is a very healthy and affordable source of protein you can take with you on the go! Canned tuna is low-carb and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health. You can use it in a variety of recipes, or just eat it straight from the can if you’re pressed for time.
While you should eat it in moderation, canned tuna is still an excellent choice when it comes to healthy snacks.
Goji berries have become more and more popular, and with good reason – these tiny berries pack all eight amino acids, and like other berry fruits, they’re also high in fiber, iron, and vitamin C.
These berries are reported to be useful for eye health, immune system support, and blood sugar control, along with gut health and increased energy levels. Research has also suggested that goji berries can be beneficial for depression, anxiety, and sleep. These super berries can make for a low-calorie, low-sugar snack that will tide you over between meals!
Cottage cheese is another example of a healthy, low-fat cheese that can help you lose weight! It’s a great source of calcium and has been reported to regulate your blood pressure. Adding honey will make this snack a sweet one, while still doubling the health benefits that you get from both foods.
Mangoes are a delicious fruit that’s high in fiber, with vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, AND zinc. Research suggests that mangoes can improve blood sugar regulation and may even support gut health by easing symptoms of constipation.
While mangoes are also high in natural sugar, eating it in moderation still makes this count as a healthy snack. Offset the sweetness by adding some chili powder to the fruit, which will make this snack sweet AND savory, not to mention healthy!
Sunflower seeds are tasty, savory, and easy to eat. They’re also a healthy snack that may help lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure!
The nutrients packed into sunflower seeds – like magnesium and protein – may also play a role in reducing inflammation and your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, since they are higher in calories and sodium, these should be consumed in moderation – but they’re a great snack for on-the-go.
Body and mind are tied together. Nutrition and wellness affect your mental health—and mental health affects your wellness. Take our free emotional assessment to check your mental health and see how it may be affecting your nutrition habits and weight management.