Snacking on-the-Go: The Perfect Companion for Outdoor Activities
Summer is upon us—the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you are likely just itching to spend some glorious time out of your home. But before you jump on the fishing boat or go hiking in your local nature preserve, you must make sure you come equipped with snacks that will help push forward and keep you hydrated, nourished, and happy.
When so many foods contain hidden sugars and salts, it can be difficult to know what is really healthy and what only looks good because of “health food” marketing. Using this list, you can navigate your grocery store to prepare for snacking on the go and find what the perfect companion for outdoor activities is in reality. Read along so that you can be sure to walk away with knowledge on how to satiate your appetite properly.
Whether they’re pistachios, cashews, peanuts, or almonds, nuts offer a jolt of protein, good fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Even a single serving will bring these benefits. Therefore, a bag of mixed nuts might be just the thing you need to finish your hike or power you through a workout. Just make sure you choose options with low sodium. Too many nut options are full of dehydrating salt. When you go to the store, look for packages touting the “lightly salted” label or, better yet, go for products that are “salt free.”
Fruits are excellent sources of essential minerals and vitamins. They contain fibers and give a range of health-improving antioxidants, including flavonoids. One of the most popular fruits, the apple, is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, including hemicellulose, cellulose, and pectin.
Other common fruits with high nutritional value include blueberries, bananas, mangos, and strawberries. Blueberries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; bananas are high in potassium; mangos contain Vitamins C, A, B6, and K; and strawberries have Vitamin C, manganese, and folate. Any one of these options could make for a refreshing, nutritional snack on the go.
Some vegetables, such as carrots and celery, are easy-to-carry, nutritious snacks for a hot day. Carrots contain high amounts of calcium; iron; and Vitamins A, B, and C. Celery has a compound called Phthalide, which reduces high blood pressure by making the vessels more relaxed and thereby allowing blood to flow through easily.
Other delicious, convenient vegetable options include sugar snap peas, miniature bell peppers, and cucumbers. To add flavor, you can also grab a small container of hummus and dip as you go about your day.
Because it’s high in protein and low in calories, string cheese is definitely one of the perfect companions for outdoor activities. If you’re looking to build muscle and maintain your health this summer, string cheese is a light snack to bring along to your workouts. If you’re constantly on the go, string cheese is also wonderfully portable.
However, when you purchase string cheese, make sure you choose the lighter variety. Regular string cheese has more saturated fats, which is harder on your heart. Also, if you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, you might want to bring along a cooler so that the string cheese doesn’t melt.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
The peanut butter and banana sandwich is Elvis’s favorite food (though you’ll want to take out the bacon if you want a healthier version). This perfect combination of ingredients is a choice option among hikers and outdoor adventurers, and for a good reason. Smush the peanut butter and bananas between two delicious pieces of honey whole-wheat toast. When you do, you’ll create a heart-healthy sandwich packed with poly- and monounsaturated fats, potassium, Vitamin E, and protein. All this will improve your heart, muscles, and blood pressure.
Jerky is one of the first items you think of when you make a shopping list for outdoor activities. As a source of protein, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and folate, beef jerky contains many of the nutrients needed to maximize muscle growth after a workout. But there are actually many kinds of jerky made from a wide array of animals. Some of these include:
- Alligator jerky: Alligator jerky is a source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat found in avocados, vegetable oils, and nuts.
- Elk jerky: Since they’re grass-fed animals, elks do not contain steroids, antibiotics, and growth hormones.
- Kangaroo jerky: Kangaroo jerky is a source of meat higher in isoleucine, valine, and threonine than farmed meats.
- Wild boar: A wild boar’s diet primarily consists of roots, vegetables, and acorns. This translates into a nutty and sweet taste in its jerky.
Any one of these could make for an excellent snack for a day outside. You should consider your options and explore an online jerky store before you make a choice.
No, we don’t mean the kind of popcorn at movie theaters with gallons of butter and salt. The popcorn that will best satisfy your taste buds and health comes in pre-popped bags and is either lightly salted or contains no salt at all. You also want to avoid butter, which adds calories and saturated fats. Amazingly, when you peel away all the additions that make popcorn junk food, you’re left with a nutritious whole grain snack.
The grocery store snack aisles are full of pre-made, compact bars just waiting for an outdoor excursion. Granola bars, protein bars, and energy bars have nuts, seeds, and fruits. These ingredients make them some of the most delicious and health-promoting foods available.
If you’re a wiz in the kitchen, you can also make your own protein bars. But there’s no reason not to purchase in-store options. Just read the nutritional facts to make sure your bars aren’t full of sugar, trans fats, or calories.
When we want the best foods for outdoor activities, we look for refreshing items full of vitamins, minerals, and protein and low in saturated fats. Thankfully, there are more than a few foods that fit that bill. Whether you choose fruits, popcorn, vegetables, or jerky, you know there’s no shortage of healthy, portable foods available.
As you shop for your next outdoor adventure, keep this list with you. Here, you might find some helpful suggestions to guide your decision-making. Maybe all of these sound like great options to you, or perhaps none of them do. Regardless, the important thing is you’re seeking healthy food alternatives. From everyone at Lee’s Market Jerky, we wish you a safe and happy summer.