In a world where quick and convenient snacks often come at the expense of nutrition, finding options that are both delicious and healthful can be a challenge. However, the rise of the nutritarian lifestyle has paved the way for a plethora of nutrient-dense snack choices that nourish the body and satisfy the taste buds.
The Nutritarian Approach
A nutritarian diet, popularized by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, emphasizes consuming a variety of nutrient-rich, plant-based foods. The focus is on whole, minimally processed foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, while limiting or excluding processed foods, oils, and animal products.
To learn more about the nutritarian diet, I highly recommend the book Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. In it he describes a "Nutritarian" diet as being “nutrient-dense and plant-rich, and includes anti-cancer superfoods, which also facilitate weight loss.”
Essentially, the diet is centered around micronutrients, those elusive vitamins and minerals that are essential for daily bodily functions. The World Health Organization describes them as "magic wands" that "enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development." Not only that, but the immune system relies on an adequate supply of those micronutrients to function efficiently.
With all the easily accessible processed snacks available, it can be hard to reach for something more nutritious. However, there are tons of easy snacks, if you are willing to look! Here are some of my favorites.
Homemade hummus and veggies
Hummus, a creamy dip made from chickpeas, is a staple in the nutritarian diet. Chickpeas are rich in fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals. By making your own hummus at home, you can control the ingredients and tailor it to your taste. A simple recipe might include chickpeas, tahini (made from sesame seeds), garlic, and fresh lemon juice.
Pairing homemade hummus with baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, chopped zucchini, or any of your favorite fresh vegetables creates a satisfying and nutritious snack. Vegetables are packed with fiber, and vitamins, making them an excellent choice for a quick and crunchy snack that keeps you full and energized.
Bonus: Hummus and veggies are easy to meal prep! See a list of my favorite meal prep containers for any situation and what to look for when selecting food storage containers.
Fresh fruits are a fundamental component of a nutritarian diet, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars that fuel your body. Incorporating an assortment of fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, berries, and melons into your snacks allows for a wide range of flavors and nutrients.
Fruits can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a source of protein, like a handful of nuts or seeds, to make a more balanced and satiating snack. For example, apple slices with almond butter or a banana with a sprinkle of chia seeds can be delicious and nutritious options.
Nut and seed mixes
A nutritarian snack can be as simple as a handful of mixed nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are excellent choices. These provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals. Be mindful of portion sizes to keep the calorie count in check while still enjoying the nutritional benefits.
The nutritarian approach emphasizes nourishing the body with nutrient-dense, plant-based foods. Incorporating homemade hummus and veggies, fresh fruits, and nut and seed mixes into your snacking routine can help you maintain a balanced and healthful diet.
By choosing whole, unprocessed snacks, you not only boost your nutritional intake but also contribute to better overall health. So, the next time you reach for a snack, consider opting for one that aligns with the nutritarian principles—fueling your body with the goodness it craves!