It’s the end of the day and your stomach is growling. You just sat through 45 minutes of San Diego traffic. As you step out from your car, you are engulfed in the enticing sounds and smells from Restaurant Row: Thai, Mexican, Italian, and freshly baked cookies. As these aromas tease your senses, you suddenly realize: you’re hangry.
For those fortunate few who are not familiar with hanger, it refers to feeling so hungry, you begin to feel angry and frustrated. Having experienced “hanger pains” many times myself, I know that it is not pleasant. When you are busy, it is so easy to ignore the body’s signals telling you to eat. But, if you wait until you feel hangry, you may end up reaching for those potato chips. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
One way to keep those hanger pains at bay is to choose nutrient foods! Nutrient dense foods help you get more bang for your caloric buck. They are highly nutritious foods because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber but low in calories. Keeping non-perishable, nutrient-dense snacks readily available can be an easy fix to escape those moments of hanger.
Let’s wave goodbye to those hangry spells, shall we? To help set you up for success, below are sweet and savory snack ideas that are easy to pack and come complete with a variety of nutrients to help you feel satisfied throughout your day.
Natural nut butters
Almond or peanut are my personal go-to. I like to pair these with either whole wheat bread and make a sandwich or, if I have fruits (i.e., apples) or vegetables (i.e., celery) available, I’ll use it as a dip.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts are filled with nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and fiber. These whole foods can be consumed in small amounts and still provide health benefits like protecting your eyes, maintaining a healthy heart, and staying full.
Popular choices include dates, apricots, cranberries, raisins, and mango. These nutrient-dense foods are jam-packed with fiber, antioxidants, and potassium.
If you want to get fancy, you can combine your favorite nuts and dried fruit to create a delicious and filling trail mix!
These snack ideas are easy to grab when you are on the go, can easily be stored in your car if needed, and are small enough to tuck away in your bag when you’re out and about. Remove hanger from your vocabulary with these snack ideas! For more filling snack ideas please visit Bastyr’s Blog or book an appointment with a Bastyr University Clinic naturopath to learn more!
By: Kristina Valbuena, RDN, edited by Anne Guthrie, and reviewed by: Neal Malik, DrPH, MPH, RDN, CHES, ACSM-EP