Delight Your Evenings
By Nmami Agarwal
The best part about Indian dishes are the evening snacks, right? Fried pakoras, samosas, bread rolls and street food are perhaps the most popular desi snacks. No matter how hard you try to stay away from these fried lip smacking evening savouries, it becomes very difficult to stop yourself from eating those and later you’re always ridden with guilt. Though the ingredients also which are good for health, they invite fat when immersed in an ocean of oil. Unhealthy fried snacking brings with it many health issues, which are aggravated further if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. It usually leads to side effects like heartburn and acidity and as all of these is high in calories and saturated fats. It can lead to obesity, cholesterol and heart diseases, high sugar levels and blood pressure.
As many of us experience hunger pangs or simply the urge to snack in the evening when there is long to go for dinner. The main reason for having snacks in the evening is to beat hunger pangs without really filling your stomach. And as a result, we end up skipping dinner or feeling hungry at midnight. There are some foods that will make you sleepy or bloated or just knock out your energy.
Snacks are meant to be consumed in small portions, frequently, to keep your blood sugar maintained and your metabolism off the baseline. And finally, what you want in a snack is something a little crunchy, a little savoury. Homemade snacks are healthy, fresh and give you an opportunity to eat healthy and when you want to stay fit. A healthy snack ensures that our hunger pangs are satisfied without hampering our dinner time. So, try these healthy snacks to delight your evening:
- Mushrooms stuffed with paneer: Paneer is a good option for a healthy exotic snack to beat your hunger pangs. It contains a high amount of casein protein, which thickens in your stomach. The ball of protein digests slowly and keeps hunger at bay for hours. Also, it is very energetic food provides instant energy after heavy exercises thus have the capacity to fulfil the calorie requirement of the body and improves the growth and development of the bones. On the other hand, mushrooms have the ability to boost your immune system as enriched with zinc, potassium, selenium, vitamin D and have some therapeutic properties that can help lower cholesterol, mostly in overweight adults and helps protect the heart by maintaining healthy blood pressure and circulation.
- Spinach and chana kebab: Even health lover will queue up for a second helping of this kebab that is made of chana dal, spinach, methi leaves and aromatic spices. Shallow-frying with less oil and a healthy combination of ingredients qualifies this North Indian starter for a healthy snack. As chana dal contains fibre, zinc, protein, folate and low in fat helps to lower cholesterol.
- Sprout and fruit mix tangy bhel: Here’s a healthy alternative to regular calorie-laden bhel. mixed sprouts bhel as they are easier to digest and also rich in nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin C. Mixed with fruits like apple, pomegranate, orange and added flavour with lemon juice as well as herbs makes a tantalizingly chatpata snack that’s sure to lift your spirits.
- Lettuce wrap with veggies: Prickle the taste bud like none other with this striking combination of walnut and veggies. Vegetables are low in calories and fat but contain excellent amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the colourful vegetables are rich sources of beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin-K calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron. As in fruits, vegetables also loaded with antioxidants which contain compound named phytochemical protects the human body from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, as well as helps the body develop the capacity to fight against these by boosting immunity. Nuts like walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acid which is anti-inflammatory and a number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, and melatonin.
- Dhoklas: The staple Gujarati snack, dhoklas, generally prepared with gram flour and curd but by the addition of some vegetables like spinach, french beans or carrots can enhance its nutritive value and adds fibre and protein content to the dish. Steaming helps in preserving the fibre, colour, texture, and flavour of vegetables, it also helps to preserve the water-soluble B & C vitamins, potassium, phosphorus & Zinc, hence, in boiled vegetables, important nutrients are preserved. Steaming preserves 90% of antioxidants in fresh vegetables. Being steamed and not fried they have less oil content which makes them low in calories.
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