It’s exam season, so stay away from anything excessively sugary, salty or full of carbs – all of which will make you feel lethargic and heavy – and reach for these light, summery snacks instead. They’ll give you the perfect energy boost during that mid-afternoon slump, helping you concentrate better and think clearer.
Nuts & Berries
Nuts are rich in omega-3, omega-6, vitamins E & B6. Not only good for your skin, these will boost your mood and help you concentrate better. If you can’t afford nuts, go for the cheaper but still healthy alternative of seeds: pumpkin, sunflower and flaxseeds are especially nutritious and delicious. Full of antioxidants, blackberries and blueberries are great sources of folic acid, manganese and vitamins C & K. If you’re on the go, dried cranberries are more convenient as they make less of a mess.
Greek Yoghurt & Honey
Nature’s sweetener, raw honey is full of antioxidants and enzymes. Use it as a substitute for regular sugar as often as possible as it provides you with more nutrients per calorie. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, it has soothing and healing properties. Mix a tablespoonful into a bowl of natural Greek yoghurt for a quick, tasty afternoon snack.
Hummus & Carrots
Ah, hummus. How do I love thee? It’s always easier to buy this in-store, but it’s healthier, (and potentially even more delicious as you can control exactly what goes in), to make it by yourself. All you need is chickpeas, oil, lemon, tahini, salt and pepper. Chickpeas are full of fibre, protein, manganese (used for energy production) and iron. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants, which are good for the skin, cardiovascular health and can potentially lower risks of cancer.
Banana & Frozen Berries
Craving something cold and sweet? Try this incredibly refreshing 2-minute smoothie.
Take two ripe bananas and a cup of mixed frozen berries and blend. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add a splash of milk. Bananas help sustain blood sugar levels, meaning a constant level of energy. They’re also a good source of potassium, iron and calcium. Best of all, they can make you happy: bananas are rich in tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin by your body.
Avocado & Lime
Absolutely bursting with potassium, vitamins K, B, C and E, avocadoes reduce the risk of diabetes and are said to help lower body weight. For a quick, nutritious snack, simply cut a ripe avocado in half, squeeze the juice of half a lime over it and sprinkle it lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper before digging in with a spoon. A quick tip: you can tell if an avocado is ripe by looking at the dry little circle underneath the stem. If it’s green, the avocado is perfect; if it’s brown, chances are it’s over-ripe.
Strawberries & Mascarpone
Strawberries are fruit, so technically this still counts as a healthy recipe….right? Think traditional strawberries and cream but with a twist: the mascarpone is thicker in consistency and has more depth of flavour. British strawberries come into season at the beginning of May, so now is the perfect time to indulge. Sweet and succulent, they contain anthocyanin, which can help boost short- term memory: perfect for exams. Have this as a decadent dessert on it’s own or try a thin layer of mascarpone with sliced strawberries on toast.