The American diet is known for its high content of red meat, dairy products and white bread, and is known for leading to high rates of obesity in the States. Snacks, especially, are processed, empty calories that provide virtually no health benefits.
Asians are regarded as some of the healthiest people in the world, due to the amounts of fish, vegetables and healthy snacks they include in their diets every day. Instead of chips and pretzels, there are various snacks that lead to better health and can promote weight loss and a better quality of life.
Sweet and Salty Dried Plums
These shriveled plums start out salty, go to sweet and end with a spicy kick. Even better than the taste are the health benefits of plums. Plums contain antioxidant protection from Vitamin C and from phenols, known for helping protect cells against free radical damage. Plums also help with regularity and regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
Seaweed isn’t just used to wrap around sushi. Asians often eat the sushi separately to reap its benefits. Seaweed snacks are fat-free, low in calories and are full of vitamins and minerals. Korean women would make seaweed soup to give to postpartum mothers to aid in recovery.
Yakult is a yogurt-like snack that is full of healthy probiotics. Probiotics are known for promoting immunity and digestive health. Yakult is made by fermenting skim milk with Lactobicillus casei, a bacterium found naturally in the mouth and intestine, which helps produce amylase, a chemical that aids in digesting carbohydrates.
Lychee, usually sold in jelly form, is a Chinese fruit that is low in calories and full of health benefits. It has no saturated fat and contains high amounts of fiber, potassium, B-complex vitamins and copper.
Hawthorn fruit is sold in a candy form, but it has many health benefits. It is often used to make medicine. Hawthorn helps with diseases of the heart and blood vessels and can treat hardening of the arteries and high cholesterol. Hawthorn can also be used as a topical ointment to be used on boils, sores, itching and ulcers. Hawthorn also helps with digestive issues and can help reduce anxiety. Hawthorn, however, interacts with prescription drugs, so it is important to talk with your healthcare provider before beginning to use hawthorn.
Asian snacks are much healthier than the typical American snacks and would benefit all who had them to their diet. Eating various fruits, vegetables and lean meat and dairy have kept the Asian population healthy for centuries. My personal favourite is the huja snacks available from Majans.com Eliminating snacks like chips, pretzels and other snacks with empty calories will promote health and wellness among Americans and those looking to lose weight, eat a healthy diet and live a long life.