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Nature's Fast Foods

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 27 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Nature Fast Food Fruit Snacking Lunch

Fast food isn’t the preserve of big hamburger chains and food manufacturers. Mother nature provides us with her own fast food solutions that have been around for as long as we have – and nature’s snacks are much better for us than a plate full of chips and burgers, a bag of crisps or a doughnut.

Fast Fruity Foods

Fruit has got to be the number one fast food. We’re always being told to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, but can you honestly say that you manage this? Not everybody can. So, why not incorporate some fruit into your diet the easy way?

Bananas area great portable snack from nature, and are great sources of carbohydrate often recommended for people just about to go to the gym or do some exercise. Easy to pop in a school lunch box or your handbag, bananas even come in their own wrappers!

Apples are a good source of soluble fibre which can keep you fuller for longer, as well as vitamins and minerals. There are so many different apples to choose from, don’t just stick to the same old Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.

Grapes, and berries are all nature’s super foods, packed with antioxidants which will boost your health and immune system if you eat enough of them. Blueberries are a much talked about example, but can be expensive...opt for a bunch of grapes, some strawberries or raspberries which are very often on special offer in supermarkets. If you can get your hands on berries that are locally grown and in season, you’ll definitely notice the difference in taste too.

Dried fruit is nature’s option for busy people, there are so many different dried fruit and but combinations available that you could try a new one every day of the week. Try to go for the fruit in as natural form as possible and don’t be too tempted in by the combinations that involve delicacies like chocolate and toffee pieces!

Even tinned fruit can be a good snack fast food, as it’s available in portion sized tins that usually come with a spoon too. Much better than chocolate and crisps.

Savoury Natural Fast Foods

Vegetables can be a little trickier to use as fast food and snacks, mainly because nature doesn’t deliver them all in nice ready peeled and ready to eat versions like fruit. Some veggies need some preparation and thought before you can munch on them as snacks – like broccoli and cauliflower chunks for dipping, crudités and similar.

Carrots can be good for eating on the go, as long s they are scrubbed you can just crunch away, with or without a dip.Technically a fruit, but the tomato is ready to eat and delicious – vine ripened tomatoes in the summer time can taste delicious and are so packed full of vitamins that you can feel positively saintly while eating them.

Have you tried eating fresh peas from the pod? They are naturally sweet by nature - and crunchy - and come conveniently packaged for you in their little pods. Sugar snap peas are another delicacy that can and should be eaten raw.

Nuts are fantastic for snacking. They provide protein to keep you going, and essential fatty acids – none of the saturated fats that cause the problems. Eat them in moderation but they are best served without salt in their natural state – creamy cashews, tangy pistachios and another super food – the walnut – are all a good choice if you want to get some nutrition from your snack choices!

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