Everyone gets packing jitters when prepping for their flight. You ask yourself a million and one times if you forgot anything, you check your passport 9 times and make sure you haven’t forgotten your toothbrush or underwear and you believe you’re all set. Now you’ve boarded and you check that you remembered your neck pillow, your book, headphones and OMG…a snack! Airline food sucks, lets face it and its quite far from healthy. So, to avoid it as much as possible, we’ve compiled a quick checklist of 4 healthy snacks that should be part of your packing ritual from now on.
Just to lightly graze all the health benefits these awesome little nuts have, lets start with the heart. According to the Loma Linda School of Public Health, if you consume nuts 5 times a week then you reduce your risks of a heart attack up to 50%. They also lower your levels of bad cholesterol and provide for healthy brain function. Such an easy packing addition, even a small portion can give you that extra boost of energy to hold you over till a proper meal. Did we mention they are 13% protein? Or that just 1 ounce of almonds has the antioxidant levels of a broccoli serving? Find an excuse not to pack these now.
If a small serving of almonds doesn’t give you the push you’re hoping for then the next best thing is a complete meal- in a bar! Protein bars come in almost any variety one can think of: lactose free, vegan friendly, allergy specific- pretty much every dietary restriction you could have, there’s a bar out there for you. Here are some facts about why these additions to your flight will make you feel satisfied. Protein itself supports multiple structures in your body, its full of macronutrients like those found in meat, eggs and fish but aren’t a viable option to pack. So for the sake of convenience, the best choice would be a bar. It’s got a small and slim profile so it wont take up much space and they’re filled with fiber to make you feel full for a longer period. The famous tiny airline snacks they push on you after takeoff are most definitely not a healthy choice so rather pull out that QuestBar or a Cliff and feel better, fuller and more satisfied you’re still on the healthy train.
Next on our list is an oldie but a goody, trail mix! Whether its camping with the family, hiking through a forest or taking a grab bag to work, all types of trail mixes have been part of a healthy diet for years. Whether you feel like customizing your own mix or grabbing a premixed bag from the health store or corner market, this option can be full of protein and essential vitamins. Disclaimer- you have to build your own or choose premixes wisely to avoid just getting junk disguised as nutritious. For flights, you won’t need as high a carbohydrate mix as you would for a strenuous hike. Some additional carbs that burn quickly are dried pineapples, bananas and raisins. Mixed with the protein from nut additions like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, chia you can add that extra protein and fiber boost.
And we can’t forget to add the most delicious addition- granola. Now this can be a plus or draw back depending on what granola you use. Its always good to check the refined sugar levels on a lot of the prepacked granola, a lot of companies add honey and sugar to their brands. This addition gives you those extra slow-burning carbs to keep you fuller for the duration of the flight. You can prepack or gradually munch your way through the bag throughout the flight. And now we have to mention the naughty additions like cinnamon, toasted coconut flakes or dark chocolate chips that just make the mix a dangerously delicious as well as a healthy snack.
Our final addition to the pack is a bag of fruit chips, widely available in different fruit choices but most commonly available as apple chips. According to a study done by Florida State University, apples lower cholesterol and help fight heart disease giving them the coined term: “miracle Fruit”. This is just the best little snack that can give you that sucros boost and settle that rumble in your belly during take off and landing. Not to Mention the extra cardiovascular benefits, these little power fruits protect your body from cancer, regulate blood sugar and help protect your lungs.
So, you now know the lowdown on power snacks you need to pack for every flight so you’ll never have to worry about getting a belly gurgle or light headed-ness mid flight. Go enjoy your flight and feel great knowing your health is packed in your bag too!