The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, watched by a total of 111.3 million people across the US in 2017 (Fortune, 2017). Naturally, such a huge occasion lends itself perfectly to hosting a massive party and in turn, putting out some delicious snacks for your guests. Unfortunately, a lot of classic snacks are riddled with salt and fats that could have some nasty effects on your bowels, causing discomfort.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 6 healthy snacks to enjoy at this year’s Super Bowl to help you limit those foods that could cause indigestion this sporting season. Remember, you don’t have to compromise on taste to be healthy.
Deliciously crispy kale
Kale might not sound like a tasty half-time snack, but trust us, it’s absolutely packed with vitamins. A great source of vitamins C and A (My Fitness Pal, undated), kale is easy to cook and even easier to eat. Simply place a bunch of kale leaves with their stems removed on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then, it’s simple. Cook for around 10 to 12 minutes, leave to cool and enjoy. You could even experiment with different flavors to add a kick to this green vegetable.
The health benefits of kale speak for themselves. One cup of raw kale contains:
- Folate, a vitamin essential for brain development
- Up to 2.5g (0.08oz) of fiber, making it an easy to digest food
- Nearly 3g (0.1oz) of protein
- Just 33 calories (WebMD, undated)
Simple and healthy olives
Olives are a nice alternative to salted nuts and potato chips as they are high in vitamin E and contain a range of different antioxidants. Olives also have a range of healthy fats that can be extracted to make olive oil, a staple ingredient of the Mediterranean diet.
Viewed as one of the world’s healthiest diets, Mediterranean food is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and whole grains. Red meat is rarely eaten, instead opting for fish and poultry in moderate amounts (Mayo Clinic, 2017). With a life expectancy of 85 at age 60, people living in the Mediterranean are some of the healthiest in the world (CNN, 2016).
When it comes to Vitamin E, it’s great for skin repair, hair conditioning and your vision (Web MD, 2017). Vitamin E is needed by the body to boost the immune system, fighting off bacteria and viruses. It helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting (National Institutes of Health, 2016).
Serve up some dark chocolate
Chocolate is the Achilles heel for many of us and we can completely understand why. The taste of chocolate is something that has been loved by millions in America. However, if you switch out the sugary milk or white chocolate for a square or two of dark chocolate, you could be doing yourself a huge favor.
A 100-gram portion of dark chocolate that has between 70 and 85% cocoa contains the following benefits:
- 98% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Manganese
- 11g (0.3oz) of fiber
- Over half the RDA of Magnesium
- 89% RDA of Copper
Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, with research showing it contains more antioxidants than fruits including blueberries (Healthline, 2017). For the Super Bowl, simply break up squares of dark chocolate and serve with some delicious strawberries. In a block on its own, or melted, it’s delicious either way.
Swap out the chips & dip
Potato chips and dip is a staple of any Super Bowl party, but if you’re looking to improve digestion then switch out the chips for cucumber, carrot or celery sticks and the ranch dips for hummus.
For the uninitiated, hummus is a thick dip made from blended chickpeas among a few other ingredients and it’s surging in popularity here in the US. Chickpeas have been shown to help balance cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
Swapping out the chips for crudités including cucumber, red pepper, carrot and celery not only reduces the calorie intake of the snacks, but increases the number of vitamins and minerals you’re consuming. A delicious, yet healthy snack.
Ditch the nuts for popcorn
For some of us, peanuts and other salted snacks can be very difficult to digest, leading to bloating and sometimes, a lot of discomfort. As much as nuts can be a healthy alternative to other snacks, popcorn can be switched in for nuts as it’s a food that is easy to digest.
But isn’t popcorn unhealthy? Fear not. Popcorn is in fact a healthy alternative to nuts, potato chips or sweet treats. This movie-staple is actually really good for you, especially if you pop it yourself. Avoid the sugar-loaded varieties and you’re all set for a delicious and healthy half-time snack.
If you compare a bag of microwave popcorn to a bag of plain potato chips, the differences are astounding. The popcorn contains 90 calories (My Fitness Pal, undated), whereas the chips can be upwards of 160 (My Fitness Pal, undated). Grab a bowl of yummy popcorn, sit back and watch the game.
Fries fan? Try sweet potatoes
A delicious plate of fries makes the perfect treat and great addition to your Super Bowl party buffet. Switching out white potatoes for the sweet variety brings with it a whole host of health benefits. Sweet potatoes provide 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also contain fewer calories, more fiber and fewer total carbohydrates (Cleveland Clinic, 2013).
Not only will sweet potato fries cook quicker than those made from regular potatoes, but they are a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin plays a role in keeping our skin look youthful, by producing collagen. They also contain a good amount of iron, supporting the immune system (Web MD, Undated).
All of these healthy snack alternatives are sure to keep you feeling great for this year’s exciting Super Bowl. But if you experience bloating try the Digestive Advantage® Intensive Bowel Support supplement. The product is formulated with no preservatives or artificial flavors and helps defend against bloating, occasional gas and abdominal discomfort*.
Cleveland Clinic (2013) White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes: Which are healthier?
Fortune (2017) Here's How Many People Watched the Super Bowl
Healthline (2017) 7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Mayo Clinic (2017) Nutrition and Healthy Eating
My Fitness Pal (Undated) Calories in Lay’s Plain Potato Chips
My Fitness Pal (Undated) Calories in Curves Microwave Popcorn
My Fitness Pal (Undated) Calories in Kale
National Institutes of Health (2016) Vitamin E
Web MD (2017) Vitamin E
Web MD (Undated) 5 Winter Superfoods: Sweet Potatoes: Nutrient Profile
Web MD (Undated) The Truth About Kale