When you like to eat healthy, snack vending machines can seem like your enemy. They’re filled with nothing but Doritos, Skittles, Mars Bars and soda drinks, right? Wrong. Snack vending machines have come a long way in recent years, in response to increasing awareness about the need for healthy eating, especially where children and teenagers are concerned. Many snack vending machines now contain healthier food options, like nuts, unsalted organic popcorn, dark chocolate, trail mix, granola bars, unsalted baked chips, and even carrots. Let’s take a look at some of the healthier snacks in snack vending machines.
1. Dark chocolate – It may surprise you, but dark chocolate can actually be very healthy for you. Unlike milk chocolate and white chocolate, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, which eradicate free radicals that can contribute to heart disease. Basically, antioxidants help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, so that means dark chocolate from snack vending machines can help keep your whole cardiovascular system running well. And, even better, dark chocolate can have more immediate positive health effects – it contains serotonin and stimulates endorphin production, which means that it can help lift your mood. Don’t forget the higher percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate – the better.
2. Nuts – Nuts have many health benefits, and they’re perfect for when you need an energizing snack from snack vending machines. When eaten as part of a balanced diet, nuts can lower your cholesterol levels, so you’re at less risk of developing blood clots which can contribute to heart disease and heart attack. Nuts contain a range of nutrients and substances which are good for your heart, including unsaturated fats, omega 3-fatty acids, L-arginine, Vitamin E, and plant sterols. Nuts are also packed with fiber, and the good thing about fiber is that it makes you feel full. So, nuts are a surefire way to tie you over to your next meal.
3. Popcorn – Some types of popcorn from snack vending machines are healthier than others. Avoid those buttered, artificially flavored brands of popcorn, and choose a low-fat, unsalted or lightly salted brand of popcorn, organic if possible. So, when you take seasonings out of the equation, popcorn is actually a very nutritional snack. Popcorn is a whole-grain food, which makes it a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Popcorn is naturally sugar-free, low in calories and preservative-free, and with all those carbohydrates and fiber, it’ll give you energy and make you feel full.
4. Carrots – Carrots are set to become the latest snack vending machines sensation in schools in the United States, and they’ll be marketed as crunchy, fun, sexy snacks to make them more appealing to kids. The health benefits of carrots are endless; they are packed with Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, calcium, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, which can improve the appearance of your skin, hair, nails, lower blood pressure, cleanse the liver, and improve the functioning of kidneys.