Most popular gamer-grub includes potato chips, pizza, cookies, licorice, muffins all washed down with a couple of liters of soda. While these junk foods are high in sugar, salt and fats it is not surprising to behold the effects they have on your waistline and brain.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people eat more during video game sessions, regardless of hunger pangs. The combination of mindlessly munching on junk food along with the sedentary nature of video gaming simply does nothing for health. Do yourself a favor and explore healthier food options which will further boost your gaming experience in the future.
In order to successfully make the food swap, Gaming-friendly food must be:
- Easy to grab and eat with one hand
- Grease-free to avoid oily fingers
- Quick to make between breaks
Below are some healthy suggestions for replacing the junk food we love so much:
Swap Potato Chips with Toasted Pita Bread
The main appeal of potato crisps is the crunchy sound they make when you are munching away. You can achieve this same texture using Toasted Pita Bread. Cut up the bread into triangles, coat them with non-stick spray and add spices as desired. Bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 400°F. To pack in more nutrients, dip the bread in some guacamole. Not only will it enrich the flavor, but the fiber will satiate for longer.
Swap Cookies with Mixed Nuts with Dried Fruit
Instead of chowing down cookies with no nutritional value, opt for mixed nuts with dried fruits like figs, raisins or even dark chocolate chunks to get a sweet and savory combo. Researchers at Tufts University found that walnuts especially can have beneficial effects on brain function and memory due to their higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Swap Sour Patch Kids Candy with Frozen Grapes
If you’re craving for that tartness, green grapes offer that lip-puckering zing. Grapes are a more nutritious and damn tasty alternative to Sour Patch Kids, by far. They are the easiest to make. Chill for two hours before game-time and you’re ready to go. Whether you like green, red, or the black variety, all grapes are delicious and are high in antioxidants.
Swap Nachos with String Cheese and Beef Jerky
Nachos are basically tortilla chips smothered in fake jelly-like cheese. String cheese and beef jerky which can be bought at your local shop or a food gift store are less of a hassle, provide plenty of satisfying protein to keep you feeling full longer, and help you power through clutch situations. Examples of good, lean jerky options are; ostrich, turkey, buffalo, and salmon.
Swap Hot Pockets with Hard Boiled Eggs
Boil many eggs at a time, peel the hard shell and begin dressing them in your favorite seasonings: – a salt, pepper, paprika or ramen seasoning. It’s recommended to eat the whole egg including the yolk which contains tons of vitamins. That is unless you have type 2 Diabetes.
Yolks contain choline, an essential nutrient in the production of acetylcholine: a neurotransmitter involved in memory and overall brain function. Eggs are as nutritious as they are economical in calories when compared to a Hot Pocket.
Swap Pizza Rolls with Sushi
The Japanese use Salmon to make sushi. This cuisine is packed with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that help improve motor skills and even cognition-related conditions.
If you are not a fan of raw fish cooked sushi rolls are always an alternative. Sushi comes in more types, flavors, and styles than the typically frozen pizza rolls. Explore the menu of the local takeout sushi joint and see what will fancy your taste and what stays fresh for longer.
Bear in mind that Calories Are Still Calories
In as much as there are healthy food alternatives to junk food, you have to be aware of the calories you consume. If you eat too much of anything, brace yourself of weight gain. Practice sensible eating habits and exercise on a regular basis for a healthy body and mind.