When afternoon hunger strikes, chances are you typically reach for a nutrition bar or cut up a banana and slather it with peanut butter. Sure, it does the trick, but if you want to switch up your healthy snacking game, looking abroad can help. From omega-3 rich anchovy spread in South Africa to shiitake mushroom chips in Thailand, there’s definitely no shortage of inspiration.
Rounded up here are eight healthy snacks popular in countries around the world. Plus, you can click directly to buy to avoid going down a deep rabbit hole trying to find matcha-flavored Kit-Kats. (Yep, it’s a Thing.)
Keep reading to see what healthy snacking looks like around the world.
Switch out your almond butter for this anchovy fish spread, which is popular in South Africa. One serving is packed with omega-3s and unlike the sweeter spreads usually paired with toast, this savory option has no sugar. Order the original or try this copycat recipe from an anchovette diehard.
2. Meat bites
These British Paleo-friendly snacks are a delicious fix for between meals. The air-dried meat strips come in six different flavors and are gluten-free. High-protein, it’s perfect to stash in your gym bag for pre- or post-workout.
Okay, okay, so the matcha doesn’t automatically transform this Japanese candy bar into a healthy snack, but if you’re going to have a chocolatey treat, you might as well get some antioxidants, right? At least that sugar rush will come with some added focus.
Before you start squirming—don’t. Eating crickets is becoming a totally normal, high-protein snack even in the States. While American brands have only just started experimenting with the bugs in nutrition bars and powders in the past couple years, they’ve long been a staple in Thailand for a high-protein crunch. Ease into the trend with these barbecue-flavored cricket powder chips.
Mushrooms are magical—even if they aren’t the hallucinogenic kind. Shiitake mushrooms, like the ones people in Thailand like to snack on in chip form, have been linked to boosting immunity and supporting heart health. That’s definitely something a bag of potato chips can’t claim.
6. Wasabi peas
If you like your snacks to have a little kick, then these peas are for you. Popular in Japan, they’re a perfect light snack to keep you powering through the day and are full of anti-inflammatory benefits.
When Siggi’s founder and CEO Siggi Hilmarsson was asked during a Well+Good TALKS event what his favorite snack to eat growing up in Iceland was, he said it was dried fish. It’s not so common here (yet!), but it’s a staple in Scandanavia. With the help of sustainable meat-bar and bone broth company Epic, it’s available across America too, with their salmon smoked maple syrup strips.
Sometimes, you just want something salty and crunchy to snack on. Dried seaweed strips dusted with sea salt are a mainstay in many Asian countries. They’re a lot healthier than potato chips and will still hit just the spot.
If you want to know how other countries think about wellness, see what clean-eating looks like around the world. And to satisfy your wanderlust, check out these wellness trips around the world, all for under $1,000.
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