The importance of (healthy) snacks

An afternoon snack is actually a good habit, as long as it is not empty calories, junk food or packed with salt. A snack between meals helps you arrive at the dinner table without being ravenously hungry, so you don't end up eating everything in sight! This snack should be no more than 10% of your daily calorie requirement, however, and it should be eaten at least two hours before dinner so as not to ruin your appetite for the meal. From a nutritional point of view, it can include complex carbohydrates (try new Panealba tomato & basil flavour Scrack breadsticks, for example) to provide an immediate energy boost, combined with protein and calcium (a glass of milk or a low-fat yoghurt) and vitamins (fresh juices of all kinds are ideal).

Salt? Only in moderation!

Table salt is composed of two elements: sodium and chlorine. It is the former which provides the flavour and other properties, even though a gram of salt contains just 0.4 g of sodium ions. This mineral performs an essential function in our bodies, but as it is found in almost all foods and even in water, it is not necessary to add it at the table – we now know that excessive salt consumption can cause serious health problems. But perhaps even more important than limiting the use of salt in the kitchen and at the table is paying attention to processed foods, such as snacks, sweets and processed meats – these often contain large amounts of salt, so you should try to buy products with a reduced salt content, such as Panealba breadsticks without added salt.

More taste with flavours and spices

Reducing your daily salt intake is possible, you just need to go about it gradually. The palate needs to get used to less salty food, but there are some tricks to bring out flavours in other ways. Adding aromatic herbs, spices or toasted seeds to your dishes is an excellent way to use less salt without giving up on taste. An example? Try Panealba Stiratini with rosemary or Stiratini with sesame seeds breadsticks – tasty and appetising at any time of day.

Add some spice to your life with chilli pepper

The name of this spice gives us a clue to its origins, as the chilli really is a member of the genus Capsicum, or peppers. And there are many types of chilli peppers, too – different colours, shapes, and above all different levels of heat (depending on the amount of the chemical capsaicin they contain). To obtain the pungent spice we all know so well, the peppers are picked when they are ripe and left to dry to preserve them. As well as being powdered, the dried fruit can be chopped or added whole to foods, or they can be added to a bottle of olive oil to spice it up – ideal for drizzling on pizza! And to really liven up your day, try Panealba paprika and chilli flavour Crostini.

Cereals – packed full of energy!

Wheat (the grain used to make bread, pasta, breadsticks, biscuits etc.), rice, maize (or corn), barley, oats, rye, sorghum, millet, spelt and much more besides – there are dozens of kinds of cereals, and each has different qualities which lend it to different uses. Their complex carbohydrates provide plenty of energy. This is why cereals are ideal to start off your day, particularly when you need long-lasting energy reserves to get you through it. Ideal for those who have to perform physical activity, but also important for those with intellectual occupations and sedentary jobs. To fill up with energy and enjoy great taste at the same time, try Panealba multi-cereal breadsticks.

Soups – the perfect food?

Not always the favourite part of a meal, particularly for children, light soups and broths are actually an important and nutritious part of it. Their (largely unrecognised) qualities provide a series of benefits – they are thirst-quenching (containing 70-80% water), rich in vitamins and minerals, nutritious and light. A vegetable soup with pasta, rice, bread or cereal grains and with a drizzle of good olive oil is one of the most complete, well-balanced dishes possible and also helps intestinal health. You can also use croutons, such as Panealba Mediterranean flavour crostini, in place of the rice or pasta for an even easier meal.