30 Snacks For AIP Diet
30 Snacks For AIP Diet
More than 20 million people suffer from autoimmune diseases, just in the United States alone. If you’re one of these people, you may have already heard of the autoimmune protocol diet, aka the AIP diet. If not, be sure to check out my beginner’s guide, here.
In general, the AIP diet is a restrictive diet that is composed of two phases. An elimination phase and a reintroduction phase. The point of the diet is to determine which foods contribute to inflammation and autoimmune flare-ups throughout the body and to eliminate them.
Snacks can be a huge lifesaver in-between meals. Especially when you add the kids, work, and everything else we have to deal with on a daily basis. But, when it comes to snacking, sticking to the strict rules of the AIP diet can be difficult. If you’re not careful what you eat, snacks can quickly become a black hole for nutrition.
Knowing which snacks you can eat to help avoid those pesky hunger pangs, all while maintaining a healthy autoimmune diet, is super important for those of us with autoimmune disease. Not only do we need the energy and nutrients provided by snacks, but we need the confidence of knowing that what we eat will not disrupt our immune or digestive systems.
So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Let’s go over some delicious and nutritious snacks that are 100% AIP diet-approved:
30 Snacks For AIP Diet
Tiger Nuts are one of the best AIP-approved snacks because they contain resistant starch. Resistant starch takes longer to digest, making you feel full longer. They’re a great snack if you’re looking to lose weight with Hashimoto’s.
Coconut flakes, also known as coconut chips, are a sweet treat with the perfect amount of crunch. Coconuts contain a plethora of nutrients that support the immune system, as well as many other systems throughout the body. To reduce sugar intake, opt for the unsweetened version. But, don’t worry – because coconut is naturally sweet, you won’t miss that unhealthy added sugar at all.
Plantains are rich in fiber, meaning they are excellent for the digestive system. Fiber can reduce symptoms of IBS and improve regularity, thus reducing bloating and intestinal inflammation. You can purchase them in most local grocery stores or you can fry them up right at home. Just remember to use high-quality, healthy oils such as avocado oil or coconut oil.
Whole organic olives contain polyphenols that contribute to a healthy immune system. (That goes for olive oil, too!) While they are a delicious snack alone, I recommend adding them to your next salad for that extra little burst of flavor.
Sweet Potato Chips
When we get the nutrients we need, all of our systems function more effectively – including the immune system. Sweet potatoes are a strong anti-inflammatory food. Not to mention they also contain vitamins A, C, and B6, potassium, and magnesium. You can make sweet potato chips in your oven or your air fryer, or you can purchase them from a local grocery store. Just remember to watch out for added sugars, preservatives, and excess salt.
Sweet Potato Fries
Hmmm….fries. Yes, please! The only difference between sweet potato chips and sweet potato fries is the way you cut your potato! You can still cook these fries in your oven or your air fryer and reap the same sweet benefits.
Sweet Potato Hummus
In the mood for that creamy texture of hummus? Unfortunately, beans are a no-go on the AIP diet. But, you can totally substitute the chickpeas with sweet potatoes! Simply puree your sweet potatoes, and add in your tahini, garlic, and olive oil. Cool in your refrigerator and then eat with freshly cut veggies!
Craving potato chips? Try cassava chips instead. Regular potato chips are usually cooked in nut oil, which contains lectins (a highly inflammatory food). Alternatively, cassava chips are cooked in healthy avocado or olive oil. Plus, they contain vitamin C – a key vitamin required for the health of your immune system.
Autoimmune diseases can have serious effects on your digestive system. Think bloating, upset stomach, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and even leaky gut syndrome. Because kombucha is chock full of gut-healthy probiotics, it’s one of the healthiest AIP-approved drinks out there. Try to avoid drinking more than 1 cup of kombucha each day.
For those of you that may not know, kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made with fermented vegetables. It includes cabbage, sugar, salt, onions, garlic, ginger, and so on. Like kombucha, kimchi is full of gut-healthy probiotics that can greatly benefit your digestive system. As well as over 10 different minerals, several vitamins, and fiber.
While the AIP diet restricts all fruits in the elimination phase, fruit is allowed to be reintroduced later. Watermelon is a delicious, low-calorie snack that is also great for hydration. They contain fiber for the digestive system and vitamin C for the immune system. Plus, because watermelons are so large, just one watermelon can help you meal plan snacks for the whole week.
Avocados are one of the most delicious and nutritious snacks on this list. They contain essential B vitamins that promote immune health and fatty acids that promote proper hormone balance. Plus, they are rich in soluble fiber, meaning they are easy on the stomach and that they promote regularity. Indulge in some guacamole dip and freshly cut vegetables or add avocado to your next Mediterranean salad.
There are few snacks healthier than plain raw veggies. While raw veggies might not be the most exciting snack, incorporating some key vegetables into your diet can make a huge difference in how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Raw kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and onions are among the best foods to consume for autoimmune healing purposes. You can eat your veggies plain, with a dip like guacamole or tuna salad, or as a salad themselves.
When prepared correctly, trail mix is an ultra-healthy snack. The key thing to remember here is that not all trail mixes are created equal. Many store-bought trail mixes will contain added sugars and salts that may do more harm than good. Instead, create your own trail mix with AIP-approved ingredients. I recommend Tiger Nuts, coconut flakes, raisins, plantain chips, and a variety of fried fruit (prunes, apricots, oranges, etc.)
Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Hmmm…I can almost smell these now. Brussel sprouts contain vitamin K, as well as important omega-3 fatty acids. Both of which contribute to a healthy immune system. With just a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, you can make an oven-roasted brussel sprout snack in no time. Just cut the sprout in half, season with salt & olive oil, and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Done!
Roasted Acorn Squash
Like oven-roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted acorn squash is super delicious and nutritious. Acorn squash is loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals throughout the body and prevent serious issues like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Simply cut into small slices and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. For softer squash, allow a few more minutes.
Who doesn’t love a good cucumber salad? Especially with apple cider vinegar dressing. Cucumbers are a low-calorie snack known for detoxifying the kidneys, promoting hydration, and relieving constipation – all of which is greatly appreciated when living with an autoimmune disease. Not to mention the apple cider vinegar dressing contains a plethora of health benefits, including strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Fermented foods are excellent for your gut and immune health. Not only do they cleanse the body, but they help lower inflammation and trigger the production of good, disease-fighting bacteria. If you’re looking for a sour snack, indulge in some pickled carrots, cucumbers, beets, cauliflower, or garlic.
When I think of apple sauce, I think of a children’s snack. But, this one extends to adults too! Organic apple sauce is full of healthy vitamins and minerals and can satiate that sweet tooth with ease. Speaking of apples, you guys should definitely check out my berry apple dessert. Just leave out the sugar and you’re back in compliance with the AIP diet.
Some fruits, when consumed in large amounts, can cause slight inflammation and trigger negative side effects of autoimmune diseases. However, in moderation, there are plenty of AIP-approved fruits that double as delicious and nutritious snacks. These include blackberries, apricots, apples, bananas, lemons, mangos, oranges, and more!
Because dried fruit has a high glucose content, it’s important to consume this snack in moderation. Dried fruit is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy immune system and a great addition to any trail mix, coconut yogurt, or smoothie. AIP-friendly dried fruits include dates, prunes, apricots, and raisins.
It’s no wonder that seaweed has become so popular over the last few years. This marine plant has antioxidant, anti-allergenic, and disease-fighting properties. Plus, it’s super yummy. Whip up a quick AIP-compliant sushi snack or sprinkle this plant on your favorite lunch or dinner-time dishes.
The AIP diet restricts all dairy, which can make getting your recommended daily value of calcium and vitamins D and B12 a bit harder. This is where dairy-free coconut yogurt comes in. It contains all three of those nutrients and more. And all with only 5 grams of fat. Feel free to add coconut flakes, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, or date sugar to sweeten. Just remember – moderation is key.
Craving a nice, cold beverage? Whip up a smoothie. Start with your coconut yogurt and add AIP-approved fruit and sweeteners. Approved fruits and sweeteners include bananas, oranges, watermelon, some berries, cantaloupe, coconut, honey, and maple syrup. Feel free to also throw in some dark leafy greens or protein powder!
Although I stick to a strictly vegan diet, I’ll add the below items for those looking for non-vegetarian snack options.
EPIC bars are packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which promote a healthy immune system. They are grain-free, gluten-free, and 100% naturally sourced. To get the most protein and omega-3s possible, opt for beef and salmon.
While pork rinds might not be the first snack that comes to mind, you have to hear me out. I’m not talking about those cheap, ultra-salty pork rinds. I’m talking about EPIC pork rinds. They are so delicious and they come loaded with energy-boosting protein. And those of you who suffer from autoimmune disease know the importance of protein because it’s what prevents our disease from making us so weak and tired.
Sardines are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. As I mentioned earlier, these fatty acids are known to improve the immune system. But, more than that, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can actually ease symptoms of psoriasis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. And contrary to popular belief, they actually taste good.
Like sardines, tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Particularly EPA and DHA. It’s also a fantastic source of protein. The best part is – tuna is a super versatile food. Not only can you make AIP-friendly tuna salad, but you can also make tuna patties or one of many tuna dips (in which you can dip your raw veggies/plantain chips).
Oysters might seem like a luxury snack. But really, they are one of the best snacks to curb that salty craving. Oysters are super nutrient-dense and they pair well with most vegetables and fruits. Eat them plain, in a soup, or in a dip.
Single Serve Bone Broth Cups
Bone broth is one of many healing foods for those who suffer with autoimmune disease. It’s very easy on the stomach and promotes healing of both the gut and the intestines. You can find single-serve bone broth cups at any local grocery store. Just remember to look for the ones with as few added ingredients as possible.
A healthy diet is one of the most important components of living a healthy life, especially with an autoimmune disease.
Coping with an autoimmune disease isn’t easy. It requires real lifestyle changes…changes that take practice and patience. With that being said, I hope these snack ideas come in handy as you plan your AIP diet meal in the coming weeks and months. You got this!
For even more autoimmune-friendly food inspiration, check out some of my favorite recipes. And now that it’s summer, you don’t want to miss out on these 5 healthy summer snacks. Until next time, let me know what your favorite AIP diet snacks are below! I’m always on the hunt for new and delicious recipes!