To keep your brain power burning and your energy levels up, it’s important to snack on the right foods during the day. Most workplaces would have vending machines stocked with sweet treats and high-sugar energy drinks but going with healthier snack options at work can positively impact an organisation’s productivity.
According to Harvard Business Review, ‘Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance,’ and a bad decision at the vending machine can derail a day’s worth of productivity. Healthier options – meaning minimally processed, low-glycemic foods that are high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats – provide sustained energy for high performance throughout the day’.
The publication provides the following tips in relation to snacking:
1. Make your eating decisions before you get hungry: ‘If you’re going out to lunch, choose where you’re eating in the morning, not at 12:30pm. If you’re ordering in, decide what you’re having after a mid-morning snack. Studies show we’re a lot better at resisting salt, calories, and fat in the future than we are in the present.’
2. Instead of letting your glucose bottom out around lunch time, you’ll perform better by grazing throughout the day: ‘Spikes and drops in blood sugar are both bad for productivity and bad for the brain. Smaller, more frequent meals maintain your glucose at a more consistent level than relying on a midday feast.’
3. Make healthy snacking easier to achieve than unhealthy snacking: ‘Place a container of almonds and a selection of protein bars by your computer, near your line of vision. Bring a bag of fruit to the office on Mondays so that you have them available throughout the week.’
With that advice in mind, here are 8 healthy snacks ideas your body, brain, and co-workers will be thankful for:
Almonds: Almonds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and protein. They’re crunchy and filling which makes them a great option to munch on throughout the day.
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and has been linked to improved heart health, lower cholesterol, and increased cognition. The darker the chocolate, the better, because these varieties tend to be made with less added sugar and contain more antioxidant-rich cocoa.
Instant oatmeal: Oatmeal is a rich source of fibre and can keep you feeling full for long after it’s consumed, making it an ideal snack for the office.
String cheese: While it gets knocked for having high caloric and fat content, cheese is a great source of Vitamin D, calcium, and protein. String cheese eaten with a couple of wholewheat crackers is a protein-packed, filling snack that will keep you going.
Yoghurt with blueberries: Rich in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, and rich in antioxidants, this sweet combination is a powerful snack.
Apple slices and peanut butter: Apples are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, dietary fibre, and antioxidants. Combined with 1 to 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, the pair create the perfect snack; rich in protein and nutrients and keeps you going for longer.
Carrot sticks with hummus: Carrots are a sweet, healthy carbohydrate, and hummus is loaded with protein and a dose of vitamins and minerals, making this snack the perfect protein, carbohydrate and fat combination.
Cottage cheese with flaxseeds and cinnamon: Cottage cheese is a high-protein food that is very filling, flaxseeds improve digestive health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol while cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and improve gut health – this is a mighty combination.