If you work in an office you might know plenty about stress, boredom, and frustration, and you might be the sort of person who feels the need to munch on something to combat this. But what could seem like an innocent little refreshment at the time might not be so harmless in the long run. Studies have shown that even small amounts of some snacks can contribute to an excess of calories, which can cause not only weight gain, but also a sense of fatigue and lack of productivity.
Whether your guilty pleasure is some chocolate chip cookies, a bag of M&Ms or an occasional donut or two, you might not realize how often you snack in an unhealthy way. Research shows that there are a handful of reasons why we do this, and actual hunger usually isn’t the issue.
Whatever your personal reasons for eating between meals, you might be surprised to know that binging on the right kind of healthy snack can actually be beneficial. It can help you lose weight, increase attention and even boost your productivity at the workplace. If we managed to pique your interest here, you might want to check out some snacks that you can easily enjoy in the work-place, guilt-free.
Here are a handful of healthy options you can eat in the office:
We’re kicking off our list with the healthiest snack of the bunch, nuts. Whether you prefer pecans, hazelnuts, cashews or almonds, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that you should consume them daily, if possible. Since they’re abundant in Omega 3’s, healthy fats, fiber and vitamin E, they can make many beneficial contributions to your immune system. As a matter of fact, a 30-year old Harvard study has shown that those consuming nuts frequently are much more protected from cardiovascular diseases than those who don’t. And we think that is quite awesome!
Though they often get a bad rap, not all types of crackers are actually bad for you. The healthiest variation of this go-to snack item are multi-grain crackers, rich in iron, fiber and Vitamin B. Avoid consuming saltine and sugary crackers, though, because they have high amounts of trans fat in them, and that means they are not at all recommended by nutritionists.
For budget-friendly healthy snack options, we recommend going back to basics and opting for a sizable dose of fresh veggies. All you’ll need to do is wash them and slice them into tiny, easily edible chunks. Some of the most popular fresh vegetable snacks are carrots, peas, cucumbers, celery and bell peppers.
Speaking of fresh produce, we can’t forget about fruit. As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Bananas, pineapple slices and berries all make for a fantastic snack full of vitamins. An additional thing you can do to up the ante of your healthy snacks challenge is to only opt for produce which are currently in season and to try to buy from local farmers as frequently as possible.
In winter time you might not have access to any kind of locally-grown fresh fruit, so a great alternative would be to purchase dried produce instead. Thanks to their high concentrations of fiber and nutrients, they can provide you generously with antioxidants. Raisins, prunes, apricots and cranberries are some of the most popular and most tasty varieties. Since they are also high in sugars, you should limit your daily intake and avoid consuming dried fruit in excess.
Dairy products are not so famous for being healthy, but yogurt is maybe one you can trust. It has a wide range of surprising health benefits, being rich in nutrients and protein, improving heart and intestinal health, and having a significant role in strengthening the immune system. For a healthy morning office snack, opt for the simple, natural yogurt instead of the sugar-filled fruity ones.
Eggs are rich in half a dozen beneficial vitamins, are high in protein and are said to reduce the risk of heart disease. With little effort you can boil a couple of eggs while you wait for your morning coffee to brew and take them with you to enjoy at your workplace accompanied by a few sliced tomatoes and a pinch of fresh basil.
A fun favorite, string cheese is a very popular snack in North America. The good news is that it is quite low in calories and is also an important source of calcium and vitamin A, the latter contributing to skin health. Though it may not be the healthiest snack ever, it’s generally more harmless than other types of milk-based products.
Although chocolate is generally scorned upon by health enthusiasts, the dark variety has many advantageous traits. It is quite nutritious, offers a powerful source of antioxidants and may offer a wide range of other health benefits that are still being researched. So a few bites of quality dark chocolate probably won’t hurt you, but don’t forget to consume it in moderation.
Last but not least, pocket-sized nutrition bars are enjoyed in offices across the country. They come in protein, fruit, nut and energy varieties, and are all go-to snacks for anybody working at a desk all day long. They can be consumed quickly and are convenient for getting a quick dose of energy without receiving a huge calorie intake. And if you mainly snack only on these, you might feel you can allow yourself one of the other types listed above from time to time!
To summarize, please remember that if you’re a person who likes to snack, that doesn’t mean you should forget about your health. So, when filling your lunch box tomorrow morning, don’t forget to toss in a few carrots, a yogurt or some dried fruit to boost not only your productivity but also your well-being. And don’t forget that moderation is key!