Work and Wellbeing 15 September 2020

Healthy snacks to graze on at work

Healthy snacks on a work desk
Healthy snacks needn’t be boring, or hard work
Trying to focus when your mind is constantly wandering to the next meal or snack is normal for most of us, especially during a long day at work.A healthy snack can make all the difference to your day, your mood, and your productivity.

The perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack should feel like a mood-boosting treat for your tastebuds, and your brain.Healthy snacks needn’t be dull, or hard work. Below are a few good reasons to go with the healthy choice and 10 snack suggestions simple enough to enjoy at work.

The benefits of eating healthy snacks during the workday

While it’s easy to grab a bag of crisps, bar of chocolate or steal another couple of biscuits, healthy choices can be super simple. Going for the healthy choice neednt be complicated or time-consuming. Healthy snacks are more likely to leave you feeling refreshed and focused rather than sluggish.

Avoid carb-heavy or sugar-soaked snacks and benefit your mind and body by making healthier choices:

Curb cravings

Cravings usually happen due to blood sugars dropping. This tends to happen between three and five hours after a meal. While this is perfectly normal, small, frequent snacks can help stabilise blood sugars and keep your metabolism firing.

Fight weight gain

Healthy snacking can help avoid hunger pangs which drive you to raid the office biscuit stash. Making healthy food choices throughout the day can also reduce the chance of overeating at mealtimes. If you allow yourself to get hungry your metabolism will slow down, which could make weight gain more likely.

Power your brain

Unlike nutrient-poor sugary snacks, such as biscuits, cookies or chocolate bars, healthy snacks deliver slow-burning fuel to help keep you focused throughout the day.

There are protein choices you can make which will provide an extra mental boost. For example, proteins derived from fish, meat, eggs and tofu contain amino acid which increases the production of neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating concentration and alertness.

Regulate your mood

it’s not unusual to reach for carb-heavy snacks when hunger pangs strike, or we feel in need of a quick mood-boost. Carbohydrates work to improve our mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

To benefit from the mood-boost minus the fatigue, swap starchy carbs – like bread, muffins or cake – for fruit, honey, whole grains or vegetables.

Get an energy boost

The food choices you make throughout the day play a fundamental role in your energy levels, or lack thereof. While all foods provide the body with energy, some foods provide specifically beneficial nutrients that can help maintain your energy levels, focus and productivity throughout the day.

10 healthy and easy snacks to eat while you work

Here are 10 easy and healthy snack ideas which will power you through your workday with zero downside.

1. Crudit’s and hummus

A healthy snack of crudit's and hummus
Spice up raw veg with a healthy serving of hummus
Slice a selection of cucumber, peppers, carrot and celery and enjoy at your desk. Graze on the plain raw veg or spice things up with a dip of hummus on the side for a refreshing and reviving snack.

The raw vegetables are packed with goodness and the chickpeas in the hummus give you a boost of iron, phosphorus and essential brain-powering B vitamins.

Hummus can be a great choice if you’re vegetarian or vegan and will stay fresh in the fridge for between 4 and 5 days. Keep chopped carrots and celery in water in an airtight container (mason jar or Tupperware) and theyll stay crisp and fresh for an entire week.

2. Guacamole with celery sticks

Healthy avocado snack half filled with guacamole
Celery with a dollop of guacamole is a tasty and healthy snack
Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium and fibre, guacamole is a healthy and nutrient-laden choice. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, balance bodily fluids and help your body to digest carbs.

Avocados are full of healthy fats, but be careful not to over-indulge as they can quickly turn into a high fat choice if eaten to excess.

3. Avocado

Ripe and ready to eat avocado make a delicious healthy snack
Season ripe avocado with salt and pepper for an even easier snack
If you don’t want to buy guacamole or go to the hassle of making your own batch, try eating avocado as it comes. Cut in half and eaten straight from the skin with a teaspoon, you get all the goodness of the avocado with zero hassle.

Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil for added enjoyment.

4. Raw nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pecans)

A selection of raw nuts make an easy and healthy snack choice
Nuts: a healthy snack to power your brain
High in fat, but low in carbs, nuts are a super simple and nutritious choice. Keep a selection of your favourite nuts close at hand for an efficient energy boost. Most nuts provide nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium and selenium and are loaded with antioxidant power.

Avoid cheating with the roasted, salted variety which will negate any goodness you could be getting.

5. Sunflower, pumpkin or chia seeds

A selection of edible seeds
Feeling peckish? A handful of seeds make a great nutritious snack
With high levels of essential fatty acids, seeds provide a powerhouse of amino acids, along with vitamins A, B, C and E and calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium and manganese.

Because they’re packed with goodness in such density, you don’t need many of them to benefit from the nutrients they provide, making them a really quick and easy snack when you’re feeling peckish.

6. Blueberries

A small bowl of blueberries,  a sweet and healthy snack
Blueberries pack a power-nutrient punch


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