Are you a snacker? Do you have a stash of snacks in your top desk drawer ready for any situation, be it boredom, hunger, sheer greed or even bribery (or is that only me who has used the odd chocolate bar to get a colleague to do a task for me?). If so, you might want to swap the chocolate bars, crisps, croissants and pastries for something more healthy and nutritious. Why? Because the food you eat has a direct effect on your level of productivity, which in turn, has a direct effect on how successful you are at work.
Food really is fuel
As mentioned in a Harvard Business Review article, “food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance”, and this is why the food you choose to snack on throughout the day can boost or ‘derail’ your afternoon! Foods such as pasta, bread and cereal release glucose at a fast rate into our body and so this results in an immediate energy burst, followed by the dreaded slump. It is therefore important that you opt for foods that help you to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
Let’s take a look at which snacks made it into our Top 10 list…
#1 Hot Cocoa Mix
Yes, you read it correctly. This hot cocoa mix, however, is a healthy alternative to the shelf bought stuff. Use unsweetened cocoa and mix it with warm skimmed milk (or almond milk if you want to be extra healthy), and add a pinch of cinnamon for added sweetness. This is a low calorie but fulfilling drink to have when you want to snack.
#2 Air-popped Popcorn
According to health experts, 1 cup of air-popped popcorn is only 30 calories! This snack might seem rather bland, but try sprinkling over some flavoured salt, cinnamon or chilli powder depending on your taste buds!
This one is popular amongst the ‘health freaks’, but not so popular amongst us calorie filled snackers. Nuts just don’t seem appealing, right? Wrong. Nuts are not only a great source of protein but they are a ‘healthy fat’. Try almonds, pecans, brazil nuts and cashews.
#4 Dried Fruit
Keeping snacks at your desk means the snacks need to keep well at room temperature and this can therefore limit your choices. Dried fruit, however, is a great snack because it is supposed to be stored at room temperature. Try out dried apricots, dates, raisins and pineapple pieces. This way, you will get your sweet fix whilst keeping healthy.
#5 Crackers and low-sugar jam
This snack requires some preparation and needs to be consumed the same day, but it is worth the effort! Opt for low fat or fat free crackers and low-sugar jam spreads. This is great with a cup of herbal tea!
#6 Energy Bars
Energy bars are healthy and serve a purpose – they give you energy! You can buy these from any local grocery store and are usually relatively inexpensive. You can buy them in bulk and keep them at your desk in case of emergencies when hunger strikes.
#7 Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit really is one of the best (healthy) snacks you can have at your desk. Not only is it good for your immune system, but fresh fruit is delicious, nutritious and easy to store. Take a banana, apple, orange or a selection of berries with you on days that you need that extra energy boost.
#8 Dark Chocolate
Whilst getting rid of your fat filled chocolate bars may make you weep, you need not cry for long! Dark chocolate is proven to be filled with antioxidants and therefore qualifies as a healthy snack to keep at your desk. Be sure to buy dark chocolate bars that are over 70% cocoa.
#9 0% Fat Yoghurt and honey
Not quite so easy to store, but easy enough to snack on at your desk is a delicious bowl of fat free natural yoghurt with honey. Take a Tupperware container to work with you in the morning with yoghurt and a dash of honey, and add some granola just before you eat it (if you desire).
#10 Natural Organic Peanut Butter
Organic peanut butter in a jar can be kept in your desk drawer and used to add to multiple snacks. Dip freshly cut vegetables (i.e. celery), apples, wholemeal crackers or even dried fruit into your peanut butter stash for added sweetness and an energy boost.
Whilst not all of these options are ‘easy’ to keep in your desk drawer, they can all be eaten with ease from your desk; no need for mess or extra utensils. Do you have any other healthy snack suggestions that we can add to this list? Comment below!