It should be common knowledge by now, that if you eat high fat and high sugar meals and snacks you will be sluggish with little to no energy all day. Foods high in fat take more work to digest and cause your body to work twice as hard. Foods high in sugar cause your blood stream to spike and then crash. With that visual, now you can imagine how difficult it is to be productive with all of that going on.
Unfortunately, so many tend to make bad eating decisions during the workday. Boredom and stress often lead to mindless snacking on things that are sweet or salty. Also, there may be limited healthy food choices or too many temptations around the office, like candy dishes, cupcakes for birthdays or greasy pizza during meetings.
Time, or lack of, plays a part. The most common excuse for not bringing food from home is the lack of time or energy to prepare it beforehand. In a “fast-paced” and “time poor” world, fast food appears to be the best option.
However, these are just excuses and people need to quit making them.
Luckily, there are plenty of quick, easy and inexpensive healthy snack options:
- Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat that is satisfying. They contain nine essential nutrients, the highest rate of proteins, the highest rate of fiber and are rich in Vitamin E when compared to other nuts.
- Organic popcorn or chia pop are low-calorie snacks that will satisfy your craving for something salty and crunchy, and is also a good source of fiber.
- Fresh fruit are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are full of natural sweetness.
- Dried fruit is a good way to mix things up. Try dried apricots, raisins, apples or bananas. They are sweet, chewy, high in fiber and potassium.
- Organic dry cereal is a good source of glucose. The brain draws nearly all its energy from glucose, which is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism.
- Protein bars can be packed with calories. So check the ingredients and make sure the one you pick is free from artificial ingredients and is fewer than 250 calories. Protein is the best kind of fuel and makes you feel full as well.
- Mini Flavored Rice Cakes are great, because they are low-calorie and come in different flavors. For example, you can get cheddar or caramel, depending on whether you want salty or sweet.
- Pretzels are salty, but low in fat and give you some carbs to hold you over until lunch or dinner.
- Frozen bananas are a great substitute for ice cream. A medium-sized banana contains the amount of glucose and potassium needed by the brain to perform at its best.
- String cheese or cottage cheese are good sources of protein. Protein not only gives you fuel and fills you up, but it will keep blood sugar levels steady, so you’re not sleepy.
- Wasabi peas are perfect for satisfying salty, crunchy or spicy cravings. They also have protein and fiber. Studies have shown that spicy foods can help boost metabolism as well. Not to mention they will wake you up with a kick!
- Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein and easy to prepare.
- Vegetables and hummus provide crunch, sweetness and good carbohydrates. Chickpeas in the hummus are a good source of calcium, iron, protein and fiber.
- Tomato juice is a good idea when we sometimes think we are hungry or crave sugar, and we are actually thirsty.
- Organic yogurt is made using “good bacteria” and probiotics that are good for your gut and digestive tract. Yogurt offers protein, calcium, vitamins, potassium and magnesium as well.
- Apples and peanut butter is a great snack full of fiber and carbohydrates for energy, while the peanut butter (you can also use almond butter) provides healthy fats and protein, which stabilizes blood sugar ups and downs.
Anyone got any other favorites that we can add to the list? Looking for more great foods to increase productivity, then be sure to check out this list too!