It’s 2021, and we are breaking up with working from home and unhealthy, unoriginal, uninspiring office snacks.
This year – let’s stop settling for vending machine junk. Let’s ditch the sad-looking biscuits in the staff room. Let’s rise above the lolly jar. Let’s lift our work snack game!
As an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, my clients are constantly asking for inspiration when it comes to healthy office snacks, with too many of them feeling lethargic and sluggish during their workdays.
So, let’s discuss which healthy snacks for the office will boost brain power & keep you fuller for longer, because, let’s face it, office days are hard enough, you deserve a good office snack.
1. Tame a Grumbling Stomach With Fibre
Fibre is the edible part of a plant, it plays an incredible part in keeping our bowels healthy and happy through its role indigestion.
Fibre’s role in the large intestine means it is digested slowly, promoting feelings of fullness and satisfaction as a result. Grabbing an office snack that is lacking fibre will typically result in running back for four, five or six serves when you really only needed one.
For all of you looking for a fibre packed office snack with a difference, you can’t go past Human Bean Co Flava Beans (Salt & Vinegar flavour.. obviously). These delicious little guys are air puffed, flavoured to perfection and booming with goodies for your body.
Fresh fruit and vegetables with the skin on are a dream come true when it comes to fibre and snacking. However, let’s make eating fruit and veg a bit more exciting, shall we? Harvest Box Strawberry Milkshake mix is 60% fruit including sultanas, strawberries, cranberries and blueberries.
2. Combat the 3.00 pm Crash with Protein
Keep yourself awake, alert & active all throughout your working day with a high protein diet. Protein is the building blocks of our muscles and plays an important role in our immunity. I recommend frequent bursts of protein throughout your day, which makes it the perfect office snack idea.
Animal products including meats, seafood, eggs and dairy are a great source of protein. Grab yourself a tub of natural yoghurt, a glass of milk (or your favourite alternative) or a boiled egg. Wanting something more? Empire Beef Jerky packed flavour and a massive 25g protein punch.
Nuts & seeds (basically a snacking Grammy award winner) are such an easy way to get your protein in throughout the day. Harvest Box has stacks of variety, I am positive you’ll find your flavour. If you’re anything like me and have an untamable 3 pm sweet tooth, protein balls are a go-to. Health Lab’s Salted Caramel Protein Balls are vegan-friendly, dairy-free and contain only natural ingredients.
3. Happy Gut Happy Brain
An exciting new area of research is bringing together the link between our gut function & our mood. Our gut-brain axis is made up of millions of nerves and neurons communicating bidirectionally between our brain and our digestive system. Our gut microbiota (the bacteria residing in our digestive system) is influenced by what we eat and has also shown to be influenced through stress and anxiety.
Simply put, the health of our gut affects our mood & oppositely our mood can affect the health of our gut.
So, when thinking about snacking in the office and boosting productivity; we must look at those foods that improve the health of our gut, and therefore, the health of our mind.
A healthy office snack high in Omega 3 (a tin of salmon), high fibre foods (as discussed in point 1) and fermented foods (yoghurt, cheese, kefir) can all positively influence our gut microbiota.
Additionally, many food products have added probiotics. Piranha Snaps, a blended mix of potato, rice and pumpkin, are a lighter crisp that has less than 130 calories, 0.7g saturated fat per packet. What I am most excited about though, is the added live probiotics (10 million of them to be exact). Now that’s something to rave about.
4. Keep It Light, Keep it Tasty
Say it with me; no more empty calories!
I’m talking about those snacks high in energy (calories), saturated fat, refined sugars and, let’s face it, not much else. Soft drinks, crisps, chocolate bars, lollies… You know the ones. But never fear- alternatives do exist, and I promise you; they’re good.
Lighter snacks such as popcorn or nutritious chip alternatives are a simple, quick-swap that’ll give you that extra edge to the end of your office day. Popcorn packets have less than… Calories are a dietitians dream when it comes to a healthy office snack because let’s face it, who doesn’t like popcorn?
Swapping chocolate bars for chocolate-coated nuts is a great way to get your choccy fix and get in those added benefits of nuts such as protein, healthy fats and fibre.
5. Hydration for Concentration
Ok, admittedly this isn’t exciting.. or much of a snack, but nonetheless, hydrating always deserves a mention. When it comes to hydration, water is king. But there is nothing wrong with adding a slice of lemon, lime or your favourite fruit to make it interesting.
Buy yourself a flashy new water bottle or a mug with your dog’s face on it, anything to remind you to take frequent sips throughout your workday.
Article Written by Melbourne Dietitian Olivia Hargrave
You can follow Olivia on Instagram @oh.nutrition
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