When you’re working hard, it’s easy to slip into terrible eating habits. Running to Starbucks in between video calls, binging on vending machine snacks and devouring office candy bowls before your 2-hour customer meeting can seem much faster and more convenient than seeking out a healthy snack. Unfortunately, the quick bursts of energy you get from junk food can trick you into thinking it’s a smart choice. Though foods like these are easy and get you moving quickly, they are by no means the best choice for increased productivity since you will likely crash before you get any work done. Though it will take some self-restraint and training, it is best to indulge in healthy snacks at the office. I assure you that you’ll notice a difference in productivity and in your waistline.
1. Almonds. Not only are almonds healthy, they are actually proven to help aging brain cells stay in tip-top shape. Although almonds are high in fat, it’s the good kind of fat (monounsaturated fats), which is also what you find in olive oil and peanut butter. Aside from being excellent for your body and mind, almonds are a convenient office snack. They aren’t messy, don’t need to be refrigerated and come in a variety of flavors that can help satisfy your mid-afternoon sweet (or salty) tooth.
2. Avocados. We all love avocados when they’re smashed up and spiced on a tortilla chip, but due to their incredible health benefits, we should be indulging far more often. Toss an avocado in a salad or on a sandwich; they can help with a variety of health benefits including eye health, which is imperative when you’re staring at a computer screen all day. Even better, avocados can help defend against breast cancer, oral cancer, heart disease and stroke.
3. Yogurt. Individually-packaged yogurt is easy to throw into your work bag in the morning and since it comes in so many flavors, it’s impossible to get bored. Moreover, the health benefits of yogurt are many. Yogurt contains the amino acid tyrosine, which your body depletes as you become stressed. To add tyrosine back into your system, supplement a yogurt snack. You can even get creative and add “brain foods,” like blueberries or raspberries, on top of your yogurt.
4. Water. Many times, we mistake hunger for thirst. Staying hydrated is a must, not only for your body, but for your brain as well. Water keeps you fuller longer, so you’ll avoid the office junk food and the temptation to grab a snack. Water also increases your metabolism, making it a natural pathway to weight loss. To remember to drink water throughout the day, treat yourself to a fun water bottle and keep a post-it on your computer reminding you to fill up.
5. Dark chocolate. If you’re still struggling to keep your sweet tooth at bay, a small bit of dark chocolate should help. This treat (in moderation) can help lower blood pressure and is good for your brain. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavanols, which can help increase blood flow to key areas of your brain for two to three hours.
Have a favorite healthy snack of your own? Share it with us in the comment box below.