The midday slump is real. A recent study found that the average worker experiences at least two after-lunch slumps. It is most common for people to experience a decline in focus and motivation at 1:27 pm and 2:06 pm.
Afternoon slumps may be common, but they aren’t incurable. Something as simple as including healthy snacks throughout your workday can help you avoid the afternoon blues.
Yet, not just any snack will do. Only a healthy snack offers mood and attention-boosting benefits. That’s why we’re bringing you this guide to the best healthy snacks to eat at work.
If you want to know the characteristics and components of a healthy snack, plus a few recipes to try, keep reading this guide.
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
A healthy snack is high in nutrients, full of energy-boosting ingredients, and satisfying. Learn more about how these qualities contribute to a snack’s health profile next.
High in Nutrients
If you want to eat healthy, reach for highly nutritious ingredients for meals and snacks. Nutrients fuel our bodily and brain functions.
Focus on macronutrients like complex carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats. But don’t forget about other nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Gives You Energy
Did you know that your blood glucose levels drop if you go too long between meals? Low glucose levels are one of the reasons you feel tired and unfocused.
Luckily, healthy snacks help glucose levels stay steady between meals. That way, you’ll have more energy to power through your workday.
Keeps You Full
Sugary and high-fat snacks may taste delicious and satisfy your appetite for a short while. But they won’t keep you full until lunch.
Healthy snacks suppress your appetite for much longer. You won’t have to worry about getting ‘hangry’ during your workday or overdoing it on snacks.
Three Essential Components of a Healthy Snack
By now, you may be wondering: what exactly makes a snack healthy? Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. According to experts, all healthy snacks share three primary ingredients in common: fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Experts recommend incorporating fiber into meals and snacks because it is known to keep you fuller for longer. Additionally, it is a digestive aid, and it has benefits for weight and chronic disease management.
Protein is a crucial component of any filling snack because it is extremely satisfying. Like fiber, protein also promotes fullness. It does so by interacting with the naturally-occurring hormones that regulate hunger and fullness.
Fat is another nutrient that promotes satiety (i.e., fullness). It’s also a source of energy for our cells. Just make sure you are choosing healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and avoid the negative effects of trans fats.
The Best Healthy Snacks to Eat at Work
We hope you understand what a healthy snack is and how to build one by now. To help you get started on your healthy snack journey, we’ve compiled some of our favorite recipes to try.
Keep reading to find out what you should be eating at work.
Whole Fruits or Veggies and Nut Butter
This snack features protein and fat from nut butter and fiber from fruit or veggies. There are many ways to switch it up, too. Here are some classic fruit-and-nut-butter combos to try:
- Celery and peanut butter
- Apples and almond butter
- Carrot sticks and tahini
- Strawberries and cashew butter
- Bananas and Nutella
Another variation of this snack is nuts and dried fruit. Nuts offer wholesome fats and protein. Meanwhile, the dried fruit supplies the fiber, plus a little bit of fast-digesting sugar to give you a mid-day boost.
Roasted Chickpeas and Guacamole
Chickpeas are a nutrition powerhouse. These legumes are not only high in plant-based protein but also fiber and complex carbs. Roast them in the oven with a little oil and your favorite seasoning for a satisfying crunchy snack.
Pairing roasted chickpeas with guacamole is optional but highly recommended. Avocados are chock full of healthy unsaturated fats and fiber for a well-rounded work food that’ll keep you full for hours.
Tuna and Whole Grain Crackers
Tuna is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is rich in animal-based protein, loaded with healthy fats, and high in nutrients that are great for you. Plus, canned and pouched tuna is incredibly affordable.
Pair your favorite tuna with crackers for a hunger-crushing snack. Ensure you choose a cracker that contains whole grains to get in some filling fiber.
Hard-Boiled Eggs and Cherry Tomatoes
Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient and healthy way to incorporate lean protein into your midday meal. Eggs are also rich in healthy fats and essential nutrients like vitamin D.
If you’re watching your cholesterol, stick with one egg a day. You can also consider scooping out the yellow yolk and only eating the hard-boiled egg white. Egg whites contain some protein but no cholesterol.
No matter how you like your hard-boiled egg, you must add a little fiber into the mix. One of our favorite combos is cherry tomatoes and eggs, though any snackable veggie or fruit will do.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Parfaits are traditional layered desserts from France. But they can also be super healthy snacks as long as you use the right ingredients. Here’s how.
Layer whole or canned fruit, granola, and Greek yogurt in a portable jar or plastic container. Top with optional honey or maple syrup. You’ll feel full from the protein and fat in the Greek yogurt and the fiber in the fruit and granola.
Looking for More Tips to Stay Focused at Work?
These healthy snacks to eat at work are ideal for beating the midday slump. But they aren’t the only way to start eating healthy at work. You can also create your own filling and nutritious snacks rich in fiber, fat, and protein.
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