There seems to be a time mid-afternoon when the energy tank falls dangerously close to empty, and the only desirable options are another cup of coffee or a desk nap. There is however, another, better option—eat a healthy snack to return yourself to an alert, energized state of mind.
When you go longer than four to five hours without eating, the body’s energy levels can crash. Having a nutrient-rich snack that’s low in sugar and saturated fat will ensure your body has the fuel to keep going so you can easily complete all of your daily tasks. And that fuel shouldn’t come from a candy bowl.
This list of snacks is perfect for both bringing to work and running errands, and each has an abundance of nutrients to keep you going, even when the toughest slump hits. These boosters are way better than what you’ll find in most vending machines. Plus, you can stash most of them in a drawer or cabinet.
Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat that is satisfying. They contain nine essential nutrients and have the highest rate of proteins when compared to other nuts. Almonds also boast the highest rate of fiber (3.5g per 23 pieces) when compared to other nuts. They are rich in Vitamin E (23 pieces provide 35% of the daily value of Vitamin E); and contain monounsaturated fats that help increase HDL levels.
Low-fat popcorn, either microwaved or air popped, is a low-calorie snack that will satisfy your craving for something lightly salty and crunchy—and it’s also a good source of fiber.
The brain draws nearly all its energy from glucose, which is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism. Consumption of low glycemic index foods like bran flakes will release glucose at a slow rate in the bloodstream, which will minimize blood sugar swings and optimize brainpower and mental focus.
If they’re in a container or a baggie for just a few hours, they really don’t need to be refrigerated and can be kept handy. Fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals and are full of great natural sweetness. They are also a great source of antioxidants needed for a stronger immune system and a better performance at work.
Fresh fruit is always a great snack option—but if you want to mix things up, try dried apricots, raisins, apples, bananas, or plantains. These snacks are sweet, chewy, crunchy, high in fiber, and high in potassium.
Be careful with these! Some protein bars are packed with calories and sugar! Many are no better than consuming a candy bar. Check the ingredients and nutrition information panel to make sure the one you pick has real fruit, nuts, and fewer than 200 calories.
Flavored rice cakes
Rice cakes are great because they are low in calories and come in many different flavors. For instance, you can get cheddar or caramel, depending on whether you want savory or sweet.
Though they’re salty, pretzels are low in fat and give you some carbs to hold you over until lunch or dinner. Make sure you stick to the serving size and don’t munch out of the bag all day.
This is a great substitute to ice cream, which is rich in unrefined sugar and fat. A medium-sized banana contains the needed amount of glucose by the brain to perform at its best. They’re especially good when paired with natural nut butters or unsweetened cocoa powder.
If you have a refrigerator in your office, string cheese, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and others are good sources of protein to have on hand. Protein will keep blood sugar levels steady and will not make you sleepy. Stick to the servings size so you don’t overindulge.
These are perfect for satisfying any salty, crunchy, or spicy craving—and they have protein and fiber, which will energize you and prevent blood sugars from dropping.
This is an excellent source of protein, which will satisfy hunger and stabilize blood sugars. Eat your hard-boiled egg in the office kitchen, as the smell can be offensive to some.
Vegetables and hummus
Hummus and veggies, like carrots, provide crunch, sweetness, and carbohydrates. You get all the nutrients you need with this satisfying snack. The chickpeas in hummus are also a good source of calcium, iron, protein, and fiber, which prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly. Watch the portion size, as hummus is easy to eat too much of if you’re not careful.
Sometimes when you think you are hungry or crave sugar, you may actually be thirsty. Next time this happens, try drinking a can of low sodium tomato or vegetable juice.
Like with protein bars yogurt can contain too many calories from refined sugar. Read the ingredients and nutrition information to check sugar and calories as well as the content of live active cultures which is great for your digestive tract. Yogurt also contains probiotics, and offers protein, calcium, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
Apples and nut butter
The apple provides fiber and carbohydrates for energy, while the nut butter provides healthy monounsaturated fat and protein, which stabilizes blood sugar spikes and crashes. This snack is so tasty and satisfying and will hold you over for a few hours.