Snacking at work is an almost-inevitable occurrence because we rightly want to treat ourselves when we’re working hard. However, there is a range of short and long term benefits to snacking healthily at work so this guide will outline these and give some examples of healthy snacks to choose from. It will also go over the benefits of herbal teas and explain which snacks you should ideally avoid, then finally present a healthy but delicious alternative: our POW Food snack options!
Whilst reaching for crisps, chocolate, and highly-fatty, carbohydrate-saturated foods at work may be tempting, there are a handful of key reasons why you should avoid them.
Firstly, they will spike your blood sugar levels which gives you a burst of immediate energy but this is short-lived and is usually followed by a slump and then you’re back to square one. Whilst that post-noon slump is human nature to a large extent, it can be managed much better if you take care of what you eat. Healthy snacks that focus on whole foods offer much more consistent energy levels so you can stay motivated and productive for longer periods of time.
Another reason to avoid unhealthy snacking is that you’ll be much more likely to want a healthy lunch and dinner later in the day. Companies that manufacture unhealthy snacks deliberately use ingredients like salt, sugar and unhealthy fats in excessive amounts because they’re very addictive. When you’re on your lunch break or after work when you’d like to relax, you’ll be much more likely to reach for unhealthy comfort foods rather than choosing meals made from base ingredients. Healthy snacking will help you make the most of your healthy work from home lunches or your carefully-prepared nutritious meals for work.
Lastly, and more obviously, unhealthy snacking greatly reduces the effectiveness of your previous and future efforts to lose weight. Hence, by choosing healthy snacks, they can act as weight loss supplements whilst providing your body with more consistent energy levels.
With these benefits in mind, there are a number of great snack options that are healthy and will keep you energised for longer, more stable periods than relying on unhealthy options, and these include:
Roasted Chickpeas: These are an excellent snack for a number of reasons. They’re non-perishable and they contain most of the amino acids required by your body and a half cup of them contains roughly 5g of fibre and 10g of protein. All you need to do is drain and pat them dry, toss them in a bit of olive oil, sea salt and your seasoning of choice, then bake them at 180℃ for 40 minutes.
Greek Yoghurt and Dried Fruits: Plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt is low in calories, contains a lot of calcium and is higher in protein than other flavour options. Rather than choosing ‘organic’ flavoured options that contain a median sugar content of 13.1g per 100g, adding dried fruit to plain yoghurt gives you the natural sugars contained in fruit whilst avoiding the unnatural additives found in other flavours.
Savoury Crackers: If you find that you get hungry at work before it’s time to eat lunch or go home then savoury crackers are a great way to fill you up whilst avoiding the unhealthy fats and highly processed carbohydrates that go into most biscuits. They can always be topped with cheese or chutney for some extra flavour and energy if needs be.
Dark Chocolate: As long as you choose a type of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa, this is a great snack to have at work. It contains very high amounts of natural antioxidants that boost immunity levels and it contains a small amount of caffeine so you can feel more alert and awake whilst avoiding that post-caffeine slump that comes with drinking coffee.
An overlooked factor for healthy snacking at work is to watch what liquids you consume. Rather than relying on caffeine, these herbal teas come with a wealth of health benefits as they boost immunity levels in many ways and they release energy much more consistently:
Peppermint: This type of herbal tea is great for the digestive system as it relieves indigestion, nausea and stomach pain. Not only this, but peppermint also has anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Green: Interestingly, both green and black tea leaves are derived from the camellia sinesis plant species, just that they’re processed differently. Green tea improves your immediate brain function like your working memory and it has a strong calming effect which makes it useful for those in stressful and demanding jobs.
Jasmine: Using a green tea base, jasmine tea has similar benefits to its green tea sibling. In essence, it improves your brain function by making you feel more energised and alert which improves your short-term memory. This is because one of its amino acids is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that improves overall attentiveness.
Black Tea: Black tea is a great option for improving your focus. Overall alertness is increased due to its combination of caffeine and L-theanine which offers a more stable energy release than coffee, helping you to avoid a caffeine slump. Plus, it’s great for relaxation and it has a lower steeping time than other herbal tea alternatives.
A great way to consume herbal teas is to have them alongside your prepared meals for work or your healthy work from home lunches.
So what are the main culprits for unhealthy snacking?
Crisps: Technically they’re only potatoes… right? Wrong. As tempting as they might be, crisps are rich in often-processed carbohydrates and fat. They’ll only make you crave more and will make you feel groggy when you have no option but to sit at your desk. Instead, remove the stems from kale, give it a good wash, and place small pieces on a baking tray, drizzled in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and put them in an oven for around 10-15 minutes. They’re a much healthier alternative.
Chocolate and Sweets: It goes without saying that these snacks should generally be avoided. They’re essentially pure sugar combined with fat and they’ll provide you with an instantaneous but short-lived sugar rush. However, we all deserve a treat when we’re working hard so a good way to get around this is to have some dark chocolate instead or to only have a limited amount of sweets and chocolate at the end of your lunch to dilute their negative side effects.
Cakes and Muffins: As light and fluffy as they might seem, cakes and muffins are mostly fat and sugar and they’ll do nothing but make you slump. Plus, they’re rigged with excessive amounts of calories. Once more, avoid these and opt for a piece of fruit instead - you’ll feel much better about yourself in both the short and long term!
A great way to help your employees stay productive and healthy at work is to offer them nutritious snacks. At POW Food, we understand that everyone loves a treat at work so we’ve crafted healthy but delicious snack alternatives, so you won’t even be able to tell the difference. For instance, we offer gluten and dairy-free brownies, vegan oat truffle POW balls and our signature superfood snack box with a range of nutritious snacks like ‘cheezy’ kale chips, mixed nuts, and vegan beetroot flax crackers. All of these snacks are supplements to our wellness, productivity and long-term nutrition.
Here at POW Food, our core aim is to ensure your employees are as productive as possible at work and we do this by providing healthy, nutritious foods that focus on the ‘Power of Wellness’. Our recipes have developed over the past 20 years to focus on providing energy, performance and immunity. We want to change the read-meal game and we want to do this in a sustainable and constructive way, so we collaborate with local charities and sustainability-oriented companies to achieve this.
If you have any further questions about how we can help your employees to stay healthy and productive at work, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0345 340 5397 today!