Busy schedules and cheap, easy-accessible foods filled with sugar seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re like me, and work full-time at an office job, snacking on candies and treats is one way to beat the workday slump.
While eating sugar means you’ll have a surge of energy for a few hours; it also means you’ll eventually crash and be less productive than before. The foods we eat have an impact on our motivation, productivity, and our weight. So if you’re looking to increase your brainpower and get over a work slump, eating the right foods while you’re at work is essential.
If your office only offers sugary snacks or foods with low nutrition stats, stashing these ten foods at your desk will benefit your overall mood and productivity at work.
Almonds are highly nutritious. They are especially rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The magnesium in almonds may lower blood pressure and are considered a home remedy for anxiety, apathy, depression, irritability, and headaches. If you’re feeling stressed about a deadline or a little irritable after lunch, pop a few almonds and stress a little less.
Sunflower seeds can actually have a calming effect on your brain. Due to the high levels of tryptophan, your brain will produce more serotonin. As a natural mood stabilizer, serotonin can reduce depression and anxiety but also aids in digestive movements and function. Keep some sunflower seeds at your desk, just in case you have an extra important (or spicy) lunch with some new investors.
The next time there is an office party, before treating yourself to three servings of cake, snack on some walnuts. Walnuts are extremely calorie dense and may help control your appetite. In one study, participants who ate walnuts for five consecutive days had increased activation in the area of their brain that helps them to resist tempting foods.
Eating just one tablespoon of flaxseeds a day will increase your intake of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and lignans. According to a study done in 2015, ALA was shown to increase the levels of a particular protein that supports learning and memory. Mix these “super seeds” in with your oatmeal or smoothies and prepare to impress your boss by remembering the exact details from your meeting.
Surprisingly enough, dark chocolate is a pretty good work snack. Containing magnesium, a natural stress reliever, and just enough caffeine to get you through the afternoon, dark chocolate can provide the right balance between relaxed and focused. If you struggle to keep your eyes open, snacking on a few pieces of dark chocolate might just help you make it to the end of the day.
For those working desk jobs, it can be challenging to find the time to squeeze in a gym trip. If you plan on going to the gym after work take a banana as a quick snack. One banana contains enough daily glucose for your body. Glucose gives you energy and is linked to helping reduce exercise-related cramps and soreness.
While eating carrots won’t magically give you 20/20 vision, they are rich in beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into a form of vitamin A, which is key to maintaining healthy vision. This carotenoid has been some help to people with age-related macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55.
Due to their high potassium levels, strawberries are often recommended for people with high blood pressure and may reduce the risk of a stroke. Potassium is essential to maintain blood pressure and a regular heartbeat. Those who don’t get enough potassium may experience fatigue, insomnia, or depression.
Even if you’re not hitting the gym right after work, having protein bars at your desk can help give you some much-needed energy during the day. Be sure to steer clear of bars that are loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats; ideally, you want a bar with 10-15 grams of total fat, 3-5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar. This will give you enough of an energy boost, but not overload you on sugar.
Having a healthy cereal at your desk can keep you from snacking on foods with low nutritional value. There are a variety of healthy cereals out there so choose one that fits your needs. You can have one that is entirely organic or maybe you need a snack filled with omega-3s. Whatever the case, keep a bag of healthy cereal at your desk that you can snack on throughout the day.
It can be all too easy to eat unhealthy and sugary snacks at work. They’re usually loaded with preservatives so they don’t spoil, and they can be so conveniently packaged. However, they can cause you to feel unfocused and sick (meaning you’ll be less productive).
Don’t let the fact that you’re in the office for the better part of the day impact your health or your professional efficiency.
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