I don’t know about you, but there’s something about sitting at my desk all day that makes me so hungry. Kidding. I don’t sit all that much (I’m a busy guy!). But I definitely remember those days, and still have them from time to time, when the desk is just a necessity. And when you’re staring at a screen, sorting through a sea of emails, making dozens of calls, or writing your next best-seller...something about it really stirs up the appetite.
I also don’t want to eat junk when I’m in this predicament. It’s easy to want to reach for the outright bad in the snack machine (looking at you, M&Ms) or to the bad-masquerading-as-good trail mix.
So, to help anyone who is stuck searching for an office snack that won’t grieve your waistline, I’ve compiled a list of nutritional snacks that you can bring to the office.
Here are my criteria: must be non-messy. If you have to eat it with your hands, it must leave minimal residue. It must require no cook times or long-term refrigeration. In other words, I want it to be okay if it sits in my lunch box for a few hours and not in the company refrigerator. We're looking for easy as possible, no-fuss snacks. With that said, here are my top recommendations for healthy office snacks.
5 Amazingly Healthy Office Snacks
Edamame (soybeans) are known to be a great source of protein, but they come with plenty of other health benefits. For example, studies have linked the consumption of edamame with the lowering of total cholesterol levels and especially LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels. This, overall, can reduce your risk of heart disease. Why is this the case? Experts believe it to be a combination of the protein, high fiber, and antioxidant levels in soybeans.
So what’s the best way to snack? For the office, buying dry-roasted edamame is the least-messy route to go. You could also buy it frozen, shelled, and boil it the night before. Put it in a small container with a pinch of salt.
2) Carrots & Hummus
If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, it’s hard to go wrong with carrots and hummus. With many brands selling personal snack-sizes of hummus these days, it’s an even better office option. But what’s the benefit?
Well, some have long-claimed carrots to be the perfect health food. They’re high in beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. They’re a low-calorie food, too, making them the perfect nutrient-rich vehicle for hummus. Hummus, of course, is made from chickpeas. As a plant-based protein, it’s great for immune function and recovery. Additionally, hummus is rich in iron, folate, vitamin B, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Its low glycemic-index can help control blood sugars and it is a great food for people with various intolerances.
3) Blueberries & Cheese
I’ve talked about the merits of blueberries before. They’re one of the best, if not the best, fruits for you in terms of antioxidants. They can protect the body from free radicals, they can reduce DNA damage and protect against aging (even cancer), reduce bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and even improve brain function. In short, they’re truly a superfood. Cheese can add a dash of fat and protein to help keep you full. A stick of string cheese or a small snack cheese can be a great compliment to a handful of blueberries.
4) Homemade Granola/Protein Bars
Run-of-the-mill granola and protein bars can be full of sugar and processed ingredients that aren’t all that great for you. If you buy from the store, you want to be sure that your snack has none of these in them. Otherwise, I suggest making them yourself at home. It’s not hard to make them yourself—there are recipes readily available online, full of seeds, nuts, fruits, dark chocolate, and minimally processed ingredients. Spending an afternoon on the weekend making a few batches can last you quite a while.
5) Yogurt with Berries & Nuts
Lastly, my final entry on our list is the only one that demands a spoon. Plain Greek yogurt is great for your gut. You always want to be sure that whatever yogurt you buy has live cultures so that you are getting a probiotic boost. You also want to get plain yogurt, so that you aren’t getting unnecessary sugars. If you want more flavor (and I know I usually do), add a handful of blueberries and some seeds or nuts. It will give you even more protein and antioxidants.
What's your favorite workplace snack? Share your nutrient-packed picks in the comments.