Let’s be honest, no matter how hard we try, we end up buying the sugary trans-fat loaded snacks from the office cafeteria on most days. Chips, cookies and cakes staring at you from over the counter are too hard to resist, especially in the evenings. In fact, according to a study, office-goers consume an additional 1,300 calories a week in the form of unhealthy office snacks!
We aren’t saying that mid-afternoon snacks are a bad thing. However, what you are snacking on is perhaps extremely unhealthy for you. If you find yourself caught in the rut of eating unhealthy food at work, it’s time to introduce a healthy change to your dietary habits.
Eating healthy and nutritious snacks can help you stay energised, focused and productive at work. We have shortlisted these easy-to-prepare, easy-to-carry and healthy snacks for work that you can switch to on days when the craving for chai and samosas is too strong.
A healthy snack in the mid-afternoon gives your body the much-needed fuel to sustain throughout the day. When you have your dose of mid-noon nibble, you are most likely to eat mindfully at night. So the next time you are packing lunch for work, don’t forget to pack one of these snacks along with it:
Rich in healthy fats and vitamins and minerals, cashews make for a highly nutritious and healthy office snack. Moreover, these nuts are a rich source of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for proper eye function.
How To Eat: In a big bowl, toss a handful of cashews, half a teaspoon of olive oil, cumin powder and chilli powder. Now, bake this at 165 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. Pack the cashews in an airtight container and munch in the evening for an extra dose of energy.
Since they are high in protein, fibre and several vitamins and minerals, eating even a small amount of chickpeas can make you feel full. Therefore, chickpeas are considered a healthy snack for work to lose weight. Chickpeas are also an excellent source of amino acids, that improve the mood and reduce fatigue.
How To Eat: Soak a bowl of chickpeas overnight. Boil in the morning and add diced tomato, green chillies, onion. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Chickpea salad is a great alternative to fat-loaded salad bowls bought from restaurants.
Greek yoghurt (plain and unsweetened) is a great source of protein for vegetarians. The protein content in one cup of greek yoghurt is the same as that in 200 grams of chicken breast. It is also an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, which are vital for your bones and gut health respectively.
How To Eat: Add fresh fruits like strawberries and blueberries to a cup of plain greek yoghurt and top it up with a drizzle of honey.
With zero fat and cholesterol and high potassium, calcium and vitamin B, bananas make for another amazingly healthy snack for office whenever hunger pangs grip you. Easy to digest and carry, bananas are perhaps the simplest snack you can carry in your lunch bag.
How To Eat: Add bananas in your yoghurt or bowl of oats or simply eat them standalone as an evening snack.
Cottage cheese is low in calories and is packed with nutrients like calcium and protein. In fact, 100 gm of cottage cheese contains the same amount of protein as four eggs.
How To Eat: Mix shredded cottage cheese, onions, green chillies, pepper and salt in a bowl. Spoon on the filling between two bread slices and toast.
Oatmeal is not only a healthy breakfast option but also a great midday snack. It is high in energising carbs and soluble fibre and is known to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
How To Eat: Add some milk to a packet of unsweetened oatmeal and garnish it with raisins and strawberries. You can also add a spoonful of honey if you like.
Dark chocolates are rich in antioxidants that can fight against the free radicals in your body and prevent cell damage, which in turn protects you from several chronic diseases.
How To Eat: Buy nuts covered in dark chocolate. Almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts coated with dark chocolates are both healthy and tasty. Look for products that have at least 50% cocoa content and no added sugar.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They also contain choline, a nutrient vital for brain functioning. Apart from this, eggs are also rich sources of vitamin D, B12, B6, selenium and minerals like zinc, iron and copper.
How To Eat: Beat 2-3 raw eggs and add some chopped vegetables and shredded cheese to it. Put the mixture in greased muffin tins and bake at 190 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. Egg muffins are ready to eat!
Pumpkin seeds are a shelf-stable snack that you can keep at your desk without worrying about them getting spoilt. 1/4th cup of pumpkin seeds has 3 gm of fibre, 15% of your daily iron requirement, and a large amount of immune-boosting zinc.
How To Eat: You can make roasted pumpkin seeds right at home. Mix a few drops of olive oil and salt to 1/4th cup of pumpkin seeds. Bake for 45 minutes at 150 degrees C. Fill them in an air-tight container and store it on your desk to munch on whenever you feel hungry.
High in fibre and low in calories, popcorn makes for a healthy and satisfying snack. Popcorn is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that protect against heart diseases. What’s more, popcorn aids weight loss, keeps blood sugar under control and boosts eyesight.
How To Eat: Keep a few packets of microwave popcorn handy at your desk for a quick snack. If plain popcorn tastes too boring, sprinkle some mixed seasoning on it but remember, no melted butter if you want to keep it low on calories!
Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries) are full of antioxidants. Plus, they are delicious. They are high in antioxidants like anthocyanin that protects from free radical damage and fibres that increase the feeling of fullness. They are also rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and manganese.
How To Eat: To get the maximum health benefits of this amazing superfood, eat it in its raw form. You can buy frozen organically grown berries and carry them to work in a small container every day.
Peanut butter is a fairly rich source of protein. It contains only 20% carbs that makes it a great option for people following a low-carb diet. It is high in monounsaturated fat- a healthy fat that is known to improve insulin sensitivity.
How To Eat: You can snack on a toast with some peanut butter on top or spread it over apple slices for a satisfying midday snack.
Healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre- there’s so much goodness in these nuts that we just can’t emphasise enough why you should have a handful of them every day. Walnuts have high antioxidant content than all other nuts and are a great source of omega 3 fat that reduces the risk of heart diseases. Some research also suggests that walnuts improve brain functioning by reducing oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain.
How To Eat: You can add walnuts in your oatmeal or yoghurt or simply roast them and add to your homemade trail mix.
Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They are also rich in various vitamins and minerals like biotin, vitamin E and folate. Peanuts are considered vital for weight loss and help in reducing the risk of heart diseases.
How To Eat: The easiest way to get the benefits of peanuts is by eating them in their roasted form. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. You can also add peanuts in your granola bars and your oatmeal bowls.
Snacks are the fuel you need to keep yourself going throughout the day and they are extremely essential for balanced eating. When you eat well, you are likely to be more productive and energetic and be in less of a crabby mood at work. Also, these healthy snacks will ensure you don’t fall asleep on your keyboard every afternoon!
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