“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore
Whatever your job; some days are long, some days are hard, and some days are both! Very often, when we need a boost to get us through the rest of the day, we turn to work snacks. Sometimes snacking is habit, sometimes we eat as a direct reaction to a difficult moment, and sometimes our busy schedule means that we skip lunch, so we have to ram something into our mouths in a scarce free moment.
Snacking at work is no bad thing, but, as with the rest of our diet, there is plenty of opportunity to make snack choices that benefit us without compromising on the immediate gratification we get from them. As brilliant as your stash of desk biscuits or staff room full of sweet treats may be, they do very little for your overall health, long term productivity, and brain function. Making these kinds of snacks a regular feature in your diet will ultimately leave you feeling, sluggish and unhealthy in the long run.
There are loads of amazing foodstuffs you could add to your workplace snack stash that will leave you feeling energised, positive and resilient throughout the day…
Blueberries are great for grazing. They are super sweet yet light and full of vitamins. Grazing on smaller snacks really helps the body to take on a steady flow of nutrients and energy at a rate which it can process. When we eat a hefty snack, our system comes under a lot of pressure as it has to deal with a lot of food at once; this is where it is easy to get bloated and for the body to be unable to utilise the potential fuel a snack may offer. Blueberries have also been linked to cognitive improvement and enhanced memory.
2. Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mix
Nuts, seeds and trail mixes are further examples of grazing snacks that are both delicious and nutritious. Nuts and seeds in general are a rich source of omega fatty acids, B and E vitamins and brain powering proteins. Many seeds, sunflower in particular, are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain converts into serotonin. Serotonin is essential to boosting mood and combating depression.
3. Whole Grain Snacks
Love crisps? Sure, who doesn’t’? But it’s no secret that they aren’t the healthiest of snacking options. But fear not, supermarkets are now awash with whole grain crisp alternatives. They are just as moreish and flavoursome as your regular crisps, but without the saturated fat profile!
Seems like an ‘out-there’ choice perhaps, but don’t underestimate the humble tomato. Ripe organic cherry and plum tomatoes are absolutely bursting with flavour and make another brilliant grazing snack. If you want something a little richer or more savoury, you might even want to treat yourself to a packet of the sun-dried stuff. What can they do for you though? Well, tomatoes are home to a shed load of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to protect the brain from severe damage. It also promotes optimal brain function.
5. Dark Chocolate
Yes indeed, chocolate is on the list. And yes, chocolate is good for your brain. You’ll have to get the fancy stuff, mind! Cacao is a great source of antioxidants, so a good quality, high cocoa solids bar of chocolate is actually a pretty well-rounded snack. The flavanols in chocolate also help to improve blood vessel function, which, in turn, improve brain function. Also, chocolate tends to boost the mood, which is a plus, no matter how fancy a bar it is.
Dips are amazing, and we love them in the UK. Hummus is a big deal, then you have your guacamoles, salsas, tzatzikis and everything in between. Wholesome, delicious and healthy dips are neither hard to come by or hard to make; so, it is easy to be creative and switch them up if you get bored. What’s more, you can dip almost every item in this list in them for a super tasty and brain powering snack (maybe not the chocolate).
7. ‘Bad’ Food
Sometimes a tough moment calls for something that you might regard as ‘naughty’. Sure, we shouldn’t give in to these all of the time, but often these are the very things that will give us the emotional lift we need. I don’t know about you, but I have definitely been lifted out of a funk by a piece of cake before. So, learn when to give in to your dedication to healthy eating and just treat yourself for the good of your soul.
This article was written for us by International Mindfulness Advocate and Conscious Visionary, Neil Seligman. Neil is dedicated to sharing the power of mindfulness globally, transforming lives, and inspiring excellence in all aspects of human endeavour. He is the Founder of The Conscious Professional, the Author of 100 Mindfulness Meditations, and the Originator of Soul Portrait Photography. For more information about Neil, visit his page here
We would like to give credit to 'rimgato' for the image used in this article.