We’re all familiar with the mid-afternoon slump when our energy levels take a nosedive. Usually, the nearest thing at hand is some kind of processed junk food. These foods should only be consumed in moderation, not as a viable way of getting through the day. Why not, you may ask? Well, apart from promoting weight gain, they’re loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, which could lead to insulin resistance and heart disease in the long run. We’ve found some healthy snacks for office workers that taste great, are full of the nutrients you need while on the job, and are easy to prep.
Almonds have high levels of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, protein and healthy fats. They also are high in riboflavin, which is essential for metabolizing food into energy (4).
Having a handful of almonds as an afternoon snack, or adding a tablespoon of them to your smoothie can stop those mid-afternoon cravings.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Brown Rice Cakes
Oats are great for breakfast. However, when it’s time for an afternoon snack, brown rice cakes topped with low-fat cheese or hummus make a great alternative.
If you were feeling particularly healthy you could even add some avocado on top. The healthy fats will give you a slow release of energy and keep your blood sugar levels stable (12).
Cheese And Tomato Bruschetta
There’s nothing like the smell of roasting tomatoes to get us through the day. However, this Italian snack contains protein, fiber and provides an antioxidant boost.
Just top two tomatoes with some mozzarella and fresh basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then pop onto a grill for a few minutes.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Apple With Peanut Butter
Apple slices dipped in peanut butter might not sound like anything special but together they’re a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
The apple provides an antioxidant boost whilst the peanut butter contains healthy fats, protein and fiber. A great snack to keep you feeling energized for the rest of the day (5).
Carrot Sticks With Hummus
Carrots are one of our favorite snacks. They’re crunchy, tasty and provide a good dose of Vitamin A (essential for healthy eyesight). They also contain antioxidants which can help fight cancers and disease (2).
Dip them in hummus for extra flavor while upping the nutrient intake even more with protein and fiber.
Dried Fruit (In Moderation)
Dried fruits provide a sweet treat without all of the added sugar. They can also help give your blood sugar a boost if you need it, meaning you won’t be craving an afternoon snack every hour because your blood sugar levels are low (14).
You have to be cautious with dried fruit; they’re high in sugar content and because they’re concentrated you won’t need to eat as much. Dried apricots, figs and prunes make great snacks but you’ll want to watch your portion size. Pair them with some nuts to add protein and healthy fats, making your snack more well-rounded.
Read More: Best Dried Fruit For Weight Loss: Can These Healthy Snacks Keep Hunger At Bay?
Quinoa And Roasted Vegetables
If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial then this dish ticks all the boxes. Full of protein and fiber, quinoa is great for keeping you energized throughout the day (plus it contains all nine essential amino acids, meaning the ones your body can’t produce so you have to eat them).
Add some roasted vegetables to bulk up the meal or just have as a side dish. Low-calorie, nutrient-dense options such as carrots, peppers, mushrooms and brussels sprouts are all great choices.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Peanut Butter On Toast
Toast is the ultimate quick fix. It’s filling too so you won’t be hungry for a while giving you more time to get stuff done before your next snack break.
We recommend opting for whole grain toast with unsweetened peanut butter; the healthy fats and fiber will give you slow-burning energy, helping you stay energized for longer.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and of calcium, which can keep your bones healthy and strong whilst ensuring that you have enough energy to get through the day (8). If you’re looking to add some extra flavor try adding in some fresh berries or a drizzle of honey.
While flavored yogurts still provide nutrients and calcium, they also contain a lot of added sugar which would give you a quick energy rush followed by an intense crash.
Go for plain greek yogurt instead and you’ll benefit from more energy for longer, making it easier to concentrate without getting distracted by hunger pangs.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Bell Peppers And Guacamole
A great way to ramp up your veggies and sneak some healthy fats into your diet is with a guacamole veggie platter.
Bell peppers are super low in calories but provide just the right amount of crunch. Top them with creamy avocado, fresh lime juice, jalapeno peppers for an extra kick, salt, and pepper to taste.
Colorful bell peppers are packed with an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is essential for healthy eyesight and also helps keep your hair and skin looking healthy too (7).
Bell peppers also contain Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, which help keep your immune system strong and may reduce the risk of heart disease (7).
Chickpeas are high in protein, which means they can help keep you feeling full longer. They’re also high in fiber so eating them will help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day avoiding those energy crashes and sugar cravings (20).
Roasting them in a little olive oil with some spices will add the flavor you crave while raising your nutrient intake. Be careful to use only a little oil and salt to keep the snack low in calories; there are plenty of low-calorie seasoning options that still pack a flavor punch.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Jerky
Jerky is a great source of protein, which will help keep you feeling full up until it’s time for your next meal. Studies have shown that a high-protein diet may boost your metabolism and help you burn more fat (3).
Jerky is also a good source of iron which many women lack due to losses from menstruation (18). This mineral transports oxygen around the body, which means that with enough in your system, every part of your body can perform at its best.
It can be easy to eat too much jerky because of its convenience. Stick with brands that provide fewer than 100 calories per serving and make sure to read the label when shopping for sodium content.
Jerky doesn’t need to be full of preservatives and chemicals, so check out your local butcher or health food store for healthier options.
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Who doesn’t love a movie and popcorn? It’s cheap, it’s delicious and it’ll hold you over until your next meal. In small doses, popcorn is a healthy option for office workers as long as you don’t smother it in butter and salt or sugar.
Popcorn boosts the fiber, iron, magnesium and Vitamin B6 content of your diet and can help lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy (15). When it comes to toppings, opt for just a little olive oil r and some grated Parmesan cheese for maximum flavor with minimal calories.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Veggie Egg Muffins
Veggie egg muffins are a good source of protein to keep you full and can be made in advance and frozen until needed. Simply reheat them for a quick snack when hunger strikes.
They contain fiber, which will help you stay regular, vitamin C to promote immunity and B vitamins to keep energy levels up (13).
They also contain iron to boost your energy levels and help fight off fatigue, choline which is important to cell function; folate which regulates the nervous system and prevents some birth defects; Vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium (13).
For a high-protein, low-calorie snack that tastes delicious and is easy to keep in your desk, reach for some string cheese.
One string cheese (28 grams) has 80 calories, 6 grams of protein, and they’re full of calcium to strengthen bones and vitamin D, which promotes healthy teeth and gums (9).
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Seaweed Crisps
Seaweed is a good source of iodine which you may lack if you don’t use iodized salt, potentially leading to low energy levels and difficulty losing weight. If you’re eating seaweed on a regular basis it might also help lower your risk of breast cancer, reduce inflammation and improve blood pressure (17).
These crisps are a great alternative to fried snacks as they’re low-calorie, low-fat and a good source of fiber to help you stay regular.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Office snacking doesn’t get any simpler than hard boiled eggs. They’re inexpensive, high in protein and contain vitamins A, B5, 6 and 12, iron, magnesium and phosphorus to name a few (19).
To make the perfect snack keep your eggs refrigerated until you want to prepare them and eat them within a week.
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Unsweetened Applesauce
Apples are rich in Vitamin C which will support your immune system, promote healthy skin and aid iron absorption from plant-based foods. They’re also a good source of fiber which can help you feel full until it’s time for your next meal (5).
As for applesauce, it’s practically pureed apples without the fiber. This makes it easy to eat large amounts of the sweet stuff if you’re not careful.
However, this is actually good news for office workers because it means that it won’t take long for your body to break down and absorb all of the nutrients. For those times when you need a quick burst of energy, applesauce is a healthier alternative than candy or chips.
To make this snack more filling, pair it with plain yogurt and some cinnamon to further reduce hunger pangs and blood sugar fluctuations.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s delicious, comes in many forms, and can be used as a treat or an energy booster. But while you might be tempted to reach for the white stuff (which is mostly sugar), dark chocolate can actually do wonders for your health.
Dark chocolate is especially beneficial because it contains flavanols which are believed to improve heart function and blood flow, including to the brain, which could benefit cognition and focus (10).
Don’t go overboard though. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and blood sugar spikes, so buy dark chocolate with a high cocoa content and low sugar content.
As an office worker, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a square or two in the afternoon when hunger strikes; it’s better than reaching for something empty!
To make this snack filling, how about pairing it with some nuts? Nuts contain the good kind of fat, so they’re actually great for you. They also have a lot of protein and fiber which will help keep you full for a longer period of time compared to something sweet like chocolate alone.
Read More: Benefits Of Dried Cherries, Nutrition, And Recipes
Healthy Snacks For The Office: Brie And Grapes
If you’re looking for a delicious yet filling combo, look no further than Brie cheese and grapes. Grapes are a good source of fiber and minerals such as potassium to keep your electrolytes in balance and magnesium which can help with headaches (1).
They’re also full of antioxidants which may help prevent cell damage, reduce disease risk, maintain bone health, and improve sleep (1).
As for the cheese, brie has a high fat content, but it also contains calcium and protein for strong bones and healthy teeth (16).
To make this snack more filling, try pairing it with some whole-grain crackers or bread. These will give you long-lasting energy and delay hunger pangs for longer.
Green Tea Smoothie
Green tea is healthy drink that can help your body in more ways than you might think.
Just one cup contains antioxidants that target free radicals, preventing them from damaging cells and DNA, while potentially improving brain function and memory to give you a mental edge at work (6).
Of course, there’s also the caffeine which provides a great energy boost, making it perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up (6).
While green tea is packed full of nutrients, it does contain caffeine which can be difficult to balance. It contains less caffeine than coffee or black tea. If you find yourself feeling tired after drinking green tea, try adding some protein powder or fruit for a tasty smoothie that will keep you energized until dinner time.
Trail mix is the perfect snack when working because there are so many options available in-store. Mix up the ingredients with your favorite nuts, dried fruit and chocolate for a tasty treat that will fill you up quickly.
You can even mix it into oatmeal or yogurt to get some extra protein in your diet while simultaneously giving yourself an energy boost.
One of the best things about trail mixes are all of the different combinations you can make. Try making a trail mix with ingredients like pumpkin seeds, cashews and cranberries; the flavors will complement each other and you’ll be left feeling full and energized.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Looking for a portable, shelf-stable snack that can hold you over until dinner? Try roasted pumpkin seeds.
Since they’re full of zinc, iron and magnesium, these little guys will help build muscle and maintain healthy bones while also providing a good energy boost that doesn’t spike your blood sugar (11).
In addition to the health benefits, the taste of pumpkin seeds is very unique compared to other snacks. This means that you probably won’t get tired of them as quickly as you would with other snacks.
Instead of eating pumpkin seeds on their own, try grinding them up and mixing it into a smoothie or yogurt for a creamy texture that will keep you full throughout the day.
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The Bottom Line
Snacking throughout the day is critical to keep your energy levels up, but you don’t need to rely on unhealthy snacks that spike your blood sugar or promote weight gain.
Instead of reaching for processed foods, try some of these snacks that will give you healthy ingredients and help prevent fatigue.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 Health Benefits of Grapes (2021, clevelandclinic.org)
- Advances in research on the carrot, an important root vegetable in the Apiaceae family (2019, nih.gov)
- A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats (2014, nih.gov)
- Almonds (Prunus Dulcis Mill. D. A. Webb): A Source of Nutrients and Health-Promoting Compounds (2020, nih.gov)
- Apples (n.d., harvard.edu)
- Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review (2010, nih.gov)
- Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Grafted Varieties of Bell Pepper (2015, nih.gov)
- Calcium and bone (2012, pubmed.gov)
- Cheese, Mozzarella, part skim (2020, usda.gov)
- Chocolate Health Claims (n.d., nih.gov)
- Effect of Roasting on the Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic Composition, and Nutritional Quality of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seeds (2021, nih.gov)
- Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects (2013, nih.gov)
- Health benefits of vegetable/fruit juice-based diet: Role of microbiome (2017, pubmed.gov)
- Nuts and Dried Fruits: An Update of Their Beneficial Effects on Type 2 Diabetes (2017, nih.gov)
- Popcorn: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Preparation (2020, webmd.com)
- Regular-Fat Dairy and Human Health: A Synopsis of Symposia Presented in Europe and North America 2014-2015 (2016, pubmed.gov)
- Seaweed and human health (2014, pubmed.gov)
- Snacks, beef jerky, chopped, and formed (2019, usda.gov)
- The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactives, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health (2019, nih.gov)
- The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus (2016, nih.gov)