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10 Snacks to boost productivity and get you through the work day

Did you know that the foods you eat greatly impact your levels of motivation and productivity? In fact, eating the right foods can boost productivity up to 20 percent, according to the World Health Organization. The right foods can help you stay focused longer, improve your memory, and stabilize your moods. If you’re a busy professional, you may notice that some days you feel more sluggish than others. This might be due to the foods you’re eating throughout the day. If you’re looking for snacks to boost productivity get you through the work day, check out our top picks below. 

Top 10 snacks to boost productivity 

1. Almonds

Almonds are the go-to focus foods. They are full of healthy fats necessary for our brains to function better. These healthy fats also slow the body’s digestion of sugar and carbs which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Not only that, but the protein in almonds will also help curb your appetite without feeling sluggish. 

2. Dark Chocolate

Yes, chocolate can be good for you–if it’s the right chocolate! Dark chocolate is abundant in nutrients that impact your productivity. Dark chocolate contains just the right amounts of sugar and caffeine to give you the boost you need without the caffeine-jitters or sugar-crashes.  Also the magnesium in chocolate can help relieve stress and anxiety, another great bonus for those particularly stressful work days! 

3. Apple & Peanut Butter

They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and that’s because apples are rich in antioxidants that keep our bodies healthy. Apples also have about 13g of sugar, making them a more effective source of energy than coffee. Paired with a tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter, which is full of powerful protein, and you have the perfect combination to keep yourself feeling full and focused longer. 

4. Carrots & Hummus

Carrots are a fun snack. They’re crunchy, delicious, and great for you. Pair them with some hummus and you have a powerful combination. See, carrots contain luteolin which helps improve memory, while hummus is full of Omega 3 fatty acids and amino acids which help improve intelligence and boost your mood. The protein and calories in the hummus will also help curb your appetite so you can focus on your work and not your rumbling stomach! 

5. Avocados

Avocados are a natural stimulant that, “enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells,” according to WebMD. Consistent, healthy blood flow around the heart and through the brain is the secret to staying productive. Avocados are full of the monounsaturated fatty acids that help protect a certain kind of brain cells called astrocytes, which support information carrying nerves and contribute to healthy blood flow. So an avocado may just be what you need to stimulate your body and stay energized and focused throughout the day. 

You might be interested: Kick the habit! How to avoid overeating when working from home

6. Bananas

Glucose equals energy, and bananas are one of the best sources of glucose. Just one banana holds the daily amount of glucose your body needs. Bananas are also very filling and will keep you feeling satisfied and focused  longer between meals. 

7. Blueberries 

Blueberries can truly do it all. They are packed with antioxidants that help fight off disease, stop bloating, and curb cravings. Blueberries have also been linked to enhancing your cognitive abilities. According to research conducted at the University of Reading, schoolchildren’s memory and attention-spans greatly improved after consumption of flavonoid-rich blueberry supplements. So next time you’re in need of a quick snack, consider a handful of blueberries. 

8. Sunflower Seeds 

Sunflower seeds make a great snack because they are loaded with the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid is quickly converted to serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin is especially important on those days when you may be feeling particularly stressed, grumpy, or sleepy because it  plays an important part in the regulation of our feelings and energy levels.

9. Green Tea 

green tea, snacks to boost productivity

Photo by Kiran K. on Unsplash

Not really a “snack” but definitely something you want to be sipping on throughout the day. Green tea is a great caffeine-alternative to coffee with way more health benefits. 

Did you know green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine that improves focus and helps the brain stay alert? On top of that, green tea will also boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and improve skin health. The benefits really seem endless! 

10. Yogurt 

yogurt, snacks to boost productivity

Photo by Niclas Illg on Unsplash

Last but not least, yogurt! Such a simple, quick, and easy snack, and yet it’s full of so many benefits that will help boost productivity and get you through your workday. Greek yogurt is a super-snack that contains tyrosine, an amino acid that produces both dopamine and noradrenaline. These are two  neurotransmitters that help boost your mood and behavior. Additionally, yogurt is a great way to improve your gut health and boost the good bacteria in your gut. Gut health is vital and can have a big impact on the rest of your body, especially your brain. In fact, poor gut health has been linked to anxiety and depression, as well as other mood disorders, which can impact your productivity and energy levels. So be sure to take care of your gut and consider incorporating more yogurt into your diet. 

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4 Tips to health proof your work day with healthier choices

Healthier choices help us stay on track on those hectic work days that can cause us all to let our nutrition fall to the back-burner.

healthier choices latino family-owned business

A wide variety of snacks, mostly candy, on display at a bodega in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (Photo credit Jeffrey O. Gustafson at the English language Wikipedia)

Your boss is demanding, your client is driving you nuts, you are behind your deadline… We all have those days when you look at the time and realize you cannot remember the last meal you ate. Or you find yourself grabbing anything in sight (probably sugary, processed foods) to ward off your hunger. Doing this all the time can place your health at serious risk. It can also impact how you perform.

Incorporating these simple tips and tricks can help you “health proof” your work day.

1.Your first line of defense

Fuel yourself with a healthy breakfast that includes at minimum:

  • A complex carb with fiber to keep you full longer such as oats and multigrain options
  • A lean protein like eggs, cottage cheese, or turkey bacon to feed all of your muscles (including your brain)

A big bonus is adding a dark leafy vegetable such as spinach, kale, or asparagus because they provide a boost of vitamins and minerals. Or choose a vegetable higher in water content like peppers and cucumbers to fill you up. One easy way to sneak in fruits and veggies into your breakfast is to make yourself a smoothie. Anything you can prep the night before will save you time in the morning!

2. Join the “Pack Your Lunch” club

Aim to bring your lunch at least 3 times a week so you can ensure you are making healthier choices and also saving money!

healthier choices

Photo credit: National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

3. Build your own vending machine

Stock those drawers with whole grain crackers and cereal, plain popcorn and small portions of unsalted nuts. If you have a fridge at work, fill it with healthier choices of nutritious snacks such as fruit, raw vegetables, lower fat cheese and yogurt, and hummus.

Stay hydrated!!! Often times we think we are hungry when instead our bodies are dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Even setting a timer is a great way to remind you to guzzle! You want to aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces.

You might be interested: How to tackle stress in the workplace with effective strategies

4. Bonus tips for healthier choices

Don’t work while you eat…this can set you up to eat more than your body needs…put your work to the side for 15 to 20 minutes…

If you absolutely MUST grab something on the go or are eating out do your best to find healthier choices that are higher in fiber, lower in sugar and includes a complex carbohydrate, a lean protein, and a vegetable so you are eating a more balanced meal. If salads are your go-to make sure to ask for the dressing on the side.

Practice these tips consistently and you will reap the benefits long-term! If you need Nutrition and Fitness advice, or have a question, feel free to contact me on the form below!

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