When it comes to work, having a positive mood is key to being productive for the day. After all, stress, anxiety, and depression can make it difficult for you to focus and accomplish your tasks. However, eating healthy is an effective solution to boost your mood and help you become more efficient at work.
Read this article to know more about the benefits of eating healthy snacks in the workplace, as well as how they can boost your mood and overall productivity. Additionally, we will provide a list of ideas and tips you can use to ensure you’re eating healthy despite your busy schedule.
How Mood Affects Productivity
If you ever had a hard time accomplishing your daily tasks whenever you’re in a bad mood, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, according to Sophie von Stumm, senior lecturer in psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, stress-induced emotions, such as anxiety and depression, can affect cognitive performance and flexibility. Moreover, they also make us less likely to accomplish our tasks efficiently and effectively.
How Healthy Snacks Can Improve Mood
According to an article published by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it is common for many people to snack at least once throughout the day. The reasons can vary, from wanting to satiate their hunger pangs to seeking to boost their energy levels hours after their last meal. Or it could also be that they simply want to try new snack foods.
A healthy diet leads to a healthy gut, which communicates with the brain through the microbes that call the place home. Basically, they produce hormones like serotonin, endorphin, and dopamine which regulate your mood and emotions. Therefore, going for healthy snacks like dark chocolate or low-fat yogurt can lead to better mental health.
The Benefits of Healthy Snacks
Packed With Essential Nutrients
Aside from their benefits in reducing stress and anxiety, vitamins B6 and C can keep us energetic and reduce fatigue. Some foods rich in this nutrient are chickpeas, tuna, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Complex carbohydrates found in corn, potatoes, and peas also provide a slow and steady supply of energy, ensuring that you can keep going throughout the day.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Since commercial snacks like chocolate cookies and cakes tend to have high amounts of sugar, regular consumption can increase our chances of acquiring diabetes. However, another article published by Harvard Health Publishing states that going for snacks made from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can prevent blood sugar from rising quickly due to its high fiber content.
If you’ve been working as a professional for some time, you most likely have had busy days or weeks. Your schedule is full of deadlines that you probably had little to no time to eat. Fortunately, going for some healthy snacks can help curb your hunger and prevent you from overeating once you get the time for a proper meal.
5 Healthy Snack Ideas
Now that you know about the benefits, the following are some healthy snack ideas you can try in the office:
- Fresh fruits: Apples, bananas, and mixed berries are perhaps the easiest and most convenient snacks to bring while also providing you with a quick energy boost, as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals. Simply cut them into bite-sized bits and enjoy them anytime.
- Trail mix: While it may take a bit of time to prepare this one, this delicious treat is quick and easy. All you need to do is to mix together nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate for a satisfying snack that's rich in healthy fats and protein. Feel free to customize the recipe according to your preference.
- Low-fat yogurt and granola parfaits: Grab your favorite low-fat yogurt and top it off with granola and your preferred fresh fruits for a quick, but delicious and satisfying snack that's high in nutrients like protein and dietary fiber.
- Vegetables: Carrots, cucumber, and celery are full of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, calcium, and iron. On their own, they are already good snacks. However, if you want to make them more flavorful, dip them in hummus for a nutritious snack.
- Granola bars: Make homemade granola bars using oats, nuts, seeds, and honey for a delicious and satisfying snack that is a rich source of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Use melted butter or a mix of honey and brown sugar to help form each bar.
5 Tips to Prepare Snacks Despite a Busy Schedule
A busy work schedule means having little to no time to prepare healthy snacks. Fortunately, there are tips you can use to allow yourself to plan and prepare some foods you can eat anytime throughout your daily shift. The following are some practical tips you can follow:
- Prepping snacks in advance: Set one day to prepare all the healthy snacks you’ll eat for the week. This step will include buying all the food ingredients you’ll need, gathering recipes, and cooking or preparing them into containers and lunch boxes.
- Bringing snacks to work: Lunch boxes or insulated bags are your best friend when it comes to bringing snacks to work. These items ensure that the foods you bring remain fresh and delicious by the time you want to munch on something.
- Setting reminders to eat healthy snacks: However, if you find yourself forgetting and opting to snack on unhealthy foods like chips or cakes, use apps or set alarms on your phone to remind yourself that you have healthy snacks you can eat. Doing so will help you stay on track and avoid the temptation of munching on other less healthy options.
Adding healthy snacks to your busy work schedule can keep your mood and productivity up. The vitamins and minerals they contain boost energy, help you focus, and keep you motivated to accomplish your everyday activities. However, just remember to make the necessary preparations. Otherwise, you might end up snacking on junk food or sweet treats instead.
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