When it comes to productivity and energy levels a lot of people are neglecting two of the most important factors in that area: food and movement. There are of course other ones, such as sleep and stress levels, but if you get food and movement right, you’re set in most cases.
I’m confused as to why employers aren’t encouraging their employees to eat more healthy snacks at the office. It’s a win-win for both parties: As an employee you feel great when your nutrition is on point and through that work more productively and happier. As an employer you have happy and more importantly healthy employees who do great work.
In this article I want to show you three snacks I think every office needs in order to become more productive:
- Almonds or walnuts
- Tasty Water
- Fresh or dried fruit
Let’s look at all the options in detail.
1. Almonds or walnuts
A lot of you know that nuts are very beneficial for the human body, but why almonds and walnuts specifically?
Almonds pack pound for pound (or in our case, ounce for ounce) the highest concentration of overall nutrients, meaning you get 13g of unsaturated fat (this is the good kind) and 3.4g of fiber (helps with your digestion) in a one-ounce serving.
They are also very high in potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron.
Especially an iron deficiency can cause tiredness in employees and you want to avoid that.
When it comes to walnuts specifically, they are some of the most omega-3 rich foods that are not coming from the sea, so specifically for vegans and vegetarians, this is a great option to include. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to increase brain function, brain volume and help with fighting a lot of diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease (Source).
2. Tasty Water
Yes technically not a snack, but water is probably one of the most important items on this list.
I don’t understand why employers fuel their employees with Red Bull and Soda to get them throughout their work. Multiple times it has been shown that simple sugars, that can be found in those drinks cause energy spikes and then a down time for the person drinking it.
I know some people who prefer the sugar-free variant of these drinks, but they include artificial sweeteners which can cause other issues in the long-run.
My suggestion would be to focus on water and maybe spice it up with a few lemon slices. The most important thing would be to filter the water so that it’s clean of any toxins, if you prefer tap water.
Another suggestion here would be iced tea, with little sugar or some stevia. This might help especially the coffee drinkers in the bunch, since tea is a healthier alternative and can provide just as much caffeine if needed.
Or an easy one for the summer is this: Fill out a water carafe with ice (about half of it), then add two ripe strawberries and three pieces of orange skin (you can easily peel it off with a peeler). Put it in the freezer and serve cold.
The little amount of sugar will help people to not look for sugary drinks and feel refreshed in the summer!
3. Fruits or dried fruit
Fruits are the greatest snack because they deliver a great taste (if you don’t like nuts or are allergic to them) packed with a lot of good nutrients.
When it comes to the specific selection I’d always prefer local and seasonal, but I understand that some employees would prefer specific foods at specific times.
I’m a big fan of apples, kiwi, oranges and all kinds of fresh berries like strawberries or blueberries (which deliver a great deal of anti-oxidants), but a lot of people ignore the fact that dried fruit is just as tasty and also delivers a lot of different nutrients.
With dried fruit I prefer figs, mango and apricots (when they are organic, they are almost black, so don’t be scared if they don’t look orange!).
Bring some variety
The name of the game, when it comes to health, is variety. Make sure to change up the nuts, the types of teas or water and fruits you serve to your employees.
There might be some all-year favorites, like apples, but other than these, make sure to try out different nuts and fruits. Try macademia or Brazil nuts. Maybe some pistachios?
Try to get seasonal fruit directly from a farmer, since there are a lot of online services offering you to bring fruits directly to your office – why not use that?
Water is probably the most “boring” out of the list, but spice it up in different ways. Use iced-tea, add some kiwi to the water or add lime juice for a different twist.