Top 6 Healthy Desk Snacks to Get You Through YOUR Day
We all get hungry at work, right? In fact, I’m pretty hungry right now. This got me thinking, what are the best snacks to eat whilst you’re sat at your desk?
A quick Google search will tell us to eat things like yoghurts, blended avocado and kale smoothies and even those frightful overnight oats that people eat, but actually, what we want to know is this – which snacks can I leave on my desk and come back to through the day? Which snacks will benefit me? And, more importantly, which snacks won’t leave me spending my evenings snack-prepping in advance?
Before we continue, if you do have any special dietary requirements then do note that you’ll have to double check your snacks for allergens before you eat them, but I’m sure you know that already.
The following snacks are ideas that can be prepared and left on your desk for a couple of days, snacks that are nutritious, tasty and beneficial to you, that won’t go off fast and don’t need keeping in the fridge.
Popcorn, most associated with the cinema, but a snack fit for any desk. Yes, you may annoy your colleagues with the sound of rustling and crunching, but there’s an easy way around this – offer them some, they’ll soon get over it. Whether you have your popcorn sweet or salted, these tasty bites do come with a number of intrinsic health benefits. Made of whole grain corn kernels, popcorn is high in protein, fibre, vitamins B1, B3 and B6, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, bringing a wealth of health benefits with each bite.
Popcorn can help digestion and can improve your metabolism, it’s even said to have the capacity to reduce hunger cravings. Moreover, research also suggests that the vitamins in popcorn can be used to combat the effects of ageing and can even lower cholesterol levels. With around 375 calories per 100g of popcorn, it’s a low-calorie snack that will have your ears ringing (in a nice way) and your taste buds shouting for more.
Now of course, you can spoil some of the nutritional value of popcorn by cooking it in oil, or lathering it in sugar or salt, however, if you’re careful with your prep (try air popping it) and don’t over season, popcorn is indeed a healthy snack that can and will ease you through your day.
Another snack that requires no specific storage, yet still offers a tasty treat is jerky, a meat-based convenience food generally made out of dried beef, however, some variants do exist that use meat from game animals such as Ostrich and Buffalo. Because of the curing process, jerky is almost totally fat-free, meaning by consuming this snack, you are able to receive the protein of the meat, without ingesting any of the fat, this is especially important when eating fatty red meats such as beef. Moreover, by being cured and dried, jerky is ready to eat, straight out of the bag and does not need to be stored in a fridge or freezer. Before opening, jerky also tends to have quite a long shelf life, therefore it’s a good snack to stash in your desk for when you’re fancying something a little meaty at work.
Jerky is low calorie and contains around 15g of protein per serving, do note though that jerky often has quite a high sodium content as salt is used to help cure and preserve the meat, meaning this is a snack you should avoid eating every day, though I know how hard that can be, I love the stuff!
You’re probably surprised it’s taken us this long to mention bananas, after all, they are a complete office snack. Unlike rival fruits such as oranges and apples, bananas make very little mess, it’s a snack you can open up, enjoy and forget about, with no need to wash sticky juice off your hands and keyboard afterwards. Moreover, bananas can be stored on your desk all week without going bad, meaning they can make up a useful reserve for times when your snack box is running a little low, or for when you’re feeling a little peckish just before home time.
Bananas are full of vitamin B6, which helps improve your metabolism and even assists in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Bananas are also rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that is most associated with oranges, however, an average banana contains enough vitamin C to contribute to around 10% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.
It’s the sugar in bananas that makes them the perfect desk snack, however. Sucrose, Fructose and Glucose, three sugars that are found within bananas that offer the body a cholesterol-free source of energy, this is why athletes eat them, for that high impact energy, that will ease you through the day.
People hate it, but I love it, and it makes the perfect desk snack too. Like with the rest of the snacks on this ‘menu’ dark chocolate requires no specific storage, it even has a slightly higher melting point than milk chocolate, meaning it can sustain its shape even in the muggest of the office environment. The higher melting point of dark chocolate is down to the fact that dark chocolate is richer in cocoa compared to milk fat, this is also why dark chocolate is considered to be a slightly healthier alternative to milk and white chocolate.
Dark chocolate is rich in fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium and zinc. Okay, so 100g of dark chocolate does contain around 600 calories, however, if you’re after a sweet snack that will keep you going through the afternoon, a little bit of dark chocolate is a good choice, simply for its high nutritional value.
Moreover, there are some findings that suggest dark chocolate also contains a significant amount of caffeine, something that might be needed to give you that last bit of motivation to finish that report, or, in my case, to finish this article!
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, can help benefit the blood, the skin and can even help protect against heart disease. With all of this in mind though, dark chocolate should be enjoyed in moderation due to its high sugar and fat content, it’s not a desk snack for every day, but it’s one that can be enjoyed on occasion.
Don a spoon and disgust your colleagues as you dunk into a jar of peanut butter. It’s a left-field snack, but one that will ease you through the afternoon. Moreover, peanut butter doesn’t need to be stored in a fridge so therefore, is always readily available on your desk.
Of course, eating it with a spoon might be a little far, however peanut butter goes great with crackers and melba toast and other dried biscuits. Some people even recommend eating peanut butter with celery, though I’m not so sure I’m sold on that combination just yet.
Peanut butter specifically is rich in vitamins B and E, magnesium and potassium. Peanut butter is also rich in monounsaturated fats, which findings suggest are actually very good for the heart. Moreover, peanut butter is also rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps the body protect itself against forms of cancer, heart disease, nerve disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.
100g of peanut butter does contain just under 600 calories and it does have a very high sugar content. Moreover, 100g of peanut butter contains around 10g of saturated fat, which makes up a stunning 50% of your daily intake. Much like the dark chocolate then, this is a snack to be enjoyed every now and again, don’t overindulge or other health problems could very well arise.
Is coffee a snack? Probably not, but a good ground coffee is something that can be used to suppress your appetite and energise you right through till home time. Loading yourself up on caffeine isn’t always the best idea, however, the health benefits of drinking coffee from ground coffee beans are too good to not include coffee in this list! Grab a cafetiere, a splash of hot water and enjoy.
Ground coffee beans are linked with a range of intrinsic health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart diseases to lowering the risk of cancers and even lowering the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Diabetes is also a factor that can be reduced by regular coffee consumption as a result of coffees natural inflammatory effect on the body.
Very recent studies have also found that the caffeine from ground coffee beans can have a positive impact on the liver, protecting people from sclerosis of the liver and other related conditions.
What’s more, coffee is a social catalyst, making a brew will give you a chance to re-energise and step away from your desk, a chance to clear your head and a chance to enjoy, just for a moment, a little bit of time away from the workload. Get your friends involved, make a brew together and enjoy it. Coffee is more than just a drink, it’s a healthy revolution.
The snacks mentioned in this article do host a number of intrinsic health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. It is always important to avoid overindulgence. However, snacking on the above (as well as your own healthy treats) can help contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. When you’re eating well and consuming the food groups you need, your working day will be easier, less taxing and frankly more enjoyable. The foods mentioned in this list can be consumed with ease and stored without a problem, giving you more time to concentrate on your work and giving you more space to work efficiently, whilst consuming those essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are proven to get you through the day.