With recent reports slamming the workplace favourites of cereal bars and co. as nothing more than sugar gluts, delivering just a short lived energy burst before the impending fatigue (mid- morning and afternoon slump anyone?), as well as the extremely worrying accompanying risk of disease (obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc) it's time for the lowdown on some proper snacking habits. Convenient to prepare and eat, these are guaranteed to get you through those work day slumps, feeling and looking better, all whilst tasting delicious.
Dark Chocolate and pistachio nuts
A tasty and nutritious snack providing sustained release of energy through good fats and protein to keep you going right up to clocking out time. Dark chocolate boasts a fantastically rich content of health conferring flavonoids, known to reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk. Pistachios also offer a good source of B vitamins, copper and manganese, but of course you can mix things up and vary your nut choices.
Serving Tip: for dark chocolate, choose a low sugar product containing 70% or greater cocoa content - a few squares will suffice. For nuts you don't need too many, enough to fill a shot glass is an ideal serving.
Hummus dip and Carrot sticks
A low calorie snack providing a prolonged energy release, hummus fills you up for longer as well as giving a great boost to your daily veggie intake. Hummus's chickpea content makes it a nutrient powerhouse. Chickpeas are rich in minerals such as manganese, zinc, magnesium, copper and iron as well as boasting a high fibre content. Carrots are rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, beta carotene and potassium.
Serving Tip: hummus can be bought off the shelf or easily made at home so you know exactly what goes into it. Carrot sticks can be replaced with any raw crunchy veg of your choice.
Smoked salmon on rye/wholegrain bread
An incredibly rich protein source, salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient we in Britain don't get near enough of. These fats are critical for brain function and for enduring those draining office hours, being shown to prevent cognitive decline as well as improving mood. Also rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine and selenium, fish is a must include on everyone's menu.
Serving Tip: some individuals may prefer fresh salmon over smoked. While similar in omega-3 content smoked does contain a higher salt content. Also, ensure to choose wild salmon variety over farmed.
And to drink.......
It's time to go green when it comes to the work place beverage of choice. Green tea's mix of caffeine and catechins ensures it trumps coffee and black tea every time. It not only stimulates and invigorates to enhance work performance, but it is a combination clinically proven to increase metabolism, helping you to burn extra calories right while sitting at your desk. Its impressive list of benefits doesn't stop there, with the largest consumers of green tea having lower cancer and death rates.
Serving Tip: allow the tea to brew for a few minutes before drinking. Adding lemon juice or honey not only improves flavour but enhances absorption of the beneficial catechins.