17 Office Snacks to Help Overcome That Afternoon Slump Slideshow
Apples contain high amounts of fiber and natural sugars that break down slowly in the body, releasing a steady stream of glucose into the bloodstream and providing the body with a consistent source of energy. Research showed that apples improve neurological health because they contain quercetin, one of two compounds found to reduce inflammation of neurons.
Bananas are easy to eat, cheap, and convenient, but they’re also the ideal snack for an afternoon pick-me-up. One medium banana is only 102 calories, but contains 14 grams of natural sugar, which gives the body a quick energy boost.
It might be a breakfast table staple, but whole-grain cereal can be a practical afternoon snack as well. Bran flakes, for example, are full of iron, magnesium, and B vitamins (all of which provide energy), as well as lots of fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds are a trendy superfood, but their natural B vitamin content makes them an easy answer to your midday fatigue. Unlike an energy drink or a cup of coffee, chia seeds are packed with fiber and protein, offering a stable supply of energy throughout the day. Try mixing some into yogurt, or make your own overnight chia pudding.
Dark Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, and turnip greens are rich in folate, which has been found to keep the brain functioning at full speed. Research showed that individuals with low levels of folate, also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, in their bodies had a higher chance of developing depression. Depression alters the brain’s chemicals and can be inherently energy-draining.
Edamame are young soybeans, but this healthy protein source will propel you through the day. Soybeans are high in B vitamins, which convert carbohydrates into useable glucose, but they are also rich in copper and phosphorus, two minerals that aid in converting food into energy.
You might be asking yourself, “What are goji berries?” Well this little berry needs to be on your radar. The goji berry has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, but has found recent popularity in the U.S. as an energy boosting superfood. Goji berries are believed to help increase energy and accelerate the release of certain hormones.
A dozen eggs cost less than $2, but two or three hard boiled eggs will have you feeling stuffed and energized (and here’s how to cook and peel them perfectly). Egg yoks are naturally rich in B vitamins, which help transform food into energy. Choking down hard-boiled eggs can be tough, but they can easily be incorporated into indulgent and surprisingly healthy recipes.
In its most basic iteration, hummus is a blend of chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, and other seasonings, but countless versions of this classic Middle Eastern appetizer are popping up in grocery stores around the country. Whether it’s black bean, red pepper, or lentil; hummus is a complex carbohydrate that allows for sustained energy throughout the day without leading to an afternoon crash.
Nuts like cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are easy to store in your desk and make for a handy snack, but more importantly, they are rich in magnesium, a mineral of massive importance, especially in regards to energy. Magnesium is responsible for 300 biochemical reactions, most notably the breaking down of glucose into energy.
Protein bars come in many shapes, sizes, and calorie counts, and while they are a poor choice for breakfast, they can be an ideal midday snack. Look for bars that don’t contain many added sugars, and even be wary of low-calorie options (they tend to use artificial sweeteners). Go for a bar that is mostly made up of fruits, nuts, and natural sugar like honey.
Salmon is a legitimate superfood. DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid prominent in fatty fish like salmon, has been linked to improved cognitive functioning. In children, a lack of DHA can lead to behavioral issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and aggressive hostility.
Drinking water does your body a lot of good: It suppresses appetite, speeds up metabolism, and may even reduce stress. But most importantly, water keeps your cells, tissues, and organs fully hydrated. Studies found that dehydration negatively affects concentration and awareness in adults. Add in a few slices of lemon for a digestive tonic.
Yogurt and Granola
Poor digestion can lead to an afternoon energy crash, but the yogurt’s probiotic content can help prevent this from occurring. The good bacteria slow down the progression of toxicity from the gut. Yogurt is also packed with protein, which keeps you feeling fuller longer, and less likely to fall victim to snack cravings.