When you’re sitting in the office for hours on end it’s easy to forget to keep your energy levels up. The effects of food on the human body cannot be overstated; it keeps us alert, changes our mood and perhaps most importantly, ensures we remain productive.
There’s always the temptation to grab a chocolate bar or fizzy drink from the work vending machine instead of having a healthy piece of fruit or glass of water, but the benefits of doing the latter every day can be huge.
The Best Foods for Concentration
It’s not just us that like to make sure we keep productive; our employers love it too. With so many great snacks to choose from to help concentration, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Blueberries are described as nature’s ‘superfood’ and it’s easy to see why. British scientists have made the discovery that antioxidants in the little blue fruit stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain – in layman’s terms they keep the mind fresh and alert.
Switch out that chocolate bar for a couple of squares of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a great concentration food because it contains a small amount of caffeine and magnesium which helps you to destress. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be eating huge quantities of chocolate every day, but every now and then it can significantly boost focus.
Foods to Boost Mood
We’ve all been there. Being stuck at work in a terrible mood isn’t a pleasant experience for you, or your colleagues for that matter. What you probably didn’t know is there is a range of different foods you can snack on to tackle stress, anger and anxiety.
One of the best mood foods is Brazil nuts. They are rich in the mineral selenium which studies have shown can reduce depression, irritability, tiredness and anxiety. Unbelievably, all it takes is three Brazil nuts to get your full recommended daily amount of selenium.
Popcorn is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid, which helps your body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that increases your mood. If you can, avoid the sweet variety as it is coated in refined sugar which reduces all the good work the popcorn is doing.
Energy Boosting Foods & Snacks
So, you’ve survived the first couple of hours of your working day, but there’s still a while to go until lunch and you’re flagging. Sound familiar? Well instead of reaching for a coffee or a packet of crisps, check out these healthy alternatives that’ll keep your energy levels high until lunchtime.
Get creative with hummus and veggies. Hummus is a great source of protein and the vitamins and minerals in vegetables are of real benefit to counter that mid-morning lull. Red pepper, courgette and asparagus are great alternatives to the humble carrot.
Eating yoghurt is a fantastic way to increase energy and even better, you’re free to get imaginative with accompaniments. Add fortified cereal, berries or honey to transform a modest Greek yoghurt pot into something a little more gourmet. Being rich in protein and carbohydrates, it’ll not only boost your energy levels, but help you to stay fuller for longer.
So, what about bad energy-boosters? Try and stay away from coffee if you can. Caffeine can leave you with nasty withdrawal headaches, so while it may be fine in the short term, in the long run you’ll end up suffering.
Snacking at Work
The etiquette of snacking at your desk will be different depending on your individual workplace, but there are a few general points you should probably adhere to if you want to maintain good working relationships.
As much as we should be enjoying the benefits of oily fish like mackerel and sardines, it’s safe to say it’s best not to eat these for your mid-morning snack – they’re just a little too smelly. To make it a little more fun, try sharing snacks with your colleagues for an inclusive experience.
Top 5 Office Snack Subscription Boxes
Snack subscriptions are relatively new but have become a fast-growing retail trend. Snack boxes are conveniently delivered to your door, and can help you to control your snacking, providing a variety of healthier alternatives.
1. Office Drop
Office Drop offers fresh fruit tailored to suit your company’s needs, tastes and budget. The company also owns Nutribox, selling snack boxes that are carefully selected by nutritionists, with the perfect mix of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
Maisie Reeves, Marketing Assistant at Office Drop said, “Here at Office Drop we want to make it easier for people to snack more healthily in the workplace. We know that when you get that mid-morning or mid-afternoon energy slump you tend to crave something sugary for a boost of energy. Our snacks will ensure you have a healthy source of energy to keep you and your team going until the end of the day”.
2. Office Pantry
Office Pantry’s mission is to bring food full of goodness to the workplace, featuring the food you want, when you need it the most. All the produce is British and each box can be tailored to what you need.
Giles Mitchell, Co-Founder at Office Pantry said, “We created Office Pantry because we were fed up of the faff of having to go out of our way to find healthy food at work, with the alternative being the unhealthy vending machine. Now we’re on the mission to help employees live longer and be happier at work by eating and drinking healthy food and drinks”.
3. Healthy Nibbles
Healthy Nibbles provides your workplace with easy, round-the-clock access to healthy snacks. They include options for different dietary requirements while ensuring they are always ultra-tasty.
Sara Roberts, CEO at Healthy Nibbles said, “As the leader in healthy office snack delivery, Healthy Nibbles is more than just a typical snack delivery service. Our goal is to help companies just like yours improve company culture, explore new workplace wellness ideas and increase employee engagement. If you’re looking for ways to make your office an environment where people are happy and healthy, you’ve landed in the right place”.
Graze has invented over 100 snack boxes that show off the more pleasurable side of healthy eating with a consideration of how busy people are. The contents of Graze boxes are nutritionist-approved and hand-picked just for you.
5. Snack Master
With a mission to make Mondays healthy, Snack Master delivers simple and convenient snacks to your office. They can even provide a snack consultation service to talk about budgets and how many mouths there are to feed.
In order to get some working examples of good practice, we asked a number of businesses what approaches they take to encourage healthy eating in the workplace. They explain how you can adapt your office by making small changes to improve productivity, energy levels and morale.
Retail specialists, Summit, said:
“We include many offerings at Summit; our free breakfasts provide our employees with important nutrients to help kick-start their day, making them feel more awake and ready for the day ahead.
Summit encourage staff to take a full hour for their lunch and leave their desks in order to eat in communal areas. We encourage staff to take regular technology breaks, and shared eating creates a sense of community giving employees a sense of belonging.”
Emma Davidson, Area Retail Manager for Express Vending, said:
“Many offices’ internal catering is still full of snacks and drinks containing refined sugars, saturated fat and non-complex carbohydrates, with a lack of nourishing food options available for staff.
By offering healthy and nutritious choices in the workplace, employees will be able to refuel with the types of food and drink that aid concentration and boost energy levels during the working day. As a lack of productivity causes the UK economy around £340bn every year, this small investment in nutrition could help to reduce these losses.”
It might be an idea to ask your employer if they have thought about providing fresh fruit or subsidising a supply of healthy snacks to keep staff alert and productive. After all, a productive working environment breeds profits. If you’re a manager or business owner and are interested in healthy eating at work, why not try introducing a healthy snack box to your office to see the benefit it has on your team. If you have a communal kitchen area you can encourage staff to prepare healthy, nutritional food by having the right equipment, e.g. coloured chopping boards, sharp knives and crockery, etc. At Euroffice, we have a wide range of catering equipment to help you stock up and encourage staff to eat healthily throughout the day. Let us know how you get on – tag us in your social media snaps with #EurofficeWellness