Pack snacks for productivity – A natural guide to workplace wellness (part 4)

August 29, 2016

That three-o’clock slump can easily hit the best of us. Lunch seems like it happened yesterday and there’s still a long slog until dinner. It’s in this mid-afternoon timeframe that our blood sugar starts to dip, taking our energy and concentration with it. Grabbing a healthy snack with complex carbohydrates is a great way to stave off that mid-afternoon rut.

Try foods high in antioxidants, such as grapes or nuts, which can help improve your body’s response to stress and ability to fight stress-related free radicals [1].You can also take an antioxidant supplement, such as a greens supplement, or turmeric for the same benefits.

Many people try to avoid carbohydrates, but certain complex carbohydrates, such as beans and legumes, are packed with fibre, which slows glucose absorption to give our brains a steady supply of energy. Snacking on the right complex carbohydrates can lessen the effects of drastic changes in blood sugar levels, a cause of irritability, lack of concentration and overeating.

Studies show that when stress-prone individuals are subjected to stress, they fare better when they’ve been eating a high-carbohydrate diet as opposed to a high-protein diet. This is because eating more complex carbohydrates increases our levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that calms and relaxes, reduces stress hormones, improves mental performance, and enhances mood.

Some great at-your-desk snacks that deliver complex carbohydrates include:

  • cucumbers and hummus;        dates-1603127_640
  • trail mix with nuts and seeds;
  • dried fruit including dates, raisins or apricots; and
  • apple slices with organic nut butter.

 

Visit your local CHFA Member health food store for more inspiration on healthy snack ideas.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17460212

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