A healthy and tasty snack can do wonders for your productivity. It can put a smile on your face and maybe even make work enjoyable :)
But so many snacks out there are full of fake flavors and empty calories. Many snacks claim to be natural, clean and healthy, but what’s on their packaging can be misleading. When energy levels are down, it’s easy to grab whatever is convenient, even if it doesn’t really satisfy or provide the steady, clean energy that you need.
Worry not. Here is a list of the 10 best snacks for work (home or office). And this is what makes them the best:
- These snacks require no prep!
- All but one are plant-based.
- Most are straight from nature. Talk about minimally processed ;)
- No fillers. No icky ingredients. These snacks make it easy to eat clean.
- Above all, they are all delightfully tasty!
1. Lightly salted peanuts (or a spoon of peanut butter)
You’ve heard it before - peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts. Does it matter? Not one bit! We think that peanuts (roasted, salted and lightly spiced) are one of the best tasting foods you can eat! Peanut butter is immensely popular for good reason - it tastes so good.
Peanuts are criminally underrated when it comes to the nutrition they provide. 100 grams of peanuts contain:
- Calories: 567
- Water: 7%
- Protein: 25.8 grams
- Carbs: 16.1 grams
- Sugar: 4.7 grams
- Fiber: 8.5 grams
- Fat: 49.2 grams
- Saturated: 6.28 grams
- Monounsaturated: 24.43 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 15.56 grams
- Omega-6: 15.56 grams
Plus a ton of important vitamins and minerals! (1)
As you can see, peanuts are high in calories, which means they provide a lot of energy. They are high in healthy fats, which means they are deeply satisfying. And they are exceptionally high in clean, plant protein.
Our suggestion: When choosing peanut butter make sure the jar contains no more than 2 ingredients - peanuts (roasted) and a touch of salt. Everything else is just cheap fillers. Same for choosing a bag or jar of peanuts. Make sure it only has roasted peanuts, some salt, and maybe some paprika or chilli powder. Avoid the ones with a bunch of ingredients that mask the simple yet amazing taste of peanuts. You can also just buy roasted peanuts with salt and add a dash of paprika to the bag.
Bananas are an absolute gift from nature. They contain several essential nutrients and provide benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss. They are so satisfying. And they are ridiculously convenient to carry with you.
One medium sized banana provides:
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 11% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Manganese: 14% of the DV
- Net carbs: 24 grams
- Fiber: 3.1 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Bananas don’t spike blood sugar levels. They are medium on the glycemic index. They provide steady energy over time. (2)
Our suggestion: While one type of banana, the Cavendish, dominates grocery stores around the world, some stores and local markets may offer different varieties like red, baby, or manzano bananas. Try them. You’ll be surprised at the range of flavors bananas can offer.
3. Golden Cardamom Cashew bars (with Turmeric)
The #1 best tasting nutrition bar out there! We made Golden bars because it was so hard to find nutrition bars that taste great and feel good to your body. We accomplished this by selecting real food ingredients that create amazing taste and health benefits when put together. Here’s what’s inside Golden bars:
- Cashews. They are full of vitamins and flavonoid antioxidants. They are high in protein and healthy fats that leave you feeling satisfied and provide sustained energy.
- Dates. They are packed with essential minerals. They are high in fiber which can be beneficial for blood sugar control. Dates provide slow-release carbs for steady energy.
- Chicory Root Fiber. It is composed of inulin which is a prebiotic fiber that helps you have a healthy gut. Learn more.
- Cardamom. It has a sublime flavor. It is high in antioxidants which protect from cell damage. Learn more.
- Turmeric. It contains curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Piperine from black pepper helps retain more curcumin during metabolism. Fats from cashews help the body absorb more curcumin. Learn more.
- Himalayan Pink Salt. This is just a better-tasting salt. It adds a nice balance to the sweetness of the dates.
- Black Pepper. It is rich in antioxidants. It contains piperine which increases the absorption of curcumin significantly. Learn more.
Our suggestion: Buy two boxes and get free shipping ;). Golden bars are great for fueling workouts, runs, swims, bike rides, and for recovery from exercise. Traveling? Make sure to pack some Golden bars so you can eat clean on the move. Add a bar to your kid’s lunchbox for something tasty, healthy and fun. Get some Golden bars now.
Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Mulberries, Blackberries… and so many more to choose from. First things first, berries have such amazing flavors. They are a wonderful treat. Add to that, berries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for reducing oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress plays a major part in the development of chronic and degenerative illnesses. Learn more. Research shows that berries are helpful in reducing oxidative stress (3, 4, 5).
Berries are low in calories, so they are probably best if you only need a light snack. But they are packed with nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K1
Berries are also high in fiber, which should be an important part of your diet. Learn more.
Our suggestion: Berries are highly perishable. They typically only stay fresh for a few days. So get a small box of one kind of berry, enjoy it, and then get a fresh box of a different kind.
What a versatile veggie. Carrots can be baked, steamed, fried, used in cakes and smoothies, added to stews… the list goes on. But best of all, carrots are great to eat raw. Cut them as slices or sticks, thick or thin, and crunch away. These are some of the main nutrients you get from of carrots, in addition to carbs and fiber (6):
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin H/Biotin
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin B6
Our suggestion: Try all the different colored carrots you can get your hands on - purple, white, yellow, and of course orange. Carrots make it easy to eat the rainbow. It is fun to notice subtle differences in taste between different colored carrots. Dipping them in hummus or greek yogurt is a great way to make it a more filling snack.
6. Dark chocolate
We think dark chocolate is one of the things that make life worth living. Does that make us chocolate fanatics?! So be it. The complexity and depth of taste that chocolate can offer is second to none. And dark chocolate has some surprising health benefits:
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains (7):
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the DV for iron
- 58% of the DV for magnesium
- 89% of the DV for copper
- 98% of the DV for manganese
100 grams is the average size of most dark chocolate bars. Please don’t eat a whole bar in one sitting! Even if you break it up into 10 pieces and eat one everyday, those are still impressive nutrient daily values for a small piece of heavenly goodness.
Our suggestion: Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate everyday. We recommend Raaka. They make unroasted dark chocolate. They have some terrific flavors. Another favorite is Amano, especially their Dos Rios.
7. Greek yogurt
There is just something special about greek yogurt. Thick, creamy and slightly tangy. We love it. It is loaded with energy and nutrients. One 200g serving of Fage 5% yogurt has (8):
- Calories: 190
- Total Fat: 10g 13% of the DV
- Saturated Fat: 7g 36% of the DV
- Carbs: 6g 2% of the DV
- Protein: 18g 36% of the DV
- Calcium: 240mg 20% of the DV
- Potassium: 300mg 6% of the DV
Our suggestion: Bulgarian yogurt is similar to Greek yogurt, but with a bolder flavor. Definitely worth trying. Alexandre farms makes amazing dairy products, including this organic A2/A2 yogurt.
8. Roasted pumpkin seeds
The humble pumpkin seed is small but mighty. It is packed with protein and healthy and necessary fats. It is loaded with nutrients. Just 1 ounce (28g) of pumpkin seeds contains (9):
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
- Vitamin K: 18% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 33% of the DV
- Manganese: 42% of the DV
- Magnesium: 37% of the DV
- Iron: 23% of the DV
- Zinc: 14% of the DV
- Copper: 19% of the DV
Pumpkin seeds have extraordinary health benefits. They are high in antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is related to severe chronic diseases. There is research that links pumpkin seeds to prevention of certain cancers (10). Studies also show that pumpkin seeds can improve heart health, fertility and sleep quality.
Our suggestion: Pumpkin seeds are fun to eat by the spoonful or straight from your palm :). They are also a nice crunchy addition to a nut mix or to a cup of yogurt. Keep a bag of roasted pumpkin nearby.
Takes a little bit of prep, in that you have to cut it open and get rid of the seed, but it’s completely worth it. It is no surprise that avocados are so popular. They are just wonderfully tasty and filling, not to mention nutrient-dense. One small 100 gram avocado has (11):
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
Our suggestion: If you have it handy, drizzle some high-quality olive oil onto the avocado half, sprinkle some coarse salt, add a dash of paprika and dig in with a spoon. A real treat for your senses. And incredibly healthy!
Our favorite snacking nut. Cashews are just so satisfying to eat. Grab a handful and enjoy the taste and many benefits of cashews (12):
- Calories: 157
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 12 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Copper: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Magnesium: 20% of the DV
- Manganese: 20% of the DV
- Zinc: 15% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Selenium: 10% of the DV
- Thiamine: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
Our suggestion: Enjoy cashews raw or roasted (preferably roasted dry, not in oil). Fresh raw cashews have a delightful crunch to them. Cashews from the Indian state of Goa are some of the best. Keep things interesting by adding other nuts to the rotation - Almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, macadamias, etc.
Bonus: Lightly salted banana chips
Our suggestion: We prefer banana chips fried in peanut oil and lightly salted. They just taste better. See if you can find them at ethnic grocery stores, like Indian stores. Banana chips at regular grocery stores are usually sweetened. Avoid them.
We hope this list gives you plenty of options for snacking like a pro at work. We see snack time as a great opportunity to give your body something clean, healthy and tasty!
What do you think? What are your favorite snacks that belong on this list? Let us know in the comments.