In this article:
What is a Healthy Snack?
Why are Snacks Associated with a Good Mood?
What Types of Night Shift Snacks are Best for You?
Best Snacks for Night Shift Workers
Weight-loss Friendly Snacks for Night Shift.
Gluten-free Snacks for Night Shift.
Protein-rich Snacks for Night Shift.
Delicious Cheat Day Autumn Snacks for Night Shift with Recipes.
Remember the saying “You are what you eat” well, this can’t be any truer when it comes to snacks at work, especially when you work night shifts and staying awake is part of the deal, unless you got hired for a sleep study, then, lucky you. But if you are on the not so lucky end like me, keep reading… I have a lot of useful info to share with you!
Snacks that are high on carbs or sugar will give you a momentary feeling of fullness and happiness to only be followed by tiredness, heaviness and potentially a bad case of bloating that could turn into a very bad stomach ache real quick… therefore, the importance of bringing healthy snacks to work.
Now, what is a healthy snack then? you may ask… Well, you are in luck, in this article I will answer this and other relevant questions around this tiny piece of heaven we can put in our bag to keep us in a good mood at work.
What is a Healthy Snack?
By definition a snack is a small amount of food eaten between meals (yes, you read that right, small – reality can be tough sometimes) so in order for it to be a healthy one we have to stay away from simple carbs, soft drinks, cookies, white bread, cherry pie and so on.
By knowing that, we can then focus on complex carbs which are starches and food high in fiber for example.
For a list of healthy snacks and how to prepare them, keep reading… (I promise, this list will not disappoint) but first, let’s determine what is best for you to keep you cheerful at work.
Why are Snacks Associated with a Good Mood?
Well, if you ask me, snacks are the meaning of life, if you could see my desk right now you will be tempted to try the granola peanut butter balls I prepared to snack on as I write this, but in case you are not satisfied with my answer, here is what science has to say: Snacking gives your brain powerful nutrients that it needs to have improved serotonin levels.
And in case you didn’t know, improved serotonin means a better mood.
Now, you should also know that serotonin is produced in the gut, so being mindful of snacks that promote digestive tract health is the way to go.
What Type of Night Shift Snacks are Best for You?
It all depends on what your goals or requirements are, are you walking the weight-loss path, do you have special diet requirements like a gluten-free diet, are you looking to increase your protein intake or just browsing the web for simple and healthy snack ideas?
After you have a clear idea of what you need then it will be easier for you to choose from the healthy snack options below.
Best Snacks for Night Shift Workers
Weight-loss Friendly Snacks for Night Shift
Mixed Nuts are really good for your health. And to the naysayers, I have a surprise for you, although nuts can be high in HEALTHY fat and bring some calories into your diet, your brain needs that in order for you to not pass out at work.
Nuts are a wonderful source of nutrients such as protein, vitamins, fiber, minerals and fat. When you eat nuts you are less likely to suffer from heart disease and can be great to help you improve your immune system.
Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese
Celery is a great source of beta carotene, flavonoids, vitamin C and more than 12 kinds of additional antioxidants. Celery helps reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, blood vessels and organs.
But, if you put a celery stick in a bloody mary it is not going to be as beneficial, for this reason is best you pair celery with a cream cheese dip instead. (HR will definitely approve of the later)
Kale chips are a great option, especially because kale keeps its nutritional value after being fried. Kale is a wonderful source of calcium, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants and is high in fiber.
According to Mayo Clinic Kale chips are a low energy density food, meaning that you can eat a lot of them without adding many calories to your diet.
Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Oh yes, dear chocolate is also on this list, but it has to be dark chocolate (bye, bye snickers)
Dark chocolate has lots of necessary minerals humans should consume on a regular basis to stay healthy such as copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
Now, if you combine the benefits of dark chocolate with the benefits almonds have such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as reducing blood pressure they become the dynamic duo.
Gluten-free Snacks for Night Shift
Guacamole and tortilla chips.
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats (healthy fats that will help you feel fuller between meals) and are a rich source of fiber, they also contain a bunch of vitamins such as Vitamin B6, K, C and E as well as niacin, folate, riboflavin, potassium and pantothenic acid.
You see, guacamole and chips can be eaten not only on Taco Tuesday.
Rice crackers and hummus
Is all about balance, rice crackers are a great gluten-free choice, however, they can be digested quickly and eating them alone will make you feel hungry again faster, but do not worry because that is where hummus comes to the rescue.
Hummus is an amazing source of protein and fiber, it also has important vitamins and minerals such as copper, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and iron. By pairing them, you get not only a delicious snack but also the perfect balance.
Raisins are a great choice, they come ready to eat so prep time is out of the way and they contain tartaric acid, a protein known for its anti-inflammatory properties, they improve intestinal function and can help regulate the bacteria in your gut which is great, because nobody wants unbalanced gut bacteria.
Remember, your gut is your second brain.
Zucchini is a superfood, it is high in antioxidants, promotes healthy digestions due to its richness in water and fiber which reduce constipation and symptoms of gut disorders.
Oh sweet bananas, here is another favorite of mine. Bananas are rich in nutrients, may help improve sugar levels, support digestive health, help you feel fuller for longer aaaaand are full of antioxidants.
So yes, get your bananas in your lunch bag before you go bananas at work.
Protein-rich Snacks for Night Shift
Meet lovers, this one’s for you. Beef jerky is a good source of lean protein and is also rich in iron, calcium, folate and vitamins C and A.
This is another simple option as it is ready to go, it doesn’t take a lot of space and it won’t go bad if you leave it in your lunch bag for a few hours.
Turkey is a superfood as it contains iron, potassium, phosphorus and B vitamins, it also has zinc which will help to improve your immune system and may keep your vision loss at bay.
Turkey roll-ups are super easy to make, all you need is a tortilla wrap, a cream-cheese spread with some garlic,white cheddar and some other herbs you may like, add your turkey and voila…
Tuna is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is responsible for helping the body produce new red cells.
Fatty acids like Omega 3 help lower cholesterol, boost brain function and improve eye health.
Tuna can be fresh or canned, but if canned all you need are some crackers to pair it with and boom, there is an effortless healthy snack to take with you.
Hard Boiled Eggs
If you want lean protein, look no more, hard boiled eggs are the way to go, also it is super easy to make them, they stay fresh even if you leave them in your lunch bag for a few hours.
Hard boiled eggs are a great source of vitamin A, B5, B12, as well as Selenium, Folate and Phosphorus.
For the extra busy or forgetful people like me, the best last minute snack you can put in your lunch bag is definitely cheese.
Cheese is a wonderful source of calcium, protein and fat, it also comes packed with Vitamin A and B12.
Delicious Cheat Day Autumn Snacks for Night Shift with Recipes!
Although I did not write a paragraph below any of my other lonely headers I have to here and it is because as we all know autumn is here and what best to dedicate a section to delicious Autumn Snacks.
I called them Cheat-Day Snacks because this post is all about healthy choices but we are all human right… we have the right to have a “healthy-sweet” snack once in a while… if you get to read this is because I was able to convince my editor that this is valuable content, so, here we go…
Salt Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds
According to WebMD Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin K, both of which are important in helping wounds heal. They also contain zinc, a mineral that helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium and copper.
Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a superfood and an amazing source of fiber, iron, selenium, B vitamins and potassium. They lower cholesterol, promote weight-loss, skin protection, digestive health and regulate blood sugar.
Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts
As mentioned previously on this post, nuts are a wonderful source of nutrients such as protein, vitamins, fiber, minerals and fat and making this recipe will surely give you a new option to consume them.
Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter
As the saying goes “One apple a day keeps the doctor away” and this is because apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants. When you consume apples you lower the risk of having to deal with chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Apples promote gut and brain health.
Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
Squash seeds are delicious snacks and are a great source of fiber and protein, they are said to promote prostate health, lower blood sugar levels and help with the symptoms of arthritis. And as if the info above doesn’t convince you to try them you may want to know that some people say they can also act as an aphrodisiac.
This list has been created with night shift workers in mind, however, regardless of your schedule these snacks will help you stay healthy, in a better mood and focused at work.
If you enjoyed this article please share with your friends and family.