Healthy Snacks for Busy Office People
We have the guts… to talk about your guts. Don’t scroll away just yet - we’d be gutted, and we promise it won’t be gross! Here’s the thing: at Smunch, we like to munch. And you probably do, too. But too often, we are tempted by those (OK, we’ll admit) quite delicious little treats… the ones with crispy wafers, sweet chocolate, fruity gummies and crunchy potato slices. They’re everywhere, it’s so easy - but you deserve better!
The question is: what is better? Obviously, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what else can you snack on and not get bored? We have a few suggestions that are “yummy yummy and good for your tummy”. Ahem… right. Back to being grown-up.
Know your pres and pros
As you probably know, your guts are full of bacteria - good and bad ones. The good ones are those that help us absorb the nutrients extracted from our food. They also boost our immune system and help our metabolism. Also, in the long run, microbiota form colonies to fight obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease and some forms of cancer. Sounds pretty good, huh? But how can we keep those little fellas happy? Indeed, the best way to support them is by providing them with prebiotics and probiotics.
Probiotics are those ingredients that already include bacteria and fungi, meaning that your body does not have to grow its own. Prebiotics, however, induce the health, strength and efficiency of the existing bacteria. Since we want you to be happy and healthy, we’ve made it our mission to find out what snacks are full of these magic pres and pros. This way you know what to stock up on for when you next get the munchies at work.
What to dig in to
To begin with, there are a few foods and food groups you can’t go wrong with. For prebiotics, these include:
- grains, cereals and legumes (such as oats, whole wheat or lentils)
- fruit (especially kiwis and bananas)
- leafy greens (like spinach or kale)
- certain vegetables (for example endives or asparagus)
- rooty veggies (like Jerusalem artichokes or jicamas)
As you can see, fibre is the key, as it produces fermentation byproducts in your body - something those bacteria are really keen on! So as a rule of thumb, you can say that anything dark green, rooty or wholemeal is not such a bad bet. We know it’s hard to boil up those roots while in the office (unless you need an excuse to disappear to the tea kitchen for the best part of an hour?), but you can keep bananas, almonds and raw cereal bars at hand, right?
Yes, there are good (!) bacteria
Want your quick fix of live bacteria? It may sound yucky, but you’re probably consuming them every day already. Probiotic foods, which are high of these little bacteria and fungi, are all about fermentation. Fermented foods are those that are pickled, but also include various dairy products. They can be:
- pickled cabbages (such as sauerkraut or kimchi)
- pickled snacks like cured olives or beetroot slices
- cultured dairy products (including yogurt, buttermilk, kefir or cheese) - and yes, those made from soy count as well!
- fermented drinks, like kombucha
We’re aware your team might hate you if you open up a tin of sauerkraut in the office, but hey, a yogurt is fine, right? Or some olives, and some feta cubes, or better yet a big antipasti platter… we’d better focus, we’re getting hungry here!
See? It’s not that hard, eh? Also, it’s never too late to start: you can cultivate a whole new microbiota (or gut flora) in just 24 hours, which is pretty cool. And really, what’s the point in eating a healthy Smunch during your break and then destroying your efforts by topping it off with sweets that are full of sugar, artificial colors and chemical flavors? You are what you eat. (Although we’re wondering at which point we ate a pug…) Be good to yourself - you deserve it. Visit our website to find out more about our Food Philosophy.
The Smunch Team!