The work day can be extremely busy, and when you’re focused on the tasks at hand and time is short, choosing healthy foods for lunch often becomes a low priority. If you’re in the habit of grabbing whatever eats are easily available, these tips will help you to eat healthy during working hours.

Where to Eat

For the sake of speed, many people eat their lunch sitting at their desks. But research shows that eating in a restaurant-type setting as opposed to a work environment has a relaxing effect. It seems to help workers connect better with others.

If you usually eat lunch at your desk, you’re possibly multi-tasking by answering emails, taking work calls, or reading through reports while you’re eating. The lack of focus on what you consume can lead to overeating because you’re not listening when your stomach tells you its had enough.

Leaving food standing if you get distracted or called into a last-minute meeting and then picking at it later after it’s been exposed to uneven temperatures can be dangerous as it can breed bacteria.

Meet with colleagues in the cafeteria or take a stroll to the nearest green area and people-watch as you eat. A total removal of body and mind from your immediate working environment helps you to mentally unwind and ultimately, focus better on the tasks you have to tackle once you’re back at your desk.

What to Eat

Some ideas of healthy foods to eat at work are:

  • Whole fruits, berries, and unsweetened dried fruit are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. The antioxidants in berries help prevent heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes.
  • Fresh or sun-dried tomatoes are high in vitamins C and E as well as iron.
  • Salt-free raw or roasted nuts contain plenty of unsaturated fatty acids, assist in lowering cholesterol levels, and their fiber content helps you feel full quicker.
  • Low-fat yogurt is nutritious because it’s a good source of protein, calcium, and potassium. Naturally occurring and added probiotics in yogurt promote good digestive processes.
  • Whole-wheat bread or crackers with low-salt canned fish or mashed hard-boiled eggs help fill you up and provide vital fiber, protein, and vitamins.
  • Water, flavored with fresh fruit slices if preferred, and coffee or tea with low-fat or fat-free milk and minimal sugar help keep the body well hydrated.

Eating healthy at work needs a little forethought, so plan a week’s lunches at a time and spend a few minutes each morning packing your lunch. After eating healthy foods at lunchtime, you’ll have more long-lasting energy and a sharper mind to finish the day.

Sources:

https://www.plos.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/pone-08-07-sommer.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/7-tips-eating-while-you-work?page=2

http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/berries/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635?pg=1