6 healthy snacks to munch on at work

6 healthy snacks to munch on at work

You spend 1/3rd of your day at work. Working for hours on end is sure to make you hungry, or crave tasty snacks. While it’s not all bad to snack on the occasional dessert or chip, snacking on them frequently can be harmful to your body and mind. That’s not to say you’re to remain hungry between meals. But, the type of snacks you have, and how they make you feel after you eat them is important to consider. 

Here are 6 off-beat, but nutritious snacks to make snacking tasty and healthy, and to nurture your mental wellbeing.

Snacking options to satiate your hunger and boost mental wellbeing

Research says that you snack on health-promoting food items when you’re hungry, and you binge on fat, sugar, and sodium-rich food items when you’re not hungry. This summarises why the snack you have must satiate your taste and hunger cravings.

Chia seeds, salmon, walnuts and soya beans

One food element integral for optimal brain function is fat. May seem surprising, but it’s a fact. Chips, burgers, and fries – all fast, and ultra-processed food we eat are loaded with unhealthy fat, which not only makes it difficult for your gut to process them, but they makes you feel sluggish and tired and simply worsens your mood. 

Andrew Huberman, Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine says, “Integrity of brain and nerve cells comes from fat because the nerve cells have an external double-layered membrane made of structural fat, which serves as a boundary between these cells. So, these healthy fats are important to maintain the health of neurons. Your meals or snacks should contain more of these healthy fats, and none of the unhealthy fats, to make a real difference to your mind.”

When you feed essential fatty acids to your brain regularly, you ensure a healthy brain function, and mental wellbeing in the short and long run. Omega-3, present in these essential fatty acids can help offset depression and enhance your mood. 

If you consume meat, cooked salmon, oysters, sardines, and caviar are excellent sources of omega-3. If not, there are several sources of plant-based omega 3 too:

  • Keep a cold water bottle on your desk in front of you, and ensure you add chia seeds to them. This is to make sure every time you drink water, you get a healthy dose of mood-boosting omega-3
  • Keep a small cup of walnuts and almonds tucked away in your desk drawer. Every time your colleagues whips out a bag of chips, you pop in a few walnuts.
  • In the morning before you start work, throw in a few soybeans and roast them for a few minutes. They fulfil your hunger pangs and taste good too.
  • Take at least 1.5-2 grams of these snacks every day.

Cabbage rolls and sunflower seeds

While this may not be the most appetizing snack option, especially on a tiring workday, cabbage has a profound impact on your mental health. The phosphatidylserine in cabbage is a lipid-like component that’s fantastic for cognition and boosting your mood. 

It prevents cognitive decline and greatly improves your mood. It may help alleviate symptoms of depression and promote a more positive outlook by modulating neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Phosphatidylserine has been studied for its potential role in slowing down age-related cognitive decline and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  • Make a salad with all your veggies and bring them to work, where you can season them with sunflower seeds
  • Steam or blanch large cabbage leaves until they are pliable, then fill them with a mixture of cooked grains, vegetables, and protein (such as quinoa, mushrooms, bell peppers, and ground turkey). Roll up the cabbage leaves and secure them with toothpicks. They make for an excellent snacking option.
  • You can also take a cup of yogurt and season them with sunflower seeds for a filling snack

Egg yolks

The afternoon energy slump is notorious for distracting you from work, leaving you feeling lethargic and exhausted. It’s hard to stay awake and focused during this time, especially if you had a hearty lunch. One of the best ways to regain your super-sharp concentration is to snack on egg yolks. 

They have significant amounts of choline, a vital nutrient that enhances chemical activity in the brain and allows for uninterrupted focus. The hindbrain is responsible for maintaining general states of alertness, and choline boosts its functioning. 

You’d be surprised to know that the treatment for Alzheimer's disease involves improving choline pathways to increase the brain’s capacity to focus and be alert. 

Andrew Huberman says, “Eggs are a rich source of nutrients for the brain. They have all the nutrients required for life and growth. That’s why when we were hunter-gatherers we consumed a lot of eggs.”

If you don’t consume eggs, your best bet to getting the required levels of choline would be potatoes, nuts, and seeds. No matter what form you take them, ensure you consume at least 1-2 grams per day.


Electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride, are minerals that carry electrical charges when dissolved in water. While they are commonly associated with hydration and physical exertion, their influence extends far beyond simple fluid balance. 

Electrolyte imbalances, even subtle ones, can lead to cognitive impairment, fatigue, and mood disturbances. That’s why bringing in electrolytes at regular intervals during the day is crucial.

Electrolyte-rich snacks offer a convenient way to replenish vital nutrients and support optimal brain function throughout the day. 

  • Coconut water is not only hydrating but also rich in potassium and sodium, making it an ideal choice for replenishing electrolytes after physical activity or during a busy workday. 
  • Mix coconut water with a splash of citrus juice (like lemon or lime) and a pinch of sea salt to create a refreshing and hydrating electrolyte drink. This homemade alternative to sugary sports drinks provides essential minerals without artificial additives.
  • Olives are a tasty and convenient source of sodium, making them an excellent option for replenishing electrolytes. Enjoy them as a snack on their own or incorporate them into salads.

Beans, spinach, seaweed

The areas that take care of mood regulation and motivation are present in the frontal cortical circuits, and one essential nutrient that fuels this process is creatine. It assists in averting mild depression and greatly improves mood. 

That’s why it’s one of the main ingredients in anti-depressants. When you consume this nutrient naturally, you feel energized, refreshed, and more focused to carry on with your day. Ensure you have at least 5 grams of creatine in your everyday diet. The best way to include them is by snacking on food items that are rich in creatine.

Instead of taking them in the form of supplements, check out the following food items to naturally replenish creatine levels:

  • Roasted, or air-fried beans
  • A handful of almonds
  • Blend spinach with frozen fruits like bananas, berries, and mango chunks, along with almond milk. Add a spoonful of honey for sweetness. Make this drink before you leave home and stock it in the office fridge to drink in the afternoons when you feel tired
  • Purchase pre-packaged roasted seaweed snacks, which are available in many grocery stores and online. They come in convenient single-serve packets and are perfect for munching on the go.


If you are a berry lover, you’d love this suggestion. 

Any thin-skinned berries that are purplish contain anthocyanins that benefit your mood and cognition. Anthocyanins might help create new brain cells and encourage the growth and specialization of neural stem cells. This could improve learning, memory, and cognitive flexibility. Anthocyanins support neuroplasticity (The brain's ability to adapt and reorganize in response to experiences, learning, and environmental changes) by promoting the growth of new neurons and strengthening synaptic connections between brain cells.

Andrew Huberman says, “Berries improve your cognitive performance and overall mental wellbeing. They have the potential to rescue DNA damage and slow down cognitive decline. They also boost verbal learning and memory function. They’re one of the best snacks for improving your mental health.”

If it’s the berry season, you can have your pick of the berries you want to munch on, and they’re all nutritious. Consume 400–600 mg per day, and you’ll start seeing significant improvement in your ability to focus, learn new information, retain it, and retrieve it easily. 

Studies show that your diet quality is associated with better mental health, in terms of depression, anxiety, stress, and overall general wellbeing. If you run low on macronutrients over time, you have a higher risk of developing mental health issues. Try replacing your regular office snacks with these healthy options and see what works for you.