Understanding how to harness the potential of protein can make a profound difference in workplace performance. When you're busy at work, you may be tempted to reach for quick fixes like caffeine or sugary snacks. Only to start feeling sluggish soon after. However, eating protein at work can keep your energy levels high all day.
We're exploring protein at work today and finding out the many different fruits, vegetables and snacks that you can consume at work to keep your energy levels high. We have all the healthy office snacks you may need at Ripe, but more on us later. First, let's dive into why protein is important at work.
Why is Protein Important at Work?
Protein plays a vital role in sustaining energy levels throughout the day. Protein-rich foods provide a lasting source of energy, preventing mid-morning and afternoon slumps that can hinder productivity. Secondly, protein supports cognitive function. Amino acids from protein are the building blocks of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are critical for maintaining focus, concentration, and mental clarity. This means that a protein-rich diet can help you stay sharp and alert, making it easier to tackle tasks efficiently.
Protein also promotes appetite control. It helps you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of frequent snacking on unhealthy options. This not only contributes to better eating habits but also prevents distracting hunger pangs during work hours. Protein is essential at work because it provides sustained energy, enhances cognitive function, and supports continued healthy eating habits, all of which are vital for maintaining productivity and performing at your best in the workplace.
Most adults need about 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day. For the average woman, this is 45g, and it's about 55g for men. Understanding what foods are rich in protein can help you plan lunches and snacks at work.
Best High Protein Fruit
While fruits are not typically as protein-rich as other food groups like meat or dairy, some fruits still contain moderate amounts of protein. Here are five fruits that are higher in protein compared to their counterparts, and can also work as healthy office snacks.
- Guava is one of the highest-protein fruits, containing about 2 grams of protein per handful. It's also rich in vitamin C, fibre, and various antioxidants.
- Blackberries provide around 1 gram of protein per handful, making them a protein-rich option among berries. They are also a good source of fibre and vitamin C.
- Oranges contain just under 1 gram of protein per handful. They are well known for their high vitamin C content and provide hydration with their juicy flesh.
- Mulberries offer approximately 1 gram of protein per handful. They are also rich in iron, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Jackfruit, in its ripe form, contains about 1.25 grams of protein per handful. It's a versatile fruit often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes due to its texture.
Best High Protein Vegetables
While these vegetables are relatively higher in protein compared to others, it's important to remember that they still have a lower protein content than other food groups like meat, dairy, legumes, and grains. To meet your protein needs, it's often necessary to incorporate a variety of proteins into your nutrition at work (that could also work as healthy office snacks if you’re prepared to get creative).
- Spinach contains about 1.5 grams of protein per handful when cooked. It's also rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium.
- Broccoli provides approximately 1.3 grams of protein per handful when cooked. It's a versatile vegetable packed with fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Brussel sprouts contain around 1 gram of protein per handful when cooked. They are also a good source of fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Asparagus offers about 1.5 grams of protein per handful when cooked. It's low in calories and provides various vitamins and minerals.
- Artichokes are extremely high in protein, with approximately 2 grams of protein per cooked handful. They are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants.
Eight Steps to Become a Protein Powerhouse
Becoming a protein powerhouse at work is a smart investment in your performance and wellbeing. By incorporating these dietary strategies into your daily routine, you can enhance your ability to excel at work, stay focused, and achieve your goals with vigour and vitality.
Share these steps with your employees or coworkers, to enable a healthier and working office environment.
- Start your day right. A protein-rich breakfast can include options like eggs, yoghurt, cottage cheese, or a smoothie with protein powder. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer, preventing mid-morning energy crashes and cravings. Pair your protein source with complex carbohydrates like wholegrain toast or oatmeal for sustained energy.
- Snack smart. Protein-rich snacks, such as almonds or guava, provide a quick energy boost and keep you alert. Hummus with veggies is not only a source of protein but also fibre, promoting fullness. String cheese is a convenient, portable snack with protein. Ensure you have healthy office snacks already at work, or packed up ready to go.
- Lean proteins. Choose lean protein sources like skinless poultry, turkey, tofu, or fish in your lunch. Lean proteins are lower in saturated fats and calories, promoting heart health and overall wellbeing.
- Fruit and veg. Follow our above guidance on the best types of fruit and vegetables to eat if you’re looking for a quick workplace protein boost.
- Hydrate. Staying hydrated is crucial for digestion and the transport of nutrients, including proteins, to cells. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and reduced cognitive function, impacting work performance.
- Snack smart, again. In the afternoon, opt for protein-rich snacks like hard-boiled eggs, yoghurt, or a protein bar. These snacks provide sustained energy and help you maintain focus during the later part of the day.
- Prepare meals. Knowing what to eat in advance will enable you to have nutritious options readily available. This reduces the temptation to rely on unhealthy, convenience foods when you're hungry and pressed for time.
- Stay mindful. Protein supports the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which affect mood and concentration. Consuming an adequate amount of protein can positively impact your mental wellbeing.
While protein is important, overeating can lead to discomfort and sluggishness.
Pay attention to portion sizes to ensure you're getting enough protein without overindulging. Everyone's protein needs are different, so monitor how different foods affect your energy levels and mood. Adjust your protein intake as needed to find the right balance for your individual requirements.
How Ripe Can Help Your Office Snacking
Incorporating Ripe delivery service into your office snack options is a simple and effective way to promote healthy eating habits among employees, contribute to their wellbeing, and create a workplace culture that prioritises health and productivity.
Ripe’s delivery service for workplaces is a simple and effective way for employers to support the health and wellbeing of their employees. We believe in the power of healthy eating to let you excel. Supplying fresh local produce in our office fruit boxes, passionately shipping seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, and even dairy and non-dairy milks to homes and workplaces all over London is what we do.