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10 Healthy Snacks for Busy Healthcare Professionals

Published 28 July 15 10:10 AM

10 Healthy Snacks for Busy Healthcare Professionals

In a high-stress work environment, your health can sometimes fall to the wayside. Hours may go by before you realize that growling you hear is your empty stomach. And with no time to lose, health snack ideas may seem unappealing when compared to the candy bar in your purse.

No matter how hectic your schedule may be, it’s important that you take care of yourself, especially when it comes to your diet. You may care for the needs of multiple patients, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own health.

Despite what you may think, eating healthy doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are many convenient, portable snacks that do not come from a vending machine. Here are some of our favorite healthy snacks for the hardworking healthcare professional.

1. Bananas – This may seem like an obvious choice, but we can’t stress enough the benefits of eating bananas. Not only are bananas rich in potassium, but they are also filling, meaning they’re an ideal snack for those long hour shifts.

2. Nuts and seeds – A great source of protein and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are another nutritious option for the healthcare professional. Spread some nut butter on bread for a quick sandwich, or mix nuts and seeds with whole grain cereal or dried fruit for a homemade trail mix.

3. Granola Bars or Fruit & Nut Bars – Not all snack bars are created equal. When making your selection, steer clear of any granola bars or fruit & nut bars that are loaded with sugar. Instead, you’ll want to stick with a more natural bar that may contain ingredients like almonds, dates, cashews, cranberries and so on. If unsure, brands like LaraBar and KIND are your best bet and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

4. Yogurt – Yogurt brings so much to the table! When you’re picking a yogurt, keep an eye out for the National Yogurt Association’s “Live & Active Cultures” seal. If you see this seal on your yogurt container, it means your yogurt contains beneficial organisms that help regulate your digestion and prevent intestinal infections. With yogurt, you’ll also get a whopping dose of calcium, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and more.

5. Hummus and Veggies – Hummus offers the ultimate combo of protein and healthy fats. Chickpeas are packed with fiber, iron and many B vitamins. Make a homemade batch of hummus early in the week, or buy it ahead of time at your store, and include fresh veggies for dipping.

6. String Cheese – String cheese makes for a convenient snack when you’re on the go. Just throw one in your lunch bag on your way out the door. Choose a lighter string cheese made of part-skim mozzarella for a snack that’s lower in calories but high in protein.

7. Cereal – For a crunchy snack that’s packed with nutrients, fill a snack bag with a serving of cereal. Avoid cereals that are high in sugar and stick to the healthier options: MultiGrain Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Kashi GoLean, etc.

8. Edamame – “Edamame” is just a fancy way of saying unripened green soybeans. This tasty snack is full of essential fatty acids, dietary fiber and numerous vitamins. Prepare edamame anyway you like, whether you wish to steam, boil or roast these soybeans.

9. Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are sure to satisfy your hunger, as they are packed with fiber and nutrients. These can be cooked in the microwave or baked at home and reheated later.

10. Hard-Boiled Egg – Hard-boiled eggs are a natural source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. If you want to cut back on calories, scoop out the yolk and eat only the egg white. Prepare them yourself or buy them from the store ready-made. 

If you’re concerned about your health, add some or all of these snacks to your diet. To avoid temptation, pack healthier snacks ahead of time and eat every few hours. Store your healthy snacks in an insulated lunch bag or cooler for easy access and to keep food fresh throughout your work shift.

Also, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your workday. Not only is water a necessity, but drinking water can curb cravings by making you feel full faster. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle within reach. Place the water bottle at eye level for a visual reminder to drink often.

Keep all of these healthy snacks in mind the next time you go grocery shopping. Your stomach will thank you in the long run! 

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