Healthy snacks and productivity: how can eating well impact your performance?

According to the International Labour Organisation, good nutrition, including snacks during the working day, increases productivity by 20%. What's more, it has been proven that a healthy diet has a positive impact on employee health, reducing absenteeism and increasing well-being in the workplace, which also has an impact on retention rates, which are reduced.

In the workplace, encouraging healthy eating puts the health and well-being of employees at the centre of our concerns. The good habits that are established in the workplace have positive repercussions in everyday life. It helps prevent the onset of chronic diseases, improves sleep quality and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, 30% of deaths in Belgium are the result of poor eating habits, and chronic diseases are the leading cause of death. As an employer, it is important to play a beneficial role for employees and promote their well-being by helping them to take healthy steps.

How can you encourage healthy eating within your company?

Raising awareness of healthy eating

The first step is to raise awareness among the whole team by explaining the negative effects of an unthinking, unhealthy diet. Why not put up a poster in the kitchen area with figures, which often speak louder than words. You can also bring in a nutritionist for a team building event.

Remove foods that are too sweet or too fatty

Too often in companies, vending machines are placed in the corridors for convenience. Yes, these snacks are easily accessible and affordable... but at what cost to the health and well-being of your employees? There are several alternatives that make it easy to incorporate healthy snacks and drinks into companies. Why not turn to bulk options, where you can select products that are sourced locally and whose composition is known, or packaged snacks, which also offer plenty of hassle-free options.

Make time for breaks 

Quality breaks also have their share of benefits in terms of employee performance. You need to be able to take time away from the office, because our performance is not the same throughout the day. So it's important to know your limits and get some fresh air when you need it. 

So give priority to team breaks with quality snacks and an unusual drink. At Fika, we've set up a one-stop shop so you can find what you're looking for in just a few clicks.

The criteria for a good, healthy snack

A performance-enhancing snack is above all one that avoids the yo-yo effect of blood sugar spikes, leading to bouts of fatigue throughout the day. To determine whether a snack offers real added value during a working day, it should provide protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates.

  • Protein helps regulate blood sugar levels and therefore appetite
  • Fibre helps with the digestion process and, like protein, prolongs the satiety effect.
  • Complex carbohydrates, with a low glycaemic index, are to be favoured because they protect us from blood sugar peaks and help the body maintain a constant energy level throughout the day. 

What healthy snacks should I choose?

  • Dried fruit: It's rich in lipids, which helps reduce the risk of cholesterol. They are also particularly concentrated in nutrients.
  • Granola: The oats in granola are a significant source of fibre. As mentioned above, fibre helps maintain a constant level of energy over the long term.
  • Cereal bars: Made up of fibre and nutrients, cereal bars help us keep going over the long term when we're hungry. They provide a constant supply of energy, with no blood sugar spikes.
  • Dark chocolate: A source of antioxidants, dark chocolate is an ally for our health (although it should be eaten sparingly). It is rich in nutrients and is thought to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It's up to you!

Now you know all about the importance of healthy eating in the workplace and the direct link with performance at work. Don't delay in investing in the well-being of your teams by offering them healthy alternatives to snacks and drinks full of added sugars and preservatives.

The benefits of healthy snacks at work
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