Healthy Snacks To Give You An Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

There seems to be a particular time of day when it’s common to experience a bit of a slump. Yep, we’re talking about the afternoon, when no matter what you’re doing, your body seems to want to call it a day. But while your mind and body want to lay down and rest, you need to push through. So what can you do? We’ve put together a list of the best snacks that will get you through the afternoon slump and keep you productive. Make a note to add these to your grocery list!

Taste Those Sweet Berries

bowl of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries on top of a napkin with mint
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

When looking to get some energy back into the body, snacks high in fiber are a good start. One of the best fiber foods are berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

This snack can go with a lot of other foods like yogurt or a small salad, which will give the body some protein and healthy fat. They are also loaded with antioxidants that protect cells, improve blood sugar, and reduce disease.

Edamame Will Boost Your Energy All Day Long

close up of steamed salted edamame soy beans
Dünzl/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Dünzl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Edamame is a relatively easy snack to get your hands on and it tastes delicious no matter the way it’s served. Some prefer it raw, others like it steamed, and it can also be prepared dry-roasted.

This snack is guarenteed to boost your energy because it contains protein, magnesium, and iron. These factors help oxygen flow to the cells of the body. Avoid eating more than a cup and try flavoring them with any spice and seasoning of your choosing.

Keep it Simple with Hard-Boiled Eggs

3 and a half hard boiled eggs on a plate
Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Hard-boiled eggs are a superfood with numerous nutritional benefits that are hard to find in other snacks. Eggs contain high amounts of vitamins, calcium, zinc, and more. They also are packed with protein that will give your body energy long after you eat them.

Even though eggs can be prepared in many ways, it may not be that convenient for someone who just needs a quick bite. Hard-boiled eggs are one of the healthiest options and will stay fresh up to a week after they’re made.

Dunk Your Favorite Food in Hummus

a couple varieties of hummus with pine nuts, olive oil, and pomegranite with pita bread
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Almost anything can taste delicious if it’s dipped in hummus. This Mediterranean dish contains chickpeas, sesame seed paste, oil, garlic, and lemon. These combined ingredients provide the body with great amounts of energy.

Try pairing hummus with some whole grain pita bread, fresh vegetables, or pretzel sticks. Hummus is also perfect for those who are on restrictive diets because it’s naturally gluten, nut, and dairy-free. Just one serving is low in calories and high in protein, fiber, potassium, and iron.

Take a Bite Out of Some Dried Fruit

dates set up to be sold at a market
Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

If someone is looking for a tiny snack to get their motor running, dried fruit is a great option. It’s best to eat about one handful at a time because dried fruit is usually high in calories.

It also serves as a perfect snack to combine with other foods, such as a trail mix with nuts and dark chocolate. Dried fruit can either come packaged at the grocery store or be made fresh with a dehydrator.

Popcorn is a Party in Your Mouth

popcorn
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

When popcorn is made without all the butter and salt it can be a healthy snack option. It’s high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full, longer, without weighing you down. It’s best to air-pop the kernels and keep the toppings to a minimum to retain all the health benefits.

Try cooking about three cups of kernels in just a little bit of olive or coconut oil. Next, add about two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese for taste and extra protein. It might even be better than typical movie theater popcorn.

Strengthen Your Immune System With Beef Jerky

close up of beef jerky
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Tannis Toohey/Toronto Star via Getty Images

As the afternoon looms on and you start to feel the energy dip, beef jerky can be a good way to get some protein. It contains about 9.41 grams of protein per 1-ounce and supplies key vitamins and minerals.

Fresh meat products tend to have iron and zinc, which help boost the immune system. Iron helps with the production of red blood cells and zinc can heal wounds. When looking for beef jerky to purchase, get one with that’s thinly cut with low amounts of saturated fat and sodium.

It’s Not Cheesy to Eat Cheese

someone taking a piece of sliced cheese out of the wheel
Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images
Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Cheese provides a good source of vitamin A and B-complex and is full of protein, which makes it a great afternoon snack that won’t put you to sleep. Cheese tends to have a bad reputation because it’s the main ingredient in foods such as pizza, macaroni and cheese, and cheeseburgers.

The key to cheese is to not overdo it. Health experts recommend that people eat only a few slices per week because humans need a small amount of sodium. It’s also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.

Add More Seeds to Your Diet

a person pouring an assortment of seeds in a bag
Pedro Costa Gomes/AFP/Getty Images
Pedro Costa Gomes/AFP/Getty Images

Seeds may be small, but they are filled with some excellent nutritional benefits. People should include them in their diet to increase energy levels and help with the intake of fiber and protein. There are so many varieties to choose from including chia, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower.

They also have a high amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are meant to decrease inflammation and fatigue. Fatty acids in seeds also help cells function properly.

Why Everyone Should Consume Avocados

a hand grabbing an avocado off a tree
Jose Castanares/AFP/Getty Images
Jose Castanares/AFP/Getty Images

If someone is looking to improve their diet and gain more energy, avocados are a great addition. This superfood can do wonders for the body such as improving digestion and vision, decrease the risk of depression, and protect against cancer.

They provide healthy fats and fiber that can help with the absorption of nutrients and are a great source of B vitamins. Avocados also contain lots of beta-sitosterol, which is known to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Pass the Quinoa, Please

a bowl of quinoa and lentil salad with tomatoes
Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

When you’re running low on fuel think about grabbing a cup of quinoa. It’s one of the most portable grains and is easy and quick to prepare. This wheat-free alternative was originally grown in South America and was the staple diet for the Incas.

Quinoa is from the same family of superfoods as beets, chard, and spinach. It also contains several crucial nutrients that help increase energy such as protein, fiber, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium.

There’s Nothing Better Than Sweet Potatoes

close-up of sweet potatoes
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In order to retain the energy from the foods you consume, they need to be digested at a slower pace. Sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates and tons of fiber that will steadily supply the body with energy throughout the day.

It’s best to avoid buying the ones with soft skin, wrinkles, and cracks and they should always be stored in a cool, dry environment. Some simple ideas for consuming them are sweet potato chips or or sweet potato pizza bites.

Grab a Spoonful of Yogurt

yogurt on the shelves of a grocery store
Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Yogurt is filled with simple sugars that when broken down will store energy throughout the day. It’s also packed with protein that can help slow down the body’s production of carbohydrates. Some yogurts, such as Activia, contain a type of living bacteria called probiotics. This cleans out the intestines and aides digestion.

Something great about yogurt is that it comes in countless flavors and varieties, so it’s one snack that some people can enjoy all week long.

Don’t Go Bananas with This Snack

bananas set up on a shelf in a market
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Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

One of the most consumed foods in the world are bananas. This sweet fruit is loaded with multiple health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, providing great amounts of potassium and fiber, and boosting energy levels.

According to the National Institutes of Health, eating one banana before a big cycling race was just as efficient as a performance-enhancing beverage. Also, bananas will most likely leave you feeling full longer than most other snacks because they are the most popular appetite-reducing food.

Life is Sweeter with Some Dark Chocolate

woman eating a bar of dark chocolate
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Having chocolate for a snack may seem like a sweet deal, but it’s best to know which kinds have health benefits. Dark chocolate is the preferable variety due to its higher cocoa content. The cocoa contains antioxidants that can aid in increasing blood flow and provide oxygen to the brain and muscles.

This snack is can be preferable to consume during an afternoon slump because it can help reduce mental fatigue and improve mood.

What a Bowl of Whole Grain Cereal Can Do for You

a close-up of a bowl of whole grain cereal
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Many cereals have large amounts of sugar that can go unnoticed. When choosing which cereal to eat, try to pick a corn, rice, or wheat one that’s all whole-grain. Whole grains have large amounts of fiber and a typical adult needs about 25 to 35 grams per day.

Eating a bowl of whole grain cereal will not only keep your energy up, but also help lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and reduce asthma risk. Add in some soy, almond, or cashew milk for better taste and nutrients.

Treat Yourself to Some Kale

kale chips on a plate
Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images

In recent years kale has become one of the biggest food trends. It happens to be extremely nutrient-rich and can contribute to better skin, hair, bones, and cardiovascular health.

Kale is tasty on its own, but can be even better when made into a salad, blended in a smoothie, or baked in the oven with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil. The vitamins and protein in kale leaves people feeling energized long after consumption.

What to Know About Peanut Butter

spoon with peanut butter
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Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

In order to keep the body from feeling fatigued people need to consume foods high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. One snack that fits that requirement is peanut butter. There are also some alternatives that don’t contain as much sugar such as almond butter and sunflower seed butter.

This snack can go with almost anything. Some tasty combinations are apples with peanut butter or ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins). Also, it’s important to remember to consume it in moderate amounts.

Why People Should Eat Goji Berries

goji berries on a branch
TPG/Getty Images
TPG/Getty Images

China has used goji berries in their medicine for centuries because they are packed with crucial nutrients. Goji berries have lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber that all contribute to better mental performance, high alertness, and decreased feelings of fatigue.

They can be eaten on their own, mixed in with yogurt and baked goods, or blended into smoothies and sauces. Their nutrients also contribute to anti-aging and it’s common for some people to place a few in their water bottles to drink throughout the day.

Sip on a Smoothie

two berry smoothies in glass cups with spiral straws on a black plate
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Whipping up a smoothie can be one of the quickest and healthiest afternoon snacks. They help boost energy without the need for caffeine. All that’s needed to make a smoothie is some fresh fruit or vegetables, ice, milk or yogurt, and other miscellaneous items.

This cold treat is easily portable and will most likely leave people feeling full. For those who’d rather have it professionally made, places like Jamba Juice and Starbucks serve many different flavors.