We’ve all heard about those Silicon Valley tech companies (ahem, Google) that use free food as a job perk and, we’re guessing, to keep employees from leaving the Googleplex for meals. Turns out, dishing up food for employees can bring other ROIs. While most small businesses can’t afford the free meals approach, here are some tasty snacks and juices you can provide that are also good for your bottom line.
1. Green Tea
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If you only have a coffeepot in your workplace, you’re missing out. While coffee provides a definite caffeine kick, it can leave you low when the jolt wears off. Green tea, on the other hand, provides a more sustained stream of energy. High in antioxidants, theanine and nutrients, green tea can reduce stress and anxiety, so you’re more productive and don’t crash so quickly.
2. Raw Carrots
Craving a candy bar? Take a hint from Bugs Bunny and nibble a couple of carrots instead of a Milky Way. (If you simply must have chocolate, see below.) Raw carrots don’t spike blood sugar, which helps you avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes and focus better on the job at hand.
3. Dark Chocolate
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When nothing but chocolate will do, go to the dark side. Dark chocolate protects against memory loss. It also contains polyphenols that boost the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain. Plus, it’s chocolate. What’s not to love? Just go easy—instead of a whole bar of chocolate, snack on a few dark chocolate morsels, or a miniature bar.
4. Fruit and Veggie Juices
Tasty juices from companies like Odwalla and Naked squeeze several servings of fruits and vegetables into each bottle. We have to admit, we were skeptical of the green ones for a while, but discovered that the ones made with plenty of fruit are quite refreshing. Since they’re low in added sugars and caffeine-free, you won’t experience the kind of energy spike and crash you’d get from soda or a bottled energy drink.
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Though they aren’t a cure for the rat race, blueberries have been found to improve learning capacity and motor skills in aging rats. Blueberries also help protect the brain against stress and can even improve balance and coordination. And they taste wonderful.
6. String Cheese
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Thought this snack was just for kids? Think again. String cheese packs lots of calcium and protein but may have less than 60 calories per stick. Plus, it’s easy to grab one from the office fridge on the way to a meeting, so your stomach won’t growl in front of coworkers or a potential client.
7. Coconut Water
Vitacoco and Zico are two of our favorite brands of this trending superfood. With potassium and calcium, these drinks provide an electrolyte boost much like a sports drink does, but without the high (and often artificial) sugar kick. It was used to keep injured soldiers in the South Pacific hydrated during WWII, and if it sustained them, we’re sure it can help you.
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