A career in nursing can be extremely demanding. Whether tending to a critical victim in the emergency room, watching over a newborn in the neonatal unit or simply providing comfort to an ailing patient, nurses can work seemingly endless shifts, at times.

Often dealing with inadequate work breaks, RN's may rely on vending machines or make other poor choices when hunger pangs kick in. Fortunately, there are easy, healthful snacks available to boost energy and reduce stress, requiring little or no preparation.

1. Chickpeas

Also known as garbonzo beans, chickpeas can increase energy due to their high iron content. Packaged bags  of roasted chickpeas  make a perfect snack for nurses on the go. Hummus and dipping veggies in  containers are another satisfying option.

2. Fresh figs

Figs are a good source of potassium, which can help control blood pressure Puree fresh figs and  spread on Melba toast or crackers,  or  on a  chicken  or turkey sandwich. You can also halve  fresh figs and stuff  with sliced almonds and goat cheese.

3. Edamame

Soybeans are rich with  molybdenum, which is believed  to  improve  concentration, while helping balance blood sugar levels. A single serving of edamame (an immature soybean)  can reportedly fight fatigue and  improve your mood.

4. Organic dark chocolate

Eating a piece of organic dark chocolate can  reduce stress levels by stimulating the production of endorphins. Dark chocolate has also been  proven to decrease  bad cholesterol levels  significantly.  For a simple, tasty treat,  mix organic antioxidant trail mix with melted organic dark chocolate chips for quick and easy energy bites.

5. Pumpkin seeds

For maximum  benefit, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw.  Raw pumpkin seeds can also be roasted  in a low-temperature  oven  and sprinkled with  natural salt. Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of vegan, plant-based protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats, along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

6. Lemon water

Instead of relying on coffee, energy drinks or sugary, caffeinated beverages, consider drinking a glass of lemon water.  Hot or cold water with fresh lemon will produce clean energy for your body by hydrating your cells and organs, and oxygenating your brain.

Other snack options include one or two ounces of string cheese, sunflower seeds, a small helping of walnuts, bell pepper slices and celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese.