The Nutrition & Productivity Link

We all have days where we find it hard to get focused at work. Sometimes we would get to the end of the day and barely get a single thing done. Can you relate? You may think that you are not in the mood at that time or that you have a million other things on your mind. Or maybe you think you’re bored. But have you ever thought that maybe it’s the food that you’re eating that is causing this lack of focus?

Nutrition and exercise are often associated with weight loss. What many fail to acknowledge, however, is that these two can also affect your productivity. Food can affect your brain function and your cognitive performance.

Different foods that we eat are processed by our body differently. This means that examples such as soda, donuts or any sugary snacks and drinks will be processed very differently to vegetables. These junk foods are quickly processed into glucose. When you do eat them you will feel a sudden rush of energy (sugar rush). In order to counteract this, the body increases the production of insulin. As a result, the glucose level drops and you find yourself having difficulty in concentrating. This is also true when you eat grains like pastas and pastries. In addition, some grains contain high melatonin levels that relaxes your body, making you even more sleepy and sluggish.

Foods That Enhance Productivity

There is a good reason why you’ve probably been told your whole life to eat healthy. Eating healthy improves your overall health and even enhance your brain function and productivity.

Start your day right with a healthy breakfast and include these foods:

  • Eggs – Egg yolks have choline which can improve memory and brain development.
  • Bananas – This fruit contains 25g of glucose which is exactly the amount of glucose that the brain needs in order to function well. This can also be eaten as a snack.
  • Blueberries – This superfruit is high in antioxidants which helps in enhancing one’s learning capacity. Like bananas, blueberries make a great snack.

For lunch, have a healthy salad with a mix of leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. Green leafy vegetables like spinach are loaded with antioxidants. Nuts, which can also be a snack, contains omega-fatty acids that improves brain function. Throw in some blueberries, strawberries or slices of avocados. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and you have the perfect brain food. Best to add the salad to a protein or fish such as fresh salmon because it contains the essential fatty acids. If you are feeling pretty hungry, add in a cup of brown rice.

For snacks, fruit and vegetables are ideal. You can eat several slices of carrots and a healthy dip or if you want something crunchy then walnuts are a great option. Of course there are certain days when we crave for something sweet. Instead of reaching out for a donut, have a piece of dark chocolate. The darker the better. So choose dark chocolate with at least 80% cocoa. What you should know about dark chocolate is that it has antioxidant properties that can enhance your focus and concentration.

Poor diet can affect your overall health. It can lead to illnesses and diseases, fatigue, bad moods, decreased energy level, high stress levels and low productivity. And this creates a ripple effect because the company that you are working for will eventually be affected. Consistent low productivity could also lead you to losing your job and your ability to take care of your family.

Eating right and eating healthy can give you a whole range of benefits, not just improving your productivity at the workplace. Now that you are aware of the foods that can negatively impact your health, it’s your turn now to take action. Make a conscious effort to be mindful about what you eat and have enough willpower to resist junk foods that can be tempting. So, are you up for the challenge?