by Cate Palmer: When most people think about healthy diet the first thing that comes to mind is weight loss…
However, there’s so much more to healthy eating since it not only affects how you feel the entire day but also heavily affects our productivity at work. For example, eating heavy foods in the morning can make you feel sluggish, tired, and ready to go back to bed. In most cases when you’re feeling like this you’ll be at work and your productivity will thus significantly drop. Employees with unhealthy diet report productivity loss up to 66% more often than healthy eaters, which is why it’s vital for everyone to take extra care about what they eat.
The Impacts of Poor Nutrition
You’re probably well aware that the food choices we make can severely impact our health and longevity. This is becoming more and more visible, with so many modern diets consisted of processed foods. Obesity is just one of the drawbacks of a bad diet, there’s also the development of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc. While chronic health conditions can be treated, they still result in a loss of productivity both at work and home. In situations where the body feels unwell, the mind can’t function at its best and will feel the consequences as well.
An unhealthy diet will:
- Make you tire more easily
- Increase your stress level
- You won’t be sleeping as well
- It will affect your ability to think clearly and decrease your productivity
Food Sensitivity of Your Brain
After a meal, it takes only a little while before your brain starts being affected by it. Something with a lot of sugar, like a chocolate cake, can cause your blood sugar to rise under 15 minutes after eating it – with cognitive impairments following right after.
The key is in the fact that your body turns everything you eat into a compound named glucose, which is then used for your brain and body as fuel. Everything you eat affects just how much glucose you get and how much of it can be used right away. This is why foods like carbohydrates are the main reason behind high blood sugar levels and undoubtedly have the biggest impact on your productivity.
So What’s Good For You?
For one, breakfast is extremely important. It’s the meal that has a function of kickstarting your metabolism for the rest of the day. This is why it’s vital for you to take the time and eat breakfast as you’ll get to reap the benefits all day long when it comes to productivity.
This isn’t to say that you should be eating just about anything for breakfast – on the contrary, the healthier breakfast you have the easier time you’ll have sticking to your healthy diet for the rest of the day. The best breakfast you can have is something with fibers, like bran flakes which you can take with low-fat yogurt.
You should be aiming to digest ingredients that consist of folate (beans and greens), omega-3 acids (walnuts, flax seeds), vitamin C (citrus fruits, though keep in mind that one orange juice a day is all the vitamin C you need), vitamin E (vegetable oils and nuts).
If you’re looking to lose weight while constantly working-out, you can skip dinner and have a protein powder shake instead (before or after workout). This will enable your muscle recovery and give you everything that you may need for the rest of the day.
Foods That Will Drastically Improve Your Productivity
Here, we’ll give you a list of some ingredients you can implement in your diet in order to increase your overall productivity. Productivity pretty much comes from feeling energetic instead of sleepy, so try to avoid heavy foods and especially overeating (on anything).
- Whole grains – Whole Grain cereals are great for you in the morning, and so is rice (especially basmati) and granary bread. Whole grains will enable you to keep your mind on high alert and improve your short term memory.
- Almonds – Being rich with healthy fatty acids and antioxidants, almonds are a great addition to your diet. They also have some healthy plant protein in them, which is why almonds are great for a healthy brain function and the prevention of cognitive decline. Don’t eat them too much though, as they are high in calories. A handful of almonds is all you need for the day.
- Dark chocolate – Opposite to most chocolates, the dark counterpart is extremely healthy. It’s rich in flavonoids which will improve your blood flow to the brain. This will directly impact your memory, problem-solving skills, as well as attention span.
Spinach, broccoli, green tea, pumpkin seeds, and blueberries are all also very healthy and will make you be more productive, so try to combine these ingredients to your liking.
What we eat influences almost everything that happens to our minds and bodies. From physical wellbeing to mental health – foods are a number one factor when it comes to influencing your productivity. The healthier your diet is – the more energy you’ll have every day. Drink water instead of soda, lower the meat intake and focus on whole grains and berries for best results. Once you see the boost in your productivity both at home and at work – you’ll never go back to eating processed foods.