We all know by now that the food in which we choose to eat can have an effect on almost every physical and psychological function of our being. Specific foods can help you train harder, think clearer, beat PMS, boost your libido, ward off different diseases and overall, help your body working at its peak. But did you know that the same goes for improving your productivity levels? As stated on the Transform Health website, “an International Labour Organisation (ILO) study has identified that consuming nutrient rich and portion controlled food in the workplace can lead to increased productivity and worker morale by as much as 20%”.
Furthermore, it is no surprise that nourishment has a direct impact on our cognitive performance. “Most of what we consume is broken down and converted by our body into glucose, providing the energy our brains need to stay alert; though not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate,” the site reads.
“Foods such as pasta, bread, cereal, sweets, cakes and pastries release the glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump and often cravings for something sweet or carbohydrate rich to perk us back up again. Meals that have balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and good fats) help to support a sustained release of energy as well as keep up satiated and mentally alert. Portion control is equally important—overeating stresses the digestive system, meaning it has to work harder which reduced oxygen levels in the brain often leading to grogginess (otherwise known as that 3pm slump).”
Here, Transform Health’s clinical nutritionist, Lucy Beaumont shares 9 foods that you should be adding to your plate on the reg (and you might be pleasantly surprised as to how many you already eat!).
Packed with antioxidants that help to fight off disease by neutralising free radicals, reducing belly bloat and curbing sugar cravings. Researchers at the University of Reading found that children’s memory and attention spans showed significant cognitive improvement after consuming flavonoid-rich blueberries.
According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, spinach consumption helps slow the rate of cognitive decline and also improves daily learning capacity and motor skills.
Rich in vitamin K, which reduces your chances of mental decline, kale is also high in calcium and fibre and provides sustained fuel for your brain.
Researchers at Kansas State University have found that the consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (found in avocados) helps protect specialised brain cells called astrocytes. Astrocytes support healthy blood flow by aiding the transfer of information to nerves.
The high omega-3 fatty acid profile of salmon has been shown to improve memory and mental performance particularly helping depression.
Our brains work best with about 25g of glucose circulating in the blood stream—which is just the amount found in an average size banana. Paired with fibre and potassium this slow release of glucose helps sustain brain power. Reaching for an unhealthier hit of glucose (think pastries and sweets) gives us a glucose spike but then an energy crash. Opt for nature’s best snack—the banana.
Green tea is one of the best natural energy enhancers—taking green tea in matcha form (green tea ground into a fine powder) is especially potent providing fibre and polyphenols—a group of especially powerful antioxidants.
The caffeine content in dark chocolate can be a good for energy and focus and the high magnesium content is good for stress relief. Always opt for >80% cocoa and low sugar varieties and limit to a few squares.
Rich in protein and healthy gats as well as vitamin E nuts are a great snack to help boost memory and brain performance. Almonds and walnuts are you best pick!
Your body is made up of 70% water so it is super important to keep it hydrated. Every function in the body depends on adequate hydration, throughout the day your water stores deplete so if you don’t drink enough water your brain and other functions will suffer. Drinking 2-3 L daily will support brain function and help you to be more focused. Transform Health is dedicated to providing nutritious food to boost team productivity in the workplace. Learn more about their lunch delivery service here. Visit www.transformhealth.com.au/