The daily grind of a full-time job requires an enormous amount of energy. Get up. Go to work. And work for 8-10 hours. Do this 5 days a week (sometimes more). That’s 40-50 hours a week that you are expected to perform at a high level.
The question is: How are you fueling yourself? Unfortunately, the daily grind forces many people to take up a “let me just grab something quick” game plan. This often equates to unhealthy eating habits at work.
The reality is that the food you eat has a significant impact on your brainpower and productivity. As a result, it is imperative that you do some research and educate yourself on the nutritional value of the food your are eating.
Many foods are bad. Many foods are good. And there there are those foods that are in fact superfoods. These are the foods that boost productivity and brain power. Does increased brain power and productivity sound like something that would benefit you at work? Of course it would which is why you should absolutely incorporate these types of foods in to your diet.
Water is the element of life. Everyone has heard the importance of 8 glasses of water and yet not everyone practices this. In fact, studies show that nearly 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. This comes as more of a shock when you consider that more than 70% of the body is made up of water. Every single bodily function depends on water to function smoothly. It is like oil for a machine. If you do not drink enough water throughout the day to replenish lost fluids, your brain will suffer the consequences. Failing to drink enough can lead to daily fatigue and headaches. This is the last thing you want at work. Instead, be sure to get plenty of water so that you can operate with a clear mind and remain productive.
According to the US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health, the brain is about 60% fat and most of that is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. As a result, fatty fishes are great “brain food” and salmon might be king of them all. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for improving memory and mental performance, the pillars of productivity.
Anti-oxidant rich foods, such as berries, are great for increasing memory. Obviously, this would help improve memory function in the workplace. This would also work to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s further down the road. In general, the darker the berry, the higher its anti-oxidant property. This means more productivity-boosting ingredients.
In addition to their great taste, avocados also serve as vital food for the brain. Avocados are an incredible source of healthy fats and nutrients that enhance blood flow, stimulate brain cells, and improve overall focus. Remember, productivity is all about keeping consistent blood flow to the brain.
You would be nuts not to include nuts in your diet. Nuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats that your body absolutely needs. They are rich in amino acids, antioxidants, and Vitamin E. This translates to a natural increase in brain performance and productivity that you need to make it through the workday. Studies show that nuts also contain Vitamin B-12 which is known to contribute to higher brain functions. All it takes it a handful a day!
A banana is one of the best resources of glucose, which the body uses for energy. Just one banana contains the daily amount of glucose that your body needs. It is a far healthier option than your typical ” office vending machine food” packed with carbs and processed sugars. You need energy to remain productive and it’s no secret that bananas are often referred to as nature’s energy bars. Furthermore, according to an article on livestrong.com, “a few slices of banana are a great pre-bedtime snack” due to its tryptophan content. Sleep is vital to brain function and work performance.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is the “guilty pleasure” of brain foods because in addition to being a superfood, it also satisfies that sweet tooth that we all have. In addition to improving overall focus, the caffeine content in dark chocolate also translates to greater energy. Authoritynutrition.com lists improved brain function as one of the many health benefits associated with dark chocolate. One study of healthy volunteers showed that 5 days of consuming high-flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain.
Although Popeye ate Spinach to get stronger, it probably made him smarter too. According to an article on The Huffington Post, eating just one serving of spinach a day could make your brain 11 years younger by slowing down the process of age-related cognitive decline. This is due to its high Vitamin K content. This same article sites a 5 year long study that ultimately proved that those who consumed 1-2 servings of spinach a day had far better cognitive abilities than those who did not. Simply put, a serving of spinach a day will turn your brain in to a powerhouse of production.
Preparing your brain for optimal performance is simply a matter of incorporating the right foods in to your diet. All 8 of these superfoods can be found at your local grocery store and can easily be prepared. If you are a working professional who is in need of improved mental clarity and a boost in productivity then you should absolutely make it a habit of incorporating these foods in to your diet.
Featured photo credit: Salmon/Andrea Pokrzywinski via flickr.com