Top 5 Foods To Increase Your Productivity At Work
It is no secret that the foods we eat every day have a direct impact on our moods and our behaviour. Studies conducted in 2003 by the World Health Organisation say that adequate nourishment could improve national productivity by 20%.
Employers encouraging their employees to improve their nutrition could see a decrease in sick days, and an overall boost in morale. So what foods should we be eating, and how should we be consuming them, in order to improve our productivity at work?
Eat productive: improve your productivity at work
We have selected our top 5 foods that you should include in your work week. We’ve been sure to keep them office-friendly. Foods like eggs, and fish are also great for massaging your brain muscles, but they can be quite smelly and anti-social in an office environment!
The number one fuel to kick-start your day, for many people in the work place, coffee is their best friend. This caffeinated drink helps keep you alert by releasing epinephrine and dopamine in your brain, keeping you stimulated and helping to increase your productivity.
The entire amount of glucose your brain needs to maintain a steady level of productivity – 25 grams – is contained a single banana. And the point is that your body releases this energy slowly, so that you continue to feel the benefits throughout the day.
This contrasts with high-sugar snacks such as shop-bought biscuits, which release energy in one short, sharp, 20 minute burst, leaving you feeling deflated and sluggish for the rest of the day.
Delicious, and good for you – there’s no reason you shouldn’t find an excuse to squeeze in a little more chocolate to your diet at work. Dark chocolate helps improve blood flow to your heart and your brain, decreasing your risk of stroke, and improving your cognitive functions.
It also releases endorphins, so you feel happy when you eat it. You can increase your productivity just by smiling – you can even pass on the benefits to your colleagues. When you see someone else smile, your brain releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. This helps control your body’s reward centres, and super-charges your productivity.
Carrot sticks make a great mid-afternoon snack. Simple to prepare, and an inexpensive purchase, raw carrots probably don’t help you see in the dark. But they will keep your blood sugar levels steady, so that you can maintain a productive level of concentration throughout the day.
The third option on our high-productive foods list that can also count as one of your five-a-day. Berries make a great addition to your packed lunch, because they’re conveniently packaged, and transportable.
Berries have the highest antioxidant levels of all fresh fruits, which help improve your memory, and keep you on top at work.
Is this enough?
Making an effort to include more antioxidants, and slow-releasing foods into your diet will help improve your productivity at work. Making the extra effort to cut down on foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars will also stop you feeling sluggish and unproductive.
Not just what we eat, but how we eat
But lately, emphasis lies in not just what we eat, but how we eat. Our working lives seem to be getting busier. 54% of us regularly work through our lunch hour, and a disconcerting 20% feel under pressure not to take a break.
But this growing culture of desk eating can lead to a mindless consumption of foods when we’re not really paying attention. We’re more likely to eat foods that are bad for us, high in sugar, and calories.
Paul Winter, Chief Executive of the Ipswich Building Society argues that encouraging regular lunch breaks reduces sickness absence and levels of staff turnover, while increasing customer service levels.
Part of eating better must be to leave your desk, and maybe go outside and get some exercise. Eating better helps us feel better, and feeling better helps us work better.
These days, there seems to be an app to match everything. If you feel you’d like additional support to help you keep on top of what you’re feeding your brain, you can turn to Fooducate. This free app is available on your iPhone or Android.
It helps you grade your food choices, and informs you what is really inside each product. It even recommends better choices. Although Fooducate is marketed as a weight loss tool, it is nevertheless a useful product to help you track your intake of foods that are beneficial to your overall productivity, and good health.