Think about a day in the last week when you were most productive. Now ask yourself, what did you have to eat for breakfast and lunch that day?
What you eat can have a direct impact on your work performance and productivity. If you’re struggling to get your work done on time, or want to work more efficiently, good nutrition is key. Despite being just 2% of our body weight, our brains use about 20% of the calories we eat. By nourishing your brain with these 7 foods, you’ll be able to function at an optimal level and be your most productive self.
A good source of monounsaturated fat, avocados can decrease plaque buildup in your arteries, leading to better blood flow throughout the body. Enhanced blood flow means more nutrients reach the brain, firing up your brain cells and boosting your productivity and focus.
They may be small, but nuts are packed full of brain-boosting nutrition. Nuts are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, which can naturally help to increase memory and brain performance. They are also a good source of folate, which can make you feel more calm. All nuts are nutritious, but almonds and walnuts are highest in brain-boosting nutrients. Try adding nuts to smoothies, yogurt, salads, stir-fries, rice dishes, and more.
Fatty fish, especially salmon, have a high omega-3 fatty acid content. These anti-inflammatory fats are essential for optimal brain function and can’t be made by the body - we have to get them through our diet. Omega-3 fats have been linked to bettery memory and mental performance, as well as lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, helping to boost your memory and protect your brain from oxidative damage. This memory boost can be short term as well as long-term, with studies showing berry intake may prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease later on in life. Choose fresh, frozen or dried berries.
The B-vitamin choline, found in egg yolks, stimulates our brain’s reactive sensors. This can help speed up your reaction time at work and can improve memory. Eggs are a great high-protein way to start your day, as they’ll also help to keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady.
This nutrient-packed whole grain contains magnesium, which helps to regulate your emotions and mood and reduce fatigue. Other good sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Brown rice, along with other whole grains, are a good source of carbohydrates which break down into glucose - the fuel your brain runs off of. High-fiber whole grains digest slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels steady and your brain sharp for hours. In addition to brown rice, try oatmeal, farro, quinoa, wheat germ or barley. Good news! There is no shortage of Performance Kitchen meals that contain this delicious and nutritious ingredient, try it in the following:
- Great Karma Coconut Curry
- Mighty Masala & Greens
- Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken
Ok, so I realize this isn’t a food, but it is just an important! Our bodies are made up of more than 70 percent water, so everything we do requires water to work smoothly. If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your brain will not function at an optimal level. Start the day with at least 8 to 16 ounces of water, immediately upon waking. Drink consistently throughout the day, aiming for at least eight cups per day of water in order to think clearly and avoid “foggy brain”. Unsweetened tea, seltzer, sparkling and flavored water count too.
What do you eat to stay productive? Share your favorites below in the comments section!