Eat these 8 superfoods to keep you sharp at your desk
Food is the fuel with which we keep our engines running. However hard you determine to work, without appropriate nourishment you will be running half empty at best.
We’ve all heard of the specific nutrients certain foods deliver our bodies. I review eight of the best superfoods to boost productivity at work and share my favourite ways to incorporate them into my diet.
Superfoods to boost productivity
The avocado trend shows no sign of abating, and for good reason. Avocados naturally stimulate the flow of blood through the body and brain, which is key to feeling energised and increasing your productivity. According to WedMB, an avocado a day “enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.”
If you needed another reason to order avocado on toast at brunch, this is it!
My favourite recipe for a tasty avocado snack is from Jamie Oliver’s website.
There’s a reason why we love these delicious little berries. Studies show that blueberries boost “concentration and memory” for up to five hours because “the antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to [your] brain – and keep the mind fresh”.
I know it’s tempting to reach for a blueberry muffin and tell yourself it’s healthy, but luckily for us, it couldn’t be easier to include blueberries in our diets. Simply sprinkle some over your morning oats or snack on a handful at your desk.
For more adventurous recipes, there are several tantalising ones on the the Health website.
3. Green tea
We often reach for our favourite cup of tea throughout the day, however, scientists would encourage you to drink more green tea for its positive effects on health. “Researchers are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory.”
Green tea also helps to balance your mood, which on a tough deadline day can be crucial. This type of tea contains catechins to help you relax, focus, and fight off any mental fatigue. Next time you need a caffeine hit, consider reaching for green tea.
I love herbal teas and I use the largest mug I can in which to enjoy my cuppa.
My sense of humour enjoys this hilarious little tea infuser shaped like a sloth; perfect for making me smile as I sip!
Isn’t he just the cutest thing?
One of my favourite makers of tea has to be Tea Pigs. They come in quirky little packets and you can tell it’s going to taste nice even from the quality of the tea bag; which is a pyramid design.
I like how Tea Pigs use actual ingredients in their teas; if it says mint on the label, you can be sure it’s mint that your seeing in the tea bag. This freshness translates to the taste as I find these teas to be full of flavour, unlike some other herbal tea brands.
I’m sharing my favourite from their green tea range, but I also recommend their chocolate flake (yes, chocolate) and red berry teas.
4. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers rejoice; this is the information you’ve been waiting for!
Flavonols that has been linked to improved their cognitive performance. Researchers conclude that a small amount of dark chocolate could help maintain and improve brain health. However, we need to ensure we are eating dark chocolate and not the sugary, milk variety.
“Nuts are an excellent source of protein and natural fat that your body needs to be healthy. They are an antioxidant, vitamin E, and amino acid rich food, which means they’ll give your body the natural increase in memory and brain performance.”
Snacking on a couple of handful of nuts is therefore an excellent way to boost brainpower and help you feel more fresh and productive. The other benefit is that there are a wide range of nuts to choose from. Take your pick from almonds, walnuts, cashews and many more.
Eggs contain many vital nutrients, including choline, which works to stimulate the brain’s reactive sensors and increase memory. Eggs are cheap and easy to make and can be included in your daily diet either as breakfast or as a snack. They are rich in protein that will help your body build and maintain muscle and feel fuller for longer.
Luckily for us, eggs are incredibly versatile so there’s no reason why we can’t incorporate more in our diets.
“A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health.” Scientists have also linked a diet higher in these healthy fats to lower dementia and stroke risks, so eating salmon not only helps keep you productive now but has longer term benefits as you age.
If you’re stuck on ways to incorporate more salmon into your diet, here are 17 recipe ideas from The Kitchn that look really tasty!
Although this last one is not technically food, water is the essential addition to your daily intake. I’m sure we can all remember from our childhood science lessons that our bodies are made up of 70% water. Without enough water, our bodies become sluggish and every system becomes affected, from our brain to our digestion.
As every function relies on water, if we do not drink enough throughout the day to replenish our stores we will become more tired and less focused. Aim for eight glasses of water a day and always sit with a bottle or glass of water on your desk to encourage you to take regular sips.
For a little bit more motivation, I like this water bottle that’s marked with the times of day. Sit this one on your desk for extra accountability!
Positive impact of the right kinds of food
We’ve all been guilty of skipping meals out of stress or reaching for the sugary snacks to help us power through to the next deadline, but our poor diet throughout the day can have a detrimental effect on the quality of our work.
If you work freelance or in a small business, the onus is on you to ensure you surround yourself with nutritious food in the office to stave off those junk food cravings.
What steps will you take to ensure you are incorporating some of these super foods into your diet?
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