Optimal Nutrition Key In Boosting Professional Performance
According to research conducted by scientists at Brigham Young University in Utah, business professionals who followed unhealthy diets were 66% more likely than healthy eaters to experience a dip in productivity. When considering the benefits of optimal nutrition, most people tend to think of long-term advantages, such as boosting longevity and avoiding common diseases.
What you eat, however, can also have a huge, almost immediate effect on your productivity in the workplace. This makes it imperative to not only pay closer attention to what you eat, but also to understand to what extent your food intake can influence your professional performance.
Not all foods were created equal
At present, as much as 60% of the typical American diet consists of processed foods such as crisps, pies, cakes and pastries that are hardly conducive to optimal performance at work.
Following a diet that revolves around these nutrient-deficient foods can lead to a host of health concerns that can have a direct impact on performance. Apart from being left lethargic, irritable or depressed to the extent that even performing the most mundane of tasks seem impossible, an unhealthy diet can also cause hypertension, diabetes and obesity. These conditions can all result in a loss of productivity and increased absenteeism.
A healthy, nutrient-dense diet can boost your physical and mental well-being tremendously, which in turn, will ensure that your performance remains impeccable. By indulging in nutritious foods, you will be able to ward off illnesses and boost your mood, which will result in increased productivity.
Nutrients to boost your brain function
What you eat and when you eat it has a significant impact on both your mental vigilance and endurance at work. When it comes to optimizing your brain function, there are four vital nutrients that should be consumed in generous amounts on a regular basis, according to leading nutritionists.
The first of these nutrients is Low GI carbs, which will provide your brain with a constant supply of glucose that is utilized to improve memory, increase concentration, and enable learning.
B vitamins are vital for brain health
In order for the brain to use the glucose supplied by the carbohydrates, the body requires sufficient amounts of Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid. A deficiency in B group vitamins can, in fact, lead to increased occupational stress, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In order to avoid such a deficiency, food such as cheese, eggs, lean red meat, legumes and nuts, fish, and dark leafy greens should be consumed regularly. One of the easiest ways to incorporate leafy greens and other important nutrients into your diet is to start your day with a smoothie that, apart from boosting your brainpower, can facilitate weight loss as well.
Don’t skimp on the antioxidants
According to research conducted in 2017 at the UCLA Medical Center, individuals who have high levels of omega-3s enjoy increased blood flow to the brain. Researchers further identified a profound connection between omega-3 levels and enhanced cognition, reiterating that a deficiency in Vitamin A, C, and E can increase the prevalence of age-related memory loss.
Brain function (and professional performance) can be boosted by eating foods that are rich in omega-3s including oily fish, leafy greens, milk, nuts and pumpkin.
Boost your brain with EFAs
If you want to perform to the best of your ability in your career, you need to ensure that your brain (and body) is fuelled by the right nutrients. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are essential for brain health, but because they can’t be produced by the body, they have to be obtained from food sources.
Omega-3 fats, which occur in oily fish such as trout, salmon and mackerel as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are among the most effectual EFAs. Other worthy sources include flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, soya beans, and grass-fed red meat.
Establish healthy habits
Establishing healthy eating habits is as important as making good food choices. Make your eating decisions before you even get hungry by drawing up a meal plan for yourself and prepping your food in advance. Prevent any spikes or drops in your blood sugar by eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three large ones, making lunch your largest meal of the day.
As snacking is often the hardest part of a diet to get right, it is imperative to ensure that you have healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, vegetable sticks or cheese portions on-hand to prevent you from reaching for the nearest bag of biscuits when hunger sets in.
Although there is more than one way to boost your productivity, following a healthy diet is one of the most effective. Not only will you enjoy improved performance when indulging in nutrient-dense foods, but you will also see your overall health and well-being improve exponentially.