January 05, 2017 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Nutrition and Productivity: How Foods Can Affect Your Performance
Healthy eating is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but most people are likely to think about healthy nutrition only in connection with either weight loss or health in general. Only very few will connect eating habits with productivity at work.
Research conducted by scientists at Brigham Young University revealed that employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to report a productivity loss than healthy eaters. The foods we eat have a direct impact on our work performance, so if you want to increase your productivity, you should pay close attention to your eating habits.
How Poor Nutrition Affects Our Performance
Numerous scientific researches confirmed that the food we eat can affect our health and longevity. The modern diet full of processed food usually lacks essential nutrients because of patterns of eating that lead to their inadequate intake. Such a diet can lead to the development of coronary heart disease. It also causes diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. These chronic health conditions can result in productivity loss at home and work and have a negative impact on the quality of life. When your body feels poorly, your mind suffers too and doesn’t function properly.
An unhealthy diet does not provide you enough energy for your everyday needs. On the contrary, it
- leads to fatigue
- causes poor mental health
- provokes irritability
- increases stress and depression
- decreases your energy level
- reduces your ability to think clearly and work effectively
As a result, unhealthy nutrition has a bad impact on your productivity, especially if you work in a creative environment.
Healthy Diet and Productivity
Healthy eating means consuming a variety of foods (preferably raw) from all food groups with right quantities of nutrients to maintain your health and have energy. These nutrients should include protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, and minerals. Healthy eating has a positive impact on cell development in the brain, and the benefits of keeping a healthy diet are numerous.
- It helps reduce the level of stress.
Studies have revealed that people who maintain healthy eating habits are less likely to suffer from depression or have mood disorders. When you eat healthy food, you can cope with your stress quicker and concentrate on your work better.
- It helps you be physically and mentally active.
Nutrients that are present in our food affect not only our physical but mental health as well. Healthy nutrients improve the brain functioning that allows you to handle work challenges. The following nutrients can improve brain health and overall productivity:
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- folate, found in beans and greens
- omega-3, fatty acids found in walnuts and flaxseeds
- vitamin C, found in berries and citrus fruits
- vitamin E, found in nuts and vegetable oils
- It gives you energy and improves your performance.
When you eat right, your body processes the nutrients in food properly and maximizes them for optimal energy for your needs. You can work to the best of your abilities.
- It helps you live a well-balanced life.
You will feel better, look better and live an active lifestyle. A healthy life balance can help us focus on attaining our goals and boost our career or business success.
- It helps increase your confidence.
Maintaining healthy eating habits reduces anxiety and stress, allows you to think clearly, and keeps you physically fit. As a result, it enhances your confidence. Confident people perform better and achieve more in life.
To sum it up, the developing of healthy eating habits can help you succeed both in your professional and in your personal life.
So, how can we avoid the negative outcomes caused by poor nutrition and improve our productivity? We should make smarter decisions about our diet: avoid foods that are harmful to our health and choose healthy foods that have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
Foods That Decrease Your Productivity
Our brain consumes approximately 20% of our body’s energy. While planning our diet we should rely on scientific findings that explain how different foods affect our brain – ingredients from the food we eat can either help us focus and concentrate, or have a negative impact on our ability to perform.
If you want your brain to perform at its best, avoid eating junk food. The biggest enemies of productivity are:
- Sugary foods like soda or sweets that will give you a burst of energy, but later you will suffer from a sugar crash and feel weak, confused or anxious.
- Calorie-ridden foods like hamburgers or fries that are full of trans and saturated fats make our digestive system work harder and reduce the level of oxygen in our brain. They will make us feel sleepy, sluggish, and decrease our work performance.
Healthy Foods That Improve Your Productivity
A well-balanced diet should include healthy foods that energize us and fuel our brains. Foods that contain low glycemic carbohydrates and healthy proteins and fats provide brain with more sustained energy. You should eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils to feel full of energy.
Here is the shortlist of foods that will help you think and work better.
These berries have a great combination of antioxidants and a high amount of gallic acid, which can protect our brain from degeneration and oxidative stress and boost our focus and memory.
They will help you stay mentally alert all the day long. Eat wholegrain cereals, rice, granary bread.
The seeds are rich in zinc which is vital for improving memory and thinking skills.
This is rich in flavonoids that increase blood flow to the brain. It can boost memory, attention span, and problem-solving skills.
This contains theanine that can help you with focus and concentration.
These greens contain a lot of antioxidants and can help improve learning capacity.
Raisins are rich in antioxidants but are low in fat and calories. That makes them perfect for a healthy snack to boost your energy and enhance productivity.
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can improve your thinking and boost your focus.
They are considered to be an essential source of fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins and are a great food to fight fatigue and help you stay productive.
Food that we eat influences all aspects of our life: our physical wellbeing, mental health and work performance. You can use food to your advantage. If you practice good nutrition based on healthy foods, it will help you stay healthy and improve your productivity in the workplace and at home.