Eating Your Way to Productivity

Food is always important. It is our body’s fuel. Along with water; food nourishes, cleanses and strengthens our bodies.

It is a common misconception that only athletes and those who want to keep in shape are the ones who must watch what they eat. And although it is true that athletes and bodybuilders need to consume the right food, we have to consider that even though you are just a normal person, we still need to take notice of what we feed our bodies.

The way we build our diet for ourselves will always have an impact on how our bodies perform whether on physical athletic feat or squeezing out those mental juices necessary for our job or even with our various emotional states. Which is why proper nutrition is also crucial in having a job since as adults, we spend our days more on work to achieve an optimal performance.

However, deciding to eat right in the office is difficult since most workplace lunches consists of sugary, refined carbohydrates like pasta and sandwiches loaded with mayo, a doughnut, a bagel, or a vending machine pick along with an unlimited supply of cola. While these foods are comforting enough, to acutely combat drowsiness and stress due to serotonin­ producing combination of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and/or salt, it actually depletes your mental sharpness and energy, and thus jeopardizing your work productivity and efficiency.

According to nutrition expert Clyde Wilson, it all comes down to biology and how your body handles different foods. Our brain is fueled primarily with glucose. Which is why it is entirely a mistake if we take out carbohydrates from our meals. In order for our brains to perform in its optimal level, we should be mindful enough to consume those healthy carbohydrates that are necessary for our brain activity. Although office pantries that offer bread, bagels, refined cereals which provides glucose, it actually backfires due to rapid flooding of glucose. This then, signals the release of insulin in huge amounts into your bloodstream, tapping your fat cells to gather the glucose calories that were not being used, to be stored as fat. Moreover, the released insulin does clear up most of the glucose leaving a small amount for the brain to use. And that causes you to crave more carbohydrates for your brain and repeats the cycle.

Our moods are also the effect of our deficient diet. Having low blood sugar due to the spiking of insulin in the bloodstream adversely affects your level of alertness and emotional state. According to U.S. News and World Report, diets that are low in specific nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and Omega­3 fatty acids can lead to depressed moods and low energy levels. As we all know the importance of keeping our emotions on an even keel in the office, it seems in your best interest to consume a diet that provides all the necessary nutrients for you to excel productivity wise.

Prioritizing a healthy meal during workdays are essential and would improve your focus in targeting an impressive work productivity due to an increase in energy that would allow you to approach smoothly any given task. To boost up your mood and productivity, you should always consider your greens. These are some of the healthiest food at any given season. With the help of non­-starchy green vegetables, the starchy carbohydrates are digested slowly helping the brain and muscle to use and preventing the body from releasing a lot of insulin to store the excess glucose. These leafy greens also have compounds that are found out to be helpful in fighting various forms of cancers, in perking up your mood, and protecting you against various diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. Getting enough iron from dark leafy vegetables, lean beef, tofu and legumes are also essential since iron is important as it is a primary component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our body. A decrease of iron has been connected to deficient cognitive functioning in adults as well as in children. Adding more iron­ rich food are better than taking supplements since it is not readily absorbed and can be hazardous if taken in large quantities. Consuming enough healthy fats such as omega­3 fatty acids are beneficial in proper brain function and regulating our mood according to Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Somers in her book “Eat Your Way To Happiness”. Studies also show that an adequate amount of these healthy fats alleviates the prevalence of depression. Having a dose on a regular basis through fish, fish oil supplements, flax seeds, avocado and walnuts is a sure way to achieve our body’s needs.

To every working person, coffee has been a staple drink. While small doses of caffeine can fire up your alertness and metabolism as well your aggressiveness according to Travis Bradberry of Forbes, However, the increased cognitive performance that we have after a cup of coffee is generally an illusion. This is due to the fact that increased mental state provided by the caffeine is just actually bringing you back to your baseline level of performance. This means, if you're hooked on caffeine and don't have your fix during the day, you'll actually be performing below your normal productivity levels.

So, what does this all mean???? Do what grandma said; eat your vegetables, finish your meal and you will feel better.

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