16 Foods for Productivity

When it comes to productivity, it is always a combination of mental sharpness and physical stamina.

There is no productivity if you only have to consider one of these factors. No amount of intelligence or genius could increase a person’s productivity when the body is not functioning efficiently. And the only way the body could perform in its optimum level is when it is fueled by the right nutrients. Our brain, just like our muscles, must acquire all the nutrients it needs to function properly. After all, it is the body’s command center. Therefore feeding ourselves must not only be for our physical attributes, but more importantly for proper brain functions. Ideas, decisions and strategies that we put into work are products of our brain. That’s how crucial the our brain is when it comes to productivity.

Whatever we eat, it is not only utilized by our organs, but it is also used up by our brains. So, whatever we eat, the brain always has a corresponding signal that it would send to other parts of our body on how to use the nutrients that have entered the system. According to the World Health Organization, with the right ingredients, you can boost brain power by as much as 20%. Fernando Gómez­Pinilla of UCLA neurosurgery and physiological science, says in his research about brain foods that, “Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain.”, and that “Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging.”

To further understand, a list of brain food from Psychology Today and other sources have been compiled that will improve the way you think and work.

  1. ● First on the list are berries. According to Neuroscientist James A. Joseph it has potent combinations of antioxidants that improves both memory and motor coordination. These antioxidants counteract oxidative stress and serves as an anti­-inflammatory agents, which are “the evil twins of brain aging.”.
  2. ● And when eaten with oil­ rich walnuts or avocados, it keeps the brain cell membranes “youthfully flexible.”.
  3. ● Another fruit that has a good impact for the brain are bananas. A banana holds the daily amount of glucose needed by your brain since it was found that the brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in the bloodstream.
  4. ● Aside from fruits, eggs contain a fat-­like B vitamin called choline that enhances memory and reaction time.
  5. Salmon also has B­ vitamins, omega­3s, protein and iron which supports memory, recall, reasoning and focus.
  6. ● And of course, vegetables will always have good effects to our brains, take the eggplant for example. Eating this will keep your brain sharp by enhancing communication between our brain cells and messenger molecules.
  7. Dark leafy greens are probably the best thing you could eat. They're loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Iron, for example, helps bring more oxygen to the body (and brain), and improves cognitive control.
  8. ● Raw carrots, on the other hand, will give you a steady level of blood sugar your brain needs to function optimally.
  9. ● While Garlic contains strong antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help shake off stress ­induced colds and infections.
  10. ● Although huge amount of caffeine might not be beneficial, but in moderate amounts it is found that it improves memory and even “protects against eyelid spasm” (for those who are staring at computers all day). It's also rich with antioxidants and amino acids.
  11. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidant properties that “increase the production of endorphins while enhancing focus and concentration,” whereas milk chocolate is good for quickening reaction time and improving verbal and visual memory.
  12. ● If you’re not much of a coffee lover, trying on green tea which has neuroprotective effects (helps the nervous system).
  13. Yogurt also does wonders — it has protein, tons of minerals, and probiotics which help the digestive system.
  14. ● And whole grains like brown rice are filled with vitamins and magnesium, which also improves cognitive health.
  15. ● The antioxidants in hot cocoa on the other hand, protect brain cells from oxidative stress.
  16. ● While it is not suggestive to be drinking on the job, red wine significantly improves short-term memory and motor skills.

Meanwhile, eating sugary foods, like soda or candy can make you feel ‘spaced-­out', weak, confused, or nervous once the glucose in your brain drops ­ this is also known as a sugar crash, thus slowing down your productivity. Starving or eating too little can make you process information more slowly, take longer to react and have more trouble remembering sequences.

The bottom line is, if you are serious about improving your productivity at work, you have to make sure that you are fully equipped for it. And what better way to do that is to take in the right foods that would benefit you more and not only keep you satisfied.

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