6 Super Foods To Get Sharper At Work
Productivity at work can be heavily dependent on your diet.
As business professionals in today’s fast-paced world, we often struggle to keep up with a healthy diet. The lack of rest from overwork often leads to cravings for high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods, lowering your overall well-being. Choosing a healthier diet will enhance brain function, but not all food groups are made equal — certain types of food hold better results.
Here is a list of super foods which we recommend adding to your daily diet to get sharper at work.
1. Whole Grains
Sure, grains may hold a bad reputation, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid all grains. In fact, whole-grains play a key role in supplying energy to our body. It breaks down into glucose which is then released into the bloodstream. With good flow comes mental alertness and this helps you last through a busy day at work.
Fibre-rich quinoa, for instance, contains iron, which is responsible for neurotransmitter synthesis, and magnesium, which alleviates migraines. Reducing inflammation and vascular risk factors, whole grains taken in moderation promote a healthier brain. Other options of good whole grains include brown rice, oats and rye bread.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids of EPA and DHA, fish is an optimal source of essential fatty acids in our system. These fats regulate the functioning of neurons responsible for mental focus. An increase in DHA levels lowers the risk of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s and produces serotonin, a brain chemical essential in balancing your mood.
Not only are sardines budget-friendly, but also are abundant in fatty acids which positively affect the synapses of nerve cells, which are instrumental in facilitating communication between neurons. Deep-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring similarly strengthens learning and memory.
Here’s some good news for people with a sweet-tooth. The daily intake of berries boosts brain power. Antioxidants found in such fruit have a range of beneficial effects: protecting cells from damage by harmful radicals, stalling age-related brain disorders and reducing inflammation.
Blueberries possess flavonoids and are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They stimulate blood flow and feed oxygen to the brain, freshening the mind. From strawberries to raspberries, these low-fat fruits are a convenient yet healthy addition to your work life.
4. Nuts and Seeds
The higher the amount of vitamin E, the lower the chance of cognitive decline. You can do no better than add nuts and seeds to your diet. An essential part in boosting brain performance, this super food contains healthy fats that contribute to the state of the central organ and even the heart. While nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, seeds also supply zinc, a mineral vital for cognitive skills, along with chemical serotonin.
Resembling miniature brains, walnuts are your ultimate brainfood. Their neuroprotective properties such as omega-3 fats, vitamin E, folate, melatonin and antioxidants fuel the central organ. You can also sprinkle flaxseeds, almonds or peanuts on your lunch to give an extra boost before getting back to work.
It is no surprise that greens are potent superfoods in leading a healthy lifestyle. Lutein, a pigment in dark-green vegetables, bolsters the brain’s well-being. When ingested, it is accumulated, acting as a lifelong storage of nutrients and vitamins.
Kale tops the charts as its omega-3 alpha-linolenic acids and kaempferol lower your sugar levels, preventing an inflamed brain. In addition, iron, folate and vitamin B6 all add to manufacturing brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Other popular green options are broccoli and spinach.
6. Dark Chocolate
While chocolate may seem out of place in a healthy diet, dark chocolate is not. Containing feel-good chemicals called endorphins, the cocoa relieves stress and depression. With flavanols that reduce blood pressure, the anti-inflammatory compounds enhance problem-solving skills, attention span and memory.
A good rule of thumb is to opt for chocolates with 85% pure cocoa or more. The darker the chocolate, the better it is for your brain health.