Whoever coined the term, “food is medicine,” was absolutely right. The food we eat affects us immensely – not just in terms of body weight, but physical fitness, stamina, and mental health. Eating too much sugar gives us a sudden high and a painful low, too much caffeine sets us buzzing off and we end up craving for more.
Not only is proper nutrition required for the right purpose (such as needing a pick-me-up, something to help soothe our nerves or help us fall asleep), but it is also required in the right amounts. Remember, balance is vital in dietary habits.
We know the basic principle – get your carbohydrates in small amounts, proteins in large amounts, fat in minimal amounts and a daily helping of fiber to keep going.
But what about when we need something to help us stay on track with our busy lifestyle? Is there a food that can magically keep us mentally alert all the while boosting our confidence and productivity? Of course! Food is medicine, after all!
So what are these wonder productivity boosting foods that we so clearly need for ourselves?
10 Foods That Boost Productivity
Blueberries are well-known for their antioxidants whose primary function not only is to protect the body from harmful effects of oxidation but also stimulate the blood flow to the brain.
Improved blood flow ensures an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain to keep it running and focused on the task at hand. Because of high amounts of a substance called Gallic acid, blueberries can protect our brain cells from oxidative stress and degeneration.
Another food that helps redirect blood flow to the brain and boosts concentration is Avocado. This magical ingredient contains folate and vitamin K, which prevent the formation of clots in the brain as well as improve cognitive function.
3. Green tea
Green tea has two major ingredients that help us focus – caffeine and L-theanine. We already know about the energizing effects of caffeine. But what about the mystery ingredient, i.e., L-theanine?
Caffeine and L-theanine actually go hand in hand. Basically, L-Theanine helps your brain relax and slows down the rate at which caffeine is being released into the system. Green tea enables you to imbibe different ingredients essential for maintaining attention, focus, and agility. All in all, your work is easier when you have a cup of green tea at work.
4. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables also contain antioxidants and carotenoids which improve brain power and function. In fact, they maximize performance so that our state of mind is more in tune with our work.
Packed with B vitamins, these vegetables boost memory, improve focus and more importantly, protect your brain cells from damage.
5. Dark chocolate
Good news chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate – not the sweet, milky kind you crave at midnight is actually good for your brain. It contains a little bit of caffeine that enhances your mental focus.
It also contains magnesium that helps your brain relax and release ‘feel-good’ hormones called endorphins that make you feel positive and more confident towards your work. Of course, don’t go overboard with the chocolate. But when you’re burned out and you need a small pick me up, have a bit of dark chocolate!
6. Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil does an excellent job when it comes to fighting off the bad guys or free radicals. Due to its powerful antioxidant properties, the oil boosts learning and sharpens our memory. The constituents of extra virgin olive oil keep age and disease-related brain changes at bay.
Fatty/oily fish is also a key source of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to enhance memory and brain performance.
People who do not get enough omega 3s in their diet are more likely to have a bad memory, depression and annoying symptoms such as fatigue.
Studies reveal that oily fish can improve the performance of your brain, pushing you towards productivity. This means you should include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kipper in your diet. Happy fishing!
Walnuts help fight off mental stress as they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, keeping your cognitive functions at their peak. With high levels of Vitamin E, walnuts are also involved in slowing down the natural process of cognitive decline.
So the next time you need to study through the night, keep a handful of walnuts close to not only help you with your work but also keep those hunger pangs at bay!
Beets also have made it to the list. Well, most people cannot stand their taste, which is surprising considering numerous benefits that are packed inside those purple wonders. They contain a lot of cancer-preventing antioxidants and assist your body in flushing out toxins from your blood.
Nutrients contained in beetroot improve the flow of blood to your brain and enhance mental performance. Not only that, but the rosy tint they leave on your lips is just oh-so luscious!
10. Bone Broth
Bone broth – no, it’s not just food for the sick. Usually, the broth is something that we turn to when we have a cold. But surprisingly, it works wonders to boost our immune system and helps our gastrointestinal tract run smoothly.
What’s even better is that it also sharpens our cognitive functions due to its overall positive effects on the body. Ingredients like glycine and proline help improve your memory.
So now that we’ve run through the list of brain superfoods, we have no reason to procrastinate. That’s right. It’s time to get to work. After all, achieving the targets will be easy since we have our dependable snacks to help save the day.
If you feel that your diet lacks essential nutrients, it is best to consult a licensed nutritionist. Like medical practitioners, most nutritionists have incorporated telemedicine into their practice which means you can contact them using your smartphone or laptop.
Remember to squeeze in some good ol’ exercises (a couple of squats, jumping jacks or sit-ups should do the trick) in between your working hours, which will boost your mood and productivity!
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