By Stekki Millman – August 10, 2016
Do you think about what you eat for lunch every day? If not, maybe you should. After all, being in the client-service industry is a high-energy job, so you need plenty of fuel to get you through the day. And the foods you eat may affect you more than you realize. Studies show food has a direct impact on productivity, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.
According to experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foods that release glucose quickly (i.e., soda, cookies, chips, candy and white bread) lead to a blood sugar spike that provides a quick burst of energy followed by a drop in blood sugar that causes a slump. Meaning eating poorly can result in low energy, moodiness and a lack of productivity.
Foods that provide more sustained energy (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and healthy fats), however, offer a steadier supply of energy to the brain.
According to the World Health Organization, the right ingredients can boost brain power by as much as 20 percent. The right foods can positively affect memory, thinking, emotions and creativity.
Research indicates that eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day isn’t simply good for the body—it’s also beneficial for the mind. According to a study in the British Journal of Health Psychology, the more fruits and vegetables a person eats, the happier, more engaged and more creative they tend to be.
Other researchers and nutritionists have identified some “brain foods” that may lead to a healthier and more energetic day. Here are some that are commonly listed by experts:
3. Chicken breast
4. Dark Chocolate
5. Dark leafy greens (e.g., kale)
7. Fish and shrimp (especially salmon)
9. Greek yogurts
10. Red wine
11. Steel cut oatmeal
12. Whole grains
The key is eating before hunger strikes. Unhealthy lunch options tend to be faster than nutritious alternatives, making them all the more appealing when your stomach is growling in the middle of a busy workday. Ordering lunch to the office and eating at your desk can be tempting, but it’s also important to take time away from your computer. You could consider going outside to pick up something or eating a packed lunch outdoors.
Of course let’s not forget that while eating healthy can boost creativity and productivity, nearly every health advocate recommends a splurge once in a while. So go ahead and enjoy that occasional cupcake at the office birthday celebration.