Healthy eating to improve productivity in the workplace

Healthy eating to improve productivity in the workplace

25th March 2024, 12:51 pm

Did you know that making the right food choices can improve your performance, productivity and mental health at work? Food choices impact our health, wellness, mood and energy levels.

Do you experience the classic post lunch energy slump? Are you constantly craving caffeine during the working day? Do you need a sugary snack to get through the afternoon? These are all signs that you could be eating the wrong foods.

Here are some top tips on better ways to feel energised, awake and motivated whilst at work.

Stay hydrated. Most of us don’t drink enough water (or any non-caffeinated, non-sugary drinks) and the brain often mistakes thirst as hunger. Being hydrated will improve brain function, improve accuracy, help you feel more alert, and reduce your sugar cravings.

Caffeine. It can take up to 10 hours for caffeine to completely clear your bloodstream -so it may be affecting your sleep quality without you realising. By switching to decaffeinated or herbal drinks after 1pm, you’ll sleep better and be more productive the next day. It’s a good idea to ensure there are decaffeinated options available in the workplace. Remember tea, fizzy and energy drinks all contain caffeine, as does chocolate.

Plan ahead. Stay in control of your own food and you will be more likely to make healthier choices. Planning is key. Yes, it takes time and effort, but it will save you money and remove the temptation of that processed takeaway lunch. Prepare your lunch and a couple of healthy snacks the night before (and don’t forget that big bottle of water too!).

Think about snacks. Often it’s not the meals we eat, but the snacks we choose which derail our healthy eating efforts. Be aware of the smaller details of your dietary day: do you have a biscuit while waiting for the kettle to boil, add a muffin to your order at the coffee shop, or grab a handful of sweets from the communal supplies? Take the mindful eating approach, and only eat when you stop to take a break and have healthier, slow release energy snacks to hand instead.

Choose some nuts as a healthy snack alternative, and you will be boosting your brainpower while you snack.

A small portion of dark chocolate ( at least 70%) is a handy option to help satisfy sweet cravings and it has health benefits too – it may help reduce cholesterol and boost your brain function.

Feed your good gut bacteria. Eating a good variety of plant-based foods can help to improve the good bacteria (microbiome) in our gut. The gut is a power house, assisted by the good bacteria within it. Not only responsible for healthy digestion, its role is also to regulate hormones, assist with immunity, and help support your mood. Up to 90% of our feel good hormones are made in the gut before they travel to the brain. By focussing on eating healthily at work you can improve your mood, brain function, concentration and digestion.

The Doctors at The Lifestyle Health clinic specialise in working with individuals around the UK, providing private medical women’s healthcare. Their purpose is to help women take control and feel the best, healthiest version of themselves, whatever their age. They also offer workplace education, webinars and group sessions on all aspects of women’s health and wellbeing. Contact them via email [email protected] or visit their website if you would like to find out more about their services.

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