The age-old adage ‘you are what you eat’ has never been truer than it is today. What we are, in essence, is a sum of mind and body. It is widely acknowledged that our bodies are a pretty accurate reflection of what we feed ourselves. What most people are oblivious to, however, is that their eating habits are also necessarily tied to their mental and emotional well-being. The way you plan your diet, and your daily choices with regards to nourishment have an immense influence on the quality of your work. Your performance in every individual aspect of everyday life can be traced back, in one way or another, to what, how and when you eat.
With the sheer assortment of foods available to us, we are positively spoilt for choice. That being said, making intelligent and informed decisions about which of these you use to fuel the powerhouse that is your brain can truly transform your life. Poor nutrition can impair your ability to think clearly, make you fatigued and irritable, and negatively impact your daily performance, whether at work or at home. If you’ve been feeling tired and sluggish, or are unable to work productively due to chronic mental exhaustion, these are vital signs that your nutritional regime needs a significant overhaul.
Start off on a high note
Eating a healthy, nutritious breakfast enables you to jump-start your day with an adequately fuelled mind and body. Careful selection of breakfast foods is essential to ensure steady and prolonged energy supply and heightened focus for the beginning of your day. Instead of falling to the temptation of an on-the-go doughnut or worse yet, foregoing breakfast altogether, try a combination of high fibre whole grains like oats, fresh fruit or vegetable smoothies, high energy foods like eggs, nuts or nut-butters and some dairy. Making this the most substantial meal of your day leaves you satiated and less likely to overeat in subsequent meals while giving your body and brain the signal that it’s time to get working.
Avoid processed foods
Skip the sugary snacks and high-sodium junk foods. Processed foods are high in trans and saturated fats that you are better off avoiding, as these make you listless and dull. Foods high in processed sugar give you a temporary high that is followed by a crash, leaving you physically and mentally lazy. Irritability and moodiness are common consequences of frequently partaking of such foods, which may also exacerbate depression and anxiety. To keep your mind as healthy as possible, opt for wholesome, organic foods that provide proper nutrition and fibre, minus the harmful chemicals and additives. These optimize productivity and mental efficiency during your day. Similarly, whenever one is feeling peckish in between meals, it is recommended to opt for healthier, fibre-rich snacks in place of crisps or sweet biscuits.
Feed your brain
Literally. Unleash your most productive self by nourishing your mind with the nutrients it requires. ‘Brain foods’ in particular are known for improving brain function. Berries and other dark-hued fruits and vegetables protect your mind against ageing and help maintain memory and higher brain function. Eggs contain choline that also enhances memory, while salmon and fish oils are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are essential in keeping your mind sharp. Nuts contain vitamin-E while meat, beans and greens are rich in folate: both of which help improve brain health and overall productivity. Making these a part of your daily diet will keep your mind healthy and functioning at its best. It may be necessary to take supplements if you are deficient in specific vitamins or nutrients. You can always contact the healthcare experts at Click Pharmacy for advice and guidance with regarding vitamins and supplements that you can incorporate into your diet plan.
Try smaller meals
Generally, people tend to indulge in three heavy meals during the day, while suffering bouts of hunger and low blood sugar in between. This obviously makes it hard to concentrate when famished and leads to overeating during the meals, which in turn starts a vicious cycle of unpredictable and wavering energy levels that leaves you in an unproductive limbo. Instead, try having more frequent, smaller meals at regular intervals. These keep your glucose levels (and subsequently, your energy) at a steady state, allowing you to avoid the midday slump.
On the other hand, it is highly counterproductive to miss meals when trying to meet deadlines, as this will be set you back in the form of reduced energy, focus and productivity. It is therefore crucial to neither eat too much nor too less to maintain an adequate supply of juice to your system.
Drink to your health
We mean, drink water. Lots of it. Caffeinated and sugary drinks comprise a considerable percentage of one’s calorific intake. People often do not realize that chugging many cans of beer or energy drinks has a significantly detrimental impact, causing the mind to respond in uneven bursts of energy interspersed with spells of lacklustre idleness. A healthier way to go about this would be to have your coffee in the morning, hydrate yourself thoroughly, avoid caffeine towards the evening hours and restrict intake of all sugary drinks. This will help flush out the toxins from your body and enhance your productivity by leaps and bounds.
Eat your way to better sleep
If you ask any productivity guru, one of the most basic ways to get your productivity to go through the roof is to follow a disciplined sleep schedule well suited to your personal needs. If you are experiencing a lack of energy and reduced mental capacity, sleep deprivation may just be the culprit. Food habits may well be the cause of several sleep problems- eating heavy meals just before bedtime is not only a sleep killer but also causes a variety of digestive issues like indigestion and bloating. Alternately, having a light meal mostly comprised of fresh vegetables and lean protein a couple of hours before you plan on hitting the sack might be precisely what you need for a peaceful night’s slumber.
It is crucial to understand that these alterations to your diet cannot be made all at once. Introducing nutritional changes gradually and consistently is vital to successfully embodying long-lasting, healthier habits into your diet that allows you to harness your full potential and function at optimal levels of energy and productivity.