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Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist
Did you know your brain consumes about 20% of your daily calories?1 Feed it well! Make sure the calories you consume come from foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that actually help your brain perform better. Anything less, and you just might not reach your productivity potential.
In part 1 of this series on diet and productivity, we looked at how we can help our kids perform better at school by arming them with healthy food choices during the school day.
This time, we focus on the grown-ups, who don’t necessarily have someone standing over their shoulder helping them make dietary decisions. But you do have this handy guide, so prepare to sit down in your office lunchroom, take a bite, and boost your brain power!
Let’s start by looking at the foods that are not likely to help us produce and perform at full-throttle, like these office vending machine and conference room staples:
You’ve probably experienced this phenomenon: you eat one or more of these goodies and get a quick boost of energy followed by an uncomfortable drop in blood sugar. You hit a slump. And we all know what happens when we hit a slump? We’re hungry, probably a little sleepy, and a trip to the vending machine—or back to the conference room for leftovers—sounds like a great idea. “Sugar! Salt! Fat!,” our brains scream. And so we circle back to the soda pop, pretzels, donuts, etc. Or maybe we head out for some pizza.
Foods with a high ranking on the glycemic index (a value of 70 or more) are more quickly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a higher and faster rise in blood glucose than foods lower on the scale (think blueberries and multigrain bread).2 The energy they provide is literally short-lived, setting us up to want more, more, and more.
Why not feed your brain something more energizing in the first place? The point is to maintain your energy level so you don’t hit a slump. Conventional wisdom and volumes of scientific evidence tells us to reach for foods that have a slower burn. That is, a value of 55 or less on the glycemic index.2 Most fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and healthy fats provide our bodies and brains with more sustainable energy. They keep us feeling full for longer, keep us energized for longer, and keep us productive for longer.
How about we jump right into some Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) research that shows just how much of an impact these healthier foods can have on our productivity:3
So based on these insights from HERO and some other nuggets of knowledge compiled by Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community (EBOC), here are some great ideas for foods to pack in your lunch sack: 3
For more about brain power, don’t miss 8 Tips to Improve Your Memory.
Hungry for more food tips? Check out Summer Immunity Boosters and The Heart-Healthy Office: Care Tips for Eating Your Way to Wellness.
Long, J. (2015, June 25). Get More Done by Following 'The Productivity Diet' (Infographic). Retrieved August 04, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247650.
1 Nixon, R. (2009, January 07). Brain Food: How to Eat Smart. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from https://www.livescience.com/3186-brain-food-eat-smart.html.
2 (n.d.). Retrieved August 04, 2017, from http://www.gisymbol.com/about/glycemic-index/.
3 Friedman, R. (2015, December 30). What You Eat Affects Your Productivity. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from https://hbr.org/2014/10/what-you-eat-affects-your-productivity.
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Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL Illinois) is a leading provider of individual supplemental accident, disability, health, and life insurance products and a Chubb company. With a tradition of nearly 100 years of success, we have an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and are one of Ward’s Top 50® Performing Life-Health Insurance Companies. Combined Insurance is also the number one Military Friendly® Employer in the over $1B revenue category for 2019 by VIQTORY. This is the company’s eighth consecutive year on the top 10 list and fifth consecutive year in the top 5—Combined Insurance was previously named the number one Military Friendly® Employer in the nation for 2015 and 2016. In New York, products are underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY).
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