With the Holiday season just around the corner, we’re moving into “comfort food season”. We’ll be the first to tell you that we love our comfort food. Sure, it always “hits the spot” and we’re full for what feels like days afterwards, but what are we doing to our bodies – and how can we avoid the dreaded “food coma” during precious family time? Below are some nutritional tips talking about foods that help satisfy and keep you feeling “full” – all while helping keep you moving through the day.
In our first in a series of posts, we’re focusing on 3 key factors in increasing your productivity – things you might not always think about.
First up is nutrition!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) adequate nourishment can raise national productivity levels by 20 percent. That’s quite the increase and, frankly, we could all use increased productivity in today’s busy world. In a 2012 study, the journal Population Health Management stated that employees who eat unhealthily were 66 percent more likely to report a loss in productivity when compared to those who regularly ate grains, fruits and vegetables. Thats every 2 out of 3 employees who feel less productive when not receiving adequate nutrition.
But what exactly is adequate nutrition? Is it adhering specifically to the food pyramid? The truth is – the answer is going to vary from person to person. Hopefully, however, after reading this blog post – you’ll have a better idea of what will work for you.
(Dark) Chocolate Isn’t An Enemy – Thank Goodness
- Dark chocolate slows cognitive decline, while pumping caffeine into your bloodstream allowing you extended amounts of energy while helping you increase productivity. This is an especially good option if you’ve just finished your third cup of coffee and can barely sit still.
- Dark chocolate is rich in Polyphenols, which was recently found to help promote calm and feelings of content. “The polyphenols found in dark chocolate hang out with brain receptors associated with anxiety, the study authors say, in the same way that some common anxiety medications do.”
Nuts Can Help Keep You Sane
- Chock-full of Vitamin E, nuts and seeds also help slow cognitive decline as you age. Basically, nuts and seeds are an investment in your health. The more you eat, the healthier you’ll be in the long run.
You Need Fat?!
- Avocado’s, for example, can help reduce LOWER BAD CHOLESTEROL – ultimately decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Blood flow is increased as bad cholesterol and plaque build up are eliminated. So go ahead, have another spoonful of guacamole.
(Grass-Fed) Butter is *GASP* GOOD for Your Heart?
- Grass-fed butter is full of Vitamin K2 – is one of the most important nutrients in the diet for heart and bone health.
- Vitamin K works modifies proteins, giving them the ability to bind calcium ions. Calcium can “leach” our of bones, which can lead to osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it affects all sorts of functions related to calcium metabolism.
Antioxidants Keep You Healthy…And Productive
- According to neuroscientist James A. Joseph, “dark-hued fruits and vegetables, especially blueberries, are just about the best foods you could consume for inoculating brain and body against the ravages of time.” He goes on to state that blueberries can preserve cardiovascular health by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as promote brain integrity. “Oxidative stress and inflammation are the evil twins of brain aging,” Joseph insists.
Inflammation is Good — But Also Bad
Inflammation helps us heal, but out of control inflammation can have adverse effects.
- Thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer, inflammatory foods are those high in sugar and saturated fat content. “They cause overactivity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels,” says Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The bottom line? Results may vary. But the first step is taking the initiative to realize that, just maybe, your productivity levels – or lack of – could be due to your diet. Hopefully our tips above – and the research provided – will help you realize that not all increased productivity is due to increased caffeine consumption.