Did you know that the foods you eat could have a significant impact on your brain and motivation? Eating the right foods throughout the day can increase brainpower, motivation and overall productivity by 20%. I know it may not seem like much, but it is a significant increase! If you’ve noticed you’ve been a little more sluggish at work lately, consider adding these superfoods to your daily diet. I’ve also included a couple simple recipes that combines these super foods together!
Eggs are one of the best nutritional foods you can eat. Eggs are high in choline, which is a nutrient that studies have shown to improve memory. Eggs sell a variety of vitamins but most notably B5 and B12. These vitamins release energy from food and assist with brain nervous system function. Eggs also have vitamin A which plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more.
As if eggs couldn’t seem more nutritionally rich, they are an excellent source of protein that can help sustain energy levels and stave off hunger throughout the day.
- Greek Yogurt
All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. However Greek yogurt contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts. Additionally, in a small study, researchers at UCLA found that eating probiotic yogurt twice a day can reduce activity in the part of your brain that registers pain and emotion. Scientists have also begun to draw links between consuming probiotics and thinking fewer sad thoughts
Fatty fishes are excellent for promoting productivity! Salmon, however, is the best of them all. Salmon has high omega-3 fatty acids content, which is useful for improving memory and mental performance. These fatty acids can help depression and fatigue, which can both inhibit productivity immensely. Fish has also been proven to improve concentration and your overall mood. Other fatty fish include trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, and kipper. Although eating freshly prepared fish is the best method, a fish oil supplement can be taken to achieve a similar result.
- Raw Almonds
Raw almonds are among the healthiest of tree nuts. Almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content. The fiber, protein and fat content of almonds means it only takes a handful to keep you feeling full and satisfied to hold you over until lunch time! Why raw almonds? Both raw and roasted almonds pack a high dose of nutrients and minerals. However, raw almonds have more naturally occurring beneficial fats—which are lost in the roasting process.
Avocados are a natural stimulant for promoting blood flow. Consistent blood flow through your heart and brain fires up your brain cells. This is another healthy, fiber packed fat that improves your overall focus. The best part? There’s so many delicious ways to prepare an avocado but their buttery flavor is amazing on their own!
Antioxidant-rich foods are exceptional for increasing memory. Not only will blueberries help your brain function in the workplace today, it will help to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the future. The antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain – and keeps the mind fresh. Generally, the darker the berry is, the higher antioxidant property it contains, which means more productivity-boosting ingredients.
- Matcha Green Tea
Green tea is a natural energy enhancer and it comes without the negative side effects of other energy sources, such as the caffeine crash you get from coffee or energy drinks. However, the best (and more delicious) way to consume green tea is Matcha. Matcha is unique because it’s the entire leaf ground into a fine powder then made into a creamy tea, whereas other teas the leaves are steeped in hot water. By consuming the leaf as a whole, it provides fiber and polyphenols, a family of powerful antioxidants. It’s also a lot tastier—green tea ice cream is made from Matcha and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.
Glucose turns into energy, and bananas are some of the best resources for that energy-inducing ingredient. A single banana holds the daily amount of glucose your body needs, and it’s a much healthier way to get it than excessive carbs and cane sugars. Bananas are also filling, which means that you’ll be able to focus better between meals if you snack on this rather than something else. Bananas are also a great source of potassium which helps blood pressure, anxiety and stress and helps to enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system.
Finally, water. Now I know this isn’t a food, but it is important to mention that the amount of water intake significantly influences your health and productivity. Our body is made up of over 70% water and throughout the day, the water in our body slowly depletes. If you don’t drink enough water to replenish the lost liquid, your brain and other functions suffer the consequences. By devoting the energy to ensure you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day will give your brain the fuel it needs to be more focused and think more clearly.
Give these foods a go and see if you have noticed an improvement in your productivity. I certainly have! Below are links to a couple of my favorite recipes that combine several of these foods and are super easy to make!
Greek yogurt with honey, almonds, blueberries, and granola (I prefer sliced or slivered almonds)