Whether you’re working on a stressful project, need more sleep, or need to overcome an afternoon lull, here are some top food choices to boost your health, productivity, and energy at work.
1. Black tea
“Tea is chemically very complex, with many different ingredients. Ingredients such as catechins, polyphenols, flavonoids and amino acids have been found to have effects on neurotransmitters in the brain, but we cannot tell from this research which ones produced the differences,” stated the researchers.
Next time you’re going for a cup of coffee before a stressful meeting, consider tea instead.
2. Whole grain bar
Each bar provides one-third of your daily whole grain needs, and might help keep your weight in check, too. Research conducted at Harvard Medical School showed that intake of high-fiber, whole-grain foods was associated a lower weight, while consumption of refined grain foods was associated with increased weight.
Grapes may also contain a component to help you perform better at work. Research on grape juice shows it has been shown to increase the production of dopamine in the brain – a feel-good neurotransmitter that is essential for memory and problem solving. For some added power, pair a handful of grapes with a few almonds or a cube of cheese for protein. You can also keep some grapes in the freezer at work for a better-for-you frozen treat.
Nut consumers also tend to live a healthier lifestyle. A large 2013 study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that people who ate nuts seven or more times a week had a lower death rate than individuals who did not eat nuts. Since nuts are high in calories it’s best to pre-portion your servings in small bags or buy the pre-portioned snack packs at the grocery store. A servings size of nuts is 1 ounce (1/4 cup), which is about a handful.
6. Dried fruits and veggiesWhile fruits and vegetables are low in calories and bursting with important vitamins and minerals, sometimes a lack of time means a lack of produce in your diet. Dried peas, dried banana chips, dried carrots, dried apples, and dried blueberries are just a few convenient produce options to keep in your desk drawer for a “smart” snack.A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that high fruit and vegetable intake is positively correlated with antioxidant status and cognitive performance in healthy adults. Look for brands of dried fruits and vegetables with nothing added – for example, dried peas should contain just peas.