Your mind and body require good nutrition to perform at their optimum level. Discover at BeWellBuzz how certain foods affect cognitive function.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that what you eat affects your productivity. If you think about your most productive day this week and then about what you ate for breakfast or lunch, the connection should be clear. If you want your mind and body to perform at their optimum level, it requires good nutrition.
This isn’t a new concept by any means, but it is one people rarely think about. When trying to identify the reason behind their poor productivity, people generally jump to the amount of sleep they got the night before, their work environment or their connection to social media. But the food and water element often is left out of the picture.
Perhaps one reason we struggle so much to include good nutrition in our lives is a poor understanding of what it means. As far as productivity is concerned, it generally requires having approximately 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream at all times. This is what you get when you eat a banana and it’s enough energy to fuel your brain and body for several hours.
Studies Supporting Good Nutrition and Brain Function
One study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology shows just how much impact our nutrition has on the brain. A group of participants reported their daily food consumption, behaviors and overall mood during a two-week period. The researchers analyzed the results and found those who ate more fruits and vegetables were happier, more engaged, and more creative than those who ate fewer.
Another comprehensive study from UCLA looked at more than 160 studies examining the connection between food and the brain. Lead researcher and professor of neurosurgery and physiological science at UCLA Fernando Gomez-Pinilla stated:
“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain….This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging.”
These studies and more confirm that what we eat has a big impact on the brain’s function. It can make all the difference in your mood and productivity and it deserves a little extra attention during your day.
Food and Emotion
There’s a clear connection between the emotions we feel and the food we eat. If you want to improve your brain productivity and emotions, you should recognize how certain foods affect the way you think and feel.
Fruits and Vegetables: Research shows that employees who ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times per week were 20 percent more likely to be more productive. These foods contain healthy fiber, carbohydrates and antioxidants that can improve memory and motor coordination while counteracting stress.
Eggs: Not only do eggs supply a healthy amount of energy, but they also have a vitamin called choline, which enhances memory and improves reaction time.
Water: Hydration is a key factor in overall health. Those who strive to get eight glasses of water per day find they have more energy and are able to think more clearly.
Coffee: It’s true that coffee has a bad reputation for staining teeth and making you jittery, but experts say that just a cup or two of coffee per day can act as an antidepressant.
Sweet Foods: Though they should be consumed in moderation, sweets can be a quick way to jumpstart your energy and boost your mood. Small amounts of these foods can cause the brain to release endorphins, which send pleasure signals to the brain. All in all, they can make you feel happier.
Processed Foods: These foods are full of fats, sugars and chemicals that don’t do your body any favors. Instead, they can tear down the body and lead to feelings of anger and discontent. A poorly balanced diet also can create this emotion.
There’s plenty of evidence to show how much of an impact food can have on your brain. Taking care to eat a well-balanced diet is the best way to remain productive, happy and healthy.