No matter the profession, everyone can benefit from being productive at work. The unfortunate truth is that so many issues can hinder your productivity including sleep deprivation, loud office spaces, working overtime and multitasking different projects; it’s important to do what you can to make yourself more productive.
While some of these issues aren’t necessarily in your control, one thing you do have control over is the quality of “fuel” you put in your body.
Certain foods can actually help brain function and increase your focus and memory. You don’t need to spend a pretty penny at a health food store and load up on supplements and pills that claim they have benefits for productivity, you can simply head over to your nearest grocery store and grab some of these everyday items.
If you want to know just how you can revamp your grocery list and munch your way to a more productive work day, keep reading to find out the 7 best productivity boosting foods.
- Water: While water may not be a food, it’s an essential dietary component if you want to have a productive day. The body is made up of 70% water, making a key component for most bodily functions. The brain needs water to perform optimally, so if you’re dehydrated it’s going to compromise your cognitive abilities. Odds are, if you start feeling groggy throughout the day, you’re probably dehydrated. Aim to drink at least 2 litres or 8 cups of water a day to keep your brain sharp.
- Maca Root: Maca is a powerful superfood which originated in the Peruvian Andes. Most people use it for hormone balance, however it has many benefits for productivity too. Maca root is high in B vitamins and calcium, which are essential for energy production and concentration. Maca is available in powder form and is easy to add into smoothies or oatmeal.
- Salmon: Any fish that is high in omega-3s boasts benefits for brain function. They keep our minds sharp throughout the day and improve learning abilities and memory. The recommended daily intake of omega-3s is anywhere between 250 to 500 milligrams per day. Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, so you can enjoy not only salmon, but also halibut, sea bass and albacore tuna. Plant based sources of omega-3s include walnuts, tofu and flax seeds. There has also been evidence that omega-3s help with lowering levels of heart disease and can help with symptoms of anxiety, which is beneficial to everyone who works a stressful job!
- Cacao: Cacao is the raw form of cocoa, which is made by cold pressing cocoa beans. This keeps all the enzymes intact but removes the fat. It’s available in cacao nibs (similar to a chocolate chip, but not sweet), or you can find it in powder form. The powerful antioxidants in cacao help boost brain function, making it great for keeping you focused and productive. They help keep the brain stimulated particularly in the regions that control learning and memory. Cacao can be added to so many things, from smoothies, to raw treats such as cookies, oatmeal.
- Avocado: Guacamole lovers rejoice! Avocados have stimulating properties that help maintain consistent blood flow around our brain, firing up the brain cells. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, which helps you stay energized and helps your brain produce serotonin to regulate your mood and keep you feeling happy. Strange but true: happiness has been shown to make people 12% more productive, so go ahead and eat as much guac as you want!
- Berries: It’s no secret that berries contain extremely high amounts of antioxidants. The powerful antioxidants found in all berries help to protect the brain from damage due to free radicals. Studies have shown that berries help increase memory and can actually fend off diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The darker the berry, the richer it will be in antioxidants.
- Green Tea: Most people in this day in age have probably heard about the endless health enhancing properties of green tea such as skin health, dental health, heart disease prevention and more; it’s no surprise that it can also help with brain function. It contains caffeine which is a stimulant for the brain. The antioxidant properties work alongside the caffeine to boost brain function and prevent the development of degenerative diseases. Green tea, particularly matcha green tea, also improves memory as it contains a substance called l-theanine. The theanine in green tea is what makes it so different from drinking a cup of coffee to get the brain-stimulating benefits of caffeine, because theanine is responsible for increasing cognitive improvement for longer periods of time.
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.