Welcome to TRC Professional Solutions’ Personal Wellness Series. Our next five posts will provide valuable advice to help you be the best you can be, on the job and off – starting with that old adage “you are what you eat.” Because nowhere is that more applicable than when you’re trying to shine at work.
Healthy Food = A Healthy Mind
Your brain is always “on” – taking care of your thoughts, movements, breathing, senses and heartbeat, even when you’re sleeping. So, just like your car, it requires a constant supply of fuel. Not just any fuel, but the right fuel. Think premium, versus regular at the gas pump. Eating right is not only good for your physical well-being; it also improves your concentration, alertness, problem-solving skills and productivity.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Everything you eat affects the way your body functions and your mind performs. When you eat healthily, your body processes nutrients for optimal energy. Poor nutrition, aka “empty calories,” can have the opposite effect, leading to:
- Decreased mental effectiveness.
- Lowered ability to think clearly or perform well.
- Higher levels of stress and depression.
Consider increasing your intake of these nutrients to build brain health and overall productivity:
- Folate, found in meat, beans and greens.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and some types of eggs.
- Vitamin C, found in berries, bell peppers and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin E, found in nuts and vegetable oils.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, to avoid dehydration and enhance your planning skills. Cut back on caffeine in the afternoon and evening, so your brain is not overstimulated at bedtime.
Nutrition and Productivity
Numerous studies have shown that poor worker health is the leading cause of decreased productivity worldwide – ranging from malnutrition in developing nations to obesity and related problems in more developed countries including the U.S. Not surprisingly, recent Brown University research verified that adults who are in better health are typically able to work longer and achieve higher incomes over their lifetimes.
Follow these tips to stay healthy and productive:
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Stick with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins and dairy products.
- Don’t skip meals. It’s easy to skip lunch in an effort to squeeze out more work – but don’t. This will only hurt you later in the day by lowering your energy.
- Pack your lunch. To avoid the temptation of vending machines or calling out for unhealthy fast food, pack your lunch to ensure you have the types of food you need. Don’t forget snacks for between-meal boosts. These could include chopped veggies, almonds, granola bars and fruit.
- Start small. If changing your eating habits sounds overwhelming, try making a few small changes at a time. Gradual improvements are the key to lasting success.
Are you looking for a new professional job?
Contact TRC Professional Solutions today for more tips on being the best you can be every day on the job, and on building your career in engineering, accounting, finance, marketing, cyber security, logistics or supply chain management.
Next up in our Personal Wellness Series: Small Lifestyle Tweaks to Make Yourself More Productive