What we put in our bodies greatly affects how we function in our day-to-day lives—work life included. While some people eat well to stay fit or maintain their target weight, a healthy diet can produce other benefits as well. Eating well at work provides more energy, enabling employees to be more productive during the hours spent in meetings or at their desks. So what types of food should you eat at work to keep your brain sharp and your energy up? Here's what we recommend.
Put that doughnut down! Sugary foods with high fat content may look delicious, but they won't do much to elevate your job performance. Rather, these foods tend to tire you out, causing sleepiness and boredom that inhibits your ability to do timely and focused work. To combat this, make smart breakfast choices such as a banana or a cup of yogurt with granola and berries. And, yes, that cup of coffee is OK, too!
Did you know that 30% of your risk for developing cancer stems from a poor diet? Compare that number to the 31% risk attributed to smoking and 15% attributed to hereditary causes. In fact, more than 70 diseases are associated with abnormal angiogenesis, the process by which new blood cells develop. Colorful plants—including certain fruits and vegetables—balance the angiogenesis process, reducing the risk of cancers and other diseases. So what can you eat for lunch at work to reduce your risks? Fostering intentional eating patterns now will prevent disease later, so be sure to incorporate lots of colorful fruits and veggies into your lunch via salads, sides, and snacks.
Speaking of snacks, you can stay fueled throughout your shift by snacking on the right foods. Choices like almonds, low-fat popcorn, fruits, dry cereal, pretzels, string cheese, and veggies with hummus are all excellent sources of protein and healthy fats. These foods will provide a boost of energy to keep you going without slogging you down with sugars and unwanted fats.
Drink as much water as you can! A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, meaning a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and energized, allowing for better productivity throughout each day.