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5 foods for optimal productivity

5 foods for optimal productivity

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Alex Nekritin

CEO and Founder of Ultiself

Table of contents

5 foods for optimal productivity

Table of contents

1. Intro

Especially when building or running your own business performing at your peak for an extended period of time may be tough. Fatigue might seem unavoidable. Luckily there are certain changes you can make in your diet that will boost your energy, mental sharpness and ability to concentrate so that you can accomplish more and achieve your goals faster.  

It’s not as simple as having a cup of coffee. Certain foods that can boost your productivity and enable you to do more with less effort. Eat these foods at the right times and you can see significant improvement in your productivity and results.

2. How food affects your brain performance 

Your food choice has significant effects on your work performance. When your diet is based on processed foods, simple carbs, and sugar, you’ll most likely struggle to concentrate and stay effective during your working day. You may feel drowsy and lethargic around lunchtime. Your lack of energy may prevent you from tackling the tasks and get them done. 

What happens to your brain after an unhealthy breakfast? Your blood-sugar level immediately spikes and fuels your brain. This burst of energy is momentary and doesn’t last long. Shortly after that, your blood-sugar level usually drops causing you to crave foods that can boost your energy quickly. These cravings are especially addictive when you’re skipping meals. 

This is the most common scenario that may explain how the vicious cycle of blood-glucose going up and down affects productivity. In the long-term, this habit may make you feel chronically exhausted and wreck your performance in the workplace. Meals that are high in sugar, weaken your abilities to solve complex problems and find solutions. 

To reverse that scenario and improve productivity, opt for a high-quality snack instead. The healthy office snack can give you more energy and keep your blood-sugar level stable. You won’t experience sudden spikes and drops of blood-glucose that will only leave you tired and drained. Put more complex carbs, proteins, natural sugar, and other healthy foods in your meal to prevent blood-sugar spikes.  

Try these 5 foods to enhance your energy level in a healthy way and maintain your optimal productivity level.

3. Avocado

Benefits:

Eating avocado keeps your brain healthy and functional [1]. It protects nerve cells or astrocytes thus decreasing the risk of cognitive decline. This powerful food helps you stay mentally sharp by bringing more oxygen to your brain. Preventing oxidation processes and their harmful effects is also one of its functions.

Specific ingredients of avocado and their effects on your brain:

The main thing that classifies avocado as a superfood is a lutein. This mysterious ingredient keeps your brain cells healthy and their membrane flexible. It facilitates communication between neurons and improves your cognitive function, your memory, and guess what—your mood.

When you eat avocado daily, you may expect to increase your lutein level up to 25 percent [2]. It is also abundant with folate, and you may get half of the recommended daily dose by eating only one avocado per day. Other nutrients that you may get by consuming avocado are vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, B6, magnesium, potassium, and riboflavin.

Avocado

Simple ways to eat avocado:

Enjoy eating avocado by seasoning it with salt and pepper. Some people like adding lemon juice, paprika, and balsamic vinegar. You may also prepare delicious breakfast and add avocado on your toast, sandwich, or scrambled eggs.

4. Blueberries

Benefits:

Blueberries are often associated with brain health. These berries protect the brain from memory loss, thus preventing dementia even in old people. The elderly who drank 30 milliliters of blueberry juice every day have experienced better concentration, improved memory, and even better motor coordination [3]. Moreover, people who eat a portion of this fruit in the morning solve difficult tasks easier [4].

Specific ingredients of blueberries and their effects on your brain:

These impressive effects, blueberries owe to antioxidants. They fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

The most known antioxidants found in blueberries are flavonoids which anti-inflammatory properties are huge. They may protect your brain from viral infections and cancer.

Blueberries

When you eat blueberries frequently, expect improved brain activity, enhanced memory ability, and better neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is usually described as improved brain capacity to rebuild connections between its cells. 

Simple ways to eat blueberries:

Blueberries are the best when eating raw. Prepare your morning smoothie or juice to get the most from it. Add a handful of blueberries to your pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, or parfait. Some people find practical making breakfast bars with this delicious fruit.

5. Kale

Benefits:

Leafy green vegetables, especially kale, are well-known for their beneficial effects on cognitive functions. Eating one to two cups of kale a day may increase your brain activity. It may help your brain operate in a way as you are 11 years younger [5]. These rejuvenating effects keep you more alert, focused, and motivated during your working days.

Specific ingredients of kale and their effects on your brain:

Kale is rich in antioxidants that help your brain against inflammation and protect brain cells from early decline.

When you eat kale regularly, you’ll take more vitamin C, vitamin B, carotenoids, and phytonutrients—all nutrients responsible for your sense of optimism. They have calming effects on your brain and lower the risk of depression.

Kale

Kale contains lutein, folate, and vitamin K that are essential for optimal brain activity. When you add B6, B12, and folic acid to this strong mix of nutrients, you’ll get the leafy green powerhouse that can drastically improve your cognitive capacity.

Simple ways to eat kale:

You can eat kale raw in a salad or smoothie. To avoid side effects of oxalates, prepare kale in one of the following ways—blanch it, roast it or braise it. Each of these processes will soften its tough texture and make it taste better. One of the most popular ways to eat kale is to make crispy kale chips.

6. Olive Oil

Benefits:

You might ‘ve already heard that the Mediterranean diet is the most beneficial diet for overall health. And what makes this diet so special is olive oil. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids with huge nutritional benefits. This foodstuff improves learning capacity, keeps your brain active, and improves memory functioning [6]. Moreover, studies have shown that regular consumption of olive oil enhance verbal skills and make your visual memory better [7].

Specific ingredients of olive oil and their effects on your brain:

Olive oil is full of antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, oleocanthals, and so on.

They protect brain cells against inflammation and reduce the risks of memory decline. As a powerful nutrient, olive oil also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by the process known as autophagy. The process reduces intercellular debris and toxins, thus keeping brain cells healthy.

Olive Oil

Simple ways to eat olive oil:

To eat more olive oil, add a few tablespoons at the end of cooking. Marinades and delicate salads might also be a great option to consume more. For a better taste of your favorite vegetables, roast them on olive oil and add some cheese.

7. Coconut Oil

Benefits:

Coconut oil has become popular in recent years by its ability to decrease the risks of Alzheimer’s disease [8]. It may even slow cognitive decline caused by this type of dementia. Other benefits include improving good cholesterol, soothe inflammation processes in the body, and lower bad cholesterol.

Specific ingredients of coconut oil and their effects on your brain:

The main quality of coconut oil lies in its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that easily convert into energy necessary for nourishing brain cells.

Through metabolic processes, your liver converts MCTs into ketones and these tiny bodies protect your brain. They are considered as a more stable source of energy because they keep your blood-sugar level stable and improve your ability to concentrate and solve problems.

Coconut Oil

Simple ways to eat coconut oil:

You may use it as cooking oil or bake your muffins, bread, or pancakes. Enrich the taste of your smoothie or yogurt by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil.

8. Conclusion

You most definitely want to stay productive, healthy, and enthusiastic about your life and work. For that reason, set your main goal to keep your brain sharp and healthy. Introduce these 5 superfoods to your menu to avoid an energy decline during midday. You may want to add each food into your diet one-by-one. It may take a while to adjust to your new healthy regime, but with regular practice, it usually becomes better. When you learn how to prepare your new meals, it’ll be easier for you to combine these healthy options into a nutritious snack. With a little effort, you’ll overcome the need for processed food to compensate for your energy loss.

References

  
  1. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/avocado-brain-function-6231.html
  2. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/fl-nre082317.php
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170307100356.htm
  4. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1212579/A-bowl-blueberries-day-keeps-brain-active-afternoon.html
  5. https://now.tufts.edu/articles/kale-and-brain
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21955812
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723078/
  8. https://www.business-standard.com/article/health/how-consumption-of-coconut-oil-can-help-prevent-alzheimer-s-disease-119041300758_1.html
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 Mood  Stress  Health  Energy  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness  Motivation
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