Food for Thought – What We Eat Affects Productivity
Have you ever been working so hard that you forget to take a break and eat? I’m sure it has. For instance, many times we’ll get caught the middle of something and we keep telling ourselves that we’ll take that lunch break as soon as we’re done this one last thing. We don’t realize, but that one thing eventually turns into another, and then another, and before you know it’s time to go home. This happened to me today, and I wondered if food has any effect on productivity? As it turns out, food and productivity go hand in hand. Much like fuel for a car, without it we can’t perform.
So after doing a couple quick google searches I found some interesting facts. It appears that what we eat does indeed have a direct impact on our productivity. Let’s start with some of the negative effects that come with poor nutrition. One problems is many people don’t realize that even when sitting at a desk, you still burn calories. Though the number may be small, they add up fairly quickly. If you don’t consume a sufficient amount of calories, you’ll experience weight loss, fatigue, low productivity and the risk of having an accident. Another problem is eating too much fast food. For those of us always working late nights it may be the only thing that’s still open. Or for those of us always on the go, it may be easier to pick something up on the way. Either way, too much junk food will lead to many health issues. A study in 2004 estimated that approximately 1 billion people are overweight or obese. Other studies have shown that obese or overweight workers are twice as like to miss work as compared to a fit and healthy worker. If you miss work then you’re productivity level is 0.
Now that we understand the negatives and possible harms of poor eating habits, what should we do? Well obviously you should eat healthy, but there are a few item that are particularly good for the brain. One thing you should keep in your regular diet is fish. Fish has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain development and function. Getting a sufficient amount of omega-3 will also reduce the risk of dementia and risk of having a stroke. Nuts and seeds are rich with vitamin E. They also have a lot of antioxidants that have proven to slow down cognitive decline as you age. Chocolate much like nuts and seeds are also rich with antioxidants. If you’re ever starting to feel like you need a little boost to keep you going, some dark chocolate is all you need. It’s a nice sweet treat, but it also contains caffeine. Much like cars needing gas, our brains need glucose, and raw carrots is the best way to get it.
There are so many food options out there with some many good benefits. So the next time you decide to buy a burger, think twice. So a quick recap of what just happened. Not enough food will lead to fatigue, weight loss, and risk of injury or accident. Too much unhealthy food will lead to health, and weight issues and sick days. Eating the right amount of the right stuff equals healthy and productive! We have to learn to take care of ourselves, and that means fuelling our bodies with the best nutrients so we can perform at a high level on a daily basis.