Your average day in the office will put your brain through its paces, so keeping it fuelled is vital. However, mindless snacking throughout the day combined with a sedentary lifestyle is a dangerous combination to stay clear of- knowing what to snack on to keep both your body and mind happy is key.
A lack of time and heightened stress levels can make tempting fast food lunches or pre packed convenience foods even more appealing; a quick fix but nutritionally detrimental in the long run. Don’t be surprised to quickly find yourself hungry again with energy levels at an all-time low.
In order to keep your brain ticking over, consider having these snacks close to hand when hunger strikes to stimulate the mind and push productivity levels through the roof.
1. Greek Yogurt
Perfect for elevenses or a mid-afternoon craving, not only will you benefit from bone building calcium and a boost from protein levels but it may also help you fend off the dreaded office germs. Those “good for you bacteria” you hear so much about on advertisements will help regulate your digestion and strengthen your immune system. It is also loaded with vitamins; for the health conscious amongst us you’ll benefit from potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
Trail mix has been a firm favourite to graze on for many years; here’s why. Nuts have been known to lower blood cholesterol levels and they are rich in antioxidants. Some may be high in fats and oils, but they have been known to work as appetite suppressors, and nuts rich in alpha- linolenic acid have shown to have a heart protective benefit during times of acute stress. If you suffer from a nut allergy, or just fancy a change, try roasted edamame beans instead. You can even try them covered in dark chocolate if you want a not too naughty but nice treat.
There is a reason why large companies are providing free fruit on tap for their employees. Widely known for being rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in calories, fruit is the ideal snack to have handy at your desk. Dig deeper and you will discover more, there is much more to your humble five a day than meets the eye. Did you know that a banana holds the daily amount of glucose needed for your brain, and that the antioxidants found in abundance in berries can improve both memory and motor coordination? Guilt free snacking.
There is a reason why sushi bars seem to have popped up in every neighbourhood. Quick and fuss free, raw fish is low in fat, reducing the strain from your waistband. Opt for salmon when you can which is rich in omega-3, this works hand in hand with serotonin the feel good chemical in the brain. After all, who doesn’t want to feel good at work? What’s more, a diet rich in fish aids communication between nerve cells, showing a positive correlation between learning acquisition and memory performance.
5. Tea and Coffee
Many diets encourage you to cut out caffeine, but in moderation a study has shown that it can actually boost memory consolidation and is rich in those all-important antioxidants and amino acids. If you make a switch from regular tea to green tea it will help create a healthier nervous system with neuroprotective effects. It has even been linked to warding off conditions such as off Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Make sure you count yourself in on the next tea round.
This isn’t some fad diet to pick up on a whim. According to the World Health Organisation brain power can actually increase by as much as 20% when you are eating the right foods. Choose wisely and who knows what you might achieve!