The correlation between food and mental performance is widely recognised. Try eliminating as much sugar as possible for 2 weeks and observe how you feel. Consider consuming these items below on a regular basis to enhance your performance at the office.
- Avoid excessive sugar – in biscuits, cakes, confectionery and also foods with added sugar in the forms of syrups, dextrose and maltose.
- Eat wholefoods – wholegrains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables – and avoid refined, white and overcooked foods.
- Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily – choose dark green, leafy and root vegetables such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green beans or peppers, all raw or lightly cooked. Choose fresh fruit such as apples, pears, berries, plums, melon or citrus fruit. Have bananas, grapes and potatoes in moderation only (they contain a lot of natural sugar).
- Eat four or more servings of wholegrains daily – such as rice, millet, rye, oats, wholewheat, corn or quinoa as cereal, breads and pasta.
- Combine protein foods with carbohydrate foods by eating wholegrain cereals and fruit with raw, unsalted nuts or seeds, and ensuring you eat starchy foods (potatoes, bread, pasta or rice) with protein-rich fish, lentils, beans, eggs or tofu. If eating animal protein, choose lean, white meat or preferably fish, organic whenever possible.
- Eat eggs – preferably free-range, organic and high in omega-3s. Aim for about 3-5 a week.
- Eat cold-water carnivorous fish. A serving of herring, mackerel, salmon or trout two or three times a week provides a good source of omega-3 fats and protein.
- Eat raw, unsalted seeds and nuts. The best seeds are flax (or linseed), hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame. You get more goodness out of them by grinding them first and sprinkling on cereal, soups and salads.
- Use cold-pressed seed oils. Choose an oil blend containing flaxseed oil or hemp oil for salad dressings and cold uses, such as drizzling on vegetables instead of butter. Don’t cook with these oils as their fats are easily damaged by heat.
- This is an obvious one – minimise your intake of fried food, processed food and saturated fats.
- Add herbs in to your diet or supplement routine that will improve your mental abilities such as rosemary, gingko, ginseng, and gotu kola.
- My best tip – know when to stop eating. Just before you are full is best. Over eating is taxing on the body and contributes towards that afternoon fog!
Information gained on consultation with Lisa Kim, nutritionist.
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