The foods we eat have a profound impact on our work output. If you’ve noticed you’ve been a little more sluggish at work lately, consider adding these superfoods to your daily diet. From dark chocolate to avocado, here are some foods that will keep your brain humming all day long.
Fatty fishes are excellent for promoting productivity, and salmon is one of the best of them all. Salmon has high omega-3 fatty acids content, which is particularly useful for improving memory and mental performance, particularly helping depression, which can be the utter antithesis of productivity.
According to an article from Livestrong.com, “An eight-week study involving 28 patients with major depression found that those taking omega-3s in addition to usual treatment had significantly decreased depression scores compared to those taking placebo and the usual treatment.” The article recommends either eating more salmon or taking a fish oil supplement to achieve a similar result.
Antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, are excellent for increasing memory, both to improve memory function in the workplace and to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the future. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the berry is, the higher antioxidant property it contains, which means it has more productivity-boosting ingredients.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is a natural energy enhancer, without the negative side effects of other energy-fabricating ingredients. One of the most effective types of green tea for energy production is Matcha, which has become extremely popular over the last few years, particularly in New York City.
“Matcha is unique because the entire green tea leaf is ground into a fine powder and consumed, unlike other teas where leaves are submerged into hot water to steep,” says an article from NYHRC, a New York health club. “Ingesting the whole leaf provides fiber and polyphenols, a family of powerful antioxidants.”
4. Dark Chocolate
Who says all sugar is bad for you? Dark chocolate is excellent for both satisfying that little sweet tooth and improving overall focus. The caffeine content in the candy helps you to feel more energetic and focused on the tasks at hand. It also contains magnesium, which is a natural stress reliever. For a guilt-free, energy boosting treat, break off just a quarter of a bar for a great tasting energy enhancement.
You should reach for a handful of nuts for a couple of reasons. For starters, nuts are an excellent source of protein and natural fat that your body needs to be healthy. Secondly, they are an antioxidant, vitamin E, and amino acid rich food, which means they’ll give your body the natural increase in memory and brain performance you need to make it through the day. Almonds and walnuts contain some of the best ingredients for brainpower.
The secret to productivity is keeping consistent blood flowing around the heart and through the brain. Avocados are a natural stimulant for that very reason. According to WebMD, an avocado a day “enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.” This is another healthy fat for your body that tastes delicious and improves your overall focus.
This last one may not be a food, but it’s still enormously useful for enhancing productivity in the workplace. Since your body is made up of more than 70 percent water, every function in the body depends on water to work smoothly. Throughout the day, your water stores slowly deplete, and if you don’t drink enough water to replenish the lost liquid, your brain and other functions suffer the consequences.
Devoting the energy to drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will give your brain the power it needs to be more focused and think more clearly and quickly.
Glucose in the body equals energy, and bananas are some of the best resources for that energy-inducing ingredient. A single banana holds the daily amount of glucose your body needs, and it’s a much healthier way to get it than excessive carbs and cane sugars. It’s also extremely filling, which means that you’ll be able to focus better between meals if you snack on this rather than something less filling.
Breakfast really is the most important part of the day, especially if you’re having eggs, which have shown positive results in increasing memory capabilities and speeding up reaction times at work. This is thanks to a B-vitamin known as choline, which works to stimulate the brain’s reactive sensors.
10. Brown Rice
Magnesium is a main ingredient in brown rice, which is why the grain is the perfect stress reliever and productivity booster. It’s also loaded with essential vitamins that help your body to work properly. When your body works properly, it’s cognitive functions excel, which in turn increases efficiency.
These 10 foods seem simple, but they may be just the lift your body is looking for when it’s struggling to stay focused and motivated. The next time you feel like taking a break from work, grab one of these superfoods and appreciate the boost in motivation and effective work ethic that follows.
This article was originally published at inc.com.