Whether you love your career or not, we’ve all had days where we don’t want to get out of bed. We spend the entire day wondering why we feel so sluggish and why everything seems hazy. No matter how many cups of coffee we consume, we can’t seem to shake this odd feeling. By the end of the day we’re frustrated with the lack of work we’ve completed, stressed about everything we’ll have to do tomorrow, and altogether confused with how we feel and why we’ve felt this way the entire day.
Well, here’s the good news – I have an answer to your confusion. You lacked energy! And you didn’t go about gaining back this energy in the right way. In order to focus, our brains need a constant and steady flow of energy. Without energy, it’s nearly impossible to work up to our full potential. There are three main components to sustaining steady energy levels. These components are as follows –
- Sleep – maintaining roughly eight hours per night
- Exercise – Distressing through the release of endorphin’s by exercising on a consistent basis
- Eating – Consumption of “the right” foods
Because levels one and two are fairly straightforward, I’d like to focus on the importance of consuming “the right” foods, and explain how to go about finding these foods, in order to maintain steady energy levels.
Five brainy foods for success at work – helping you to stay energized and focused:
- In order to focus, one needs a steady supply of energy to their brain in the form of glucose. How can you get glucose? By choosing whole grain foods with a low-Gi! Choosing to eat whole grain foods with a low-GI will allow for a steady and slow release of glucose into the bloodstream. This will keep you mentally alert throughout the day!
- Here are 3 whole grain options to consider:
- Oatmeal with strawberries and bananas!
- Whole wheat pasta with olive oil and diced Tomatoes
- 2 slices of whole wheat oatmeal bread and peanut butter
- Most nuts contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial for combating any damage done to the brain. Furthermore, along with whole grains, nuts are a great source of vitamin E which can help to prevent cognitive decline.
- Here are 2 “nutty” options to consider:
- Homemade trail mix including your favorite nuts and dark chocolate chips!
- Tossed tofu salad with nuts on top
- Considering an addiction to coffee has basically become a nation-wide epidemic, most of us are aware that the consumption caffeine can boost energy levels. Yet, what most people don’t know, is that consuming too much caffeine can actually be counter-active. In order to consume a healthy amount of caffeine that will help to boost your energy levels, doctors recommend two to three cups of freshly brewed tea per day. Whether hot or iced, freshly brewed tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine that can boost brainpower by enhancing memory, focus, and mood.
- Fun fact: Two bags of “Black Chai” tea contain the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee.
- Dark Chocolate
- Can you believe it? Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine. Therefore, it can help to enhance concentration and focus, and stimulate the production of endorphin’s, which helps improve mood. But be careful! This is a brainy food where more is not better. One-half ounce to 1 ounce a day will provide all the benefits you need.
- Here are 2 dark chocolate options to consider:
- Adding dark chocolate chips to your homemade trail mix
- Dark chocolate covered strawberries
- Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Many people dislike salmon (or fish in general) and therefore, choose to take omega-3 fatty acid supplements instead. Yet, while taking supplements is better than doing nothing at all, consuming actual foods that contain these acids are much more effective. Therefore, if you do happen to like salmon, take advantage of it. It can also help in slowing typical cognitive decline!
- Spice up your salmon with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and bread crumbs!
All in all, living a healthy lifestyle and therefore, keeping a healthy brain, is important no matter what you do in your daily life. Yet, in order to make this happen one must make sure to develop a consistent sleep schedule, exercise frequently, and take note of the foods they’re consuming. In an age where busy is better and one is expected to work hard and often, it’s essential to understand the importance of developing these healthy habits. Leading a healthy lifestyle will improve your mood, focus, and energy for ultimate at work. I promise.