The impacts of nutrition on productivity
We attribute a lot of factors to our performance at work or our ability to concentrate… Not sleeping well, stress, workload, problems at home, etc. But do we ever wonder if it is due to our diet? Maybe it hadn't even crossed your mind... and actually, it has a lot to do with it.
What we eat can affect our cognition, which is involved in memory, learning, intelligence, awareness and attention processes. So yes, that brain fog you experience in the office after eating out may be because you're making poor choices.
Increasingly, people are choosing foods high in saturated fat or refined sugars. It may be because of their easy access, because they are inexpensive, because we like the tast ... but this type of diet can increase neuroinflammation, which can be fatal to our performance, and we will explain why.
Inflammation can occur from eating high-calorie and highly processed foods, having a high intake of refined carbohydrates, trans or saturated fats, experiencing stress, not getting enough sleep, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or having a vitamin D deficiency This inflammation is correlated with learning difficulties, a decreased ability to remember things, and general cognitive deficits. And it does not happen just because of the potato chips you ate yesterday, but it has been shown that overeating from an early age in life can make the brain more prone to neuro-inflammatory responses, causing cognitive dysfunctions throughout our lives.
But not everything is bad, and there are many solutions to this problem that will not only help you prevent cognitive decline, but also help you improve your ability to concentrate, learn and be more productive.
First, it is important to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and legumes, and decrease your intake of red meat and high-fat dairy to just a few times a week or less.
It is also recommended to have a good breakfast and eat some healthy snacks, such as nuts, throughout the day, as it can help us stay satisfied and keep our blood sugar levels stable, avoiding cravings for foods high in fats and sugars and helping us make healthier choices the rest of the day. Eliminating the consumption of sugars will help us reduce problems related to learning and poor memory.
The consumption of nuts, vegetable oils, fatty fish, etc. They will help us to have a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are important for synapse and neuronal activity.
The consumption of tea, coffee, water and fruits and vegetables that contain polyphenols (blackberries, olives, grapes, artichoke, etc.) are incredible antioxidants, which will help us to prevent and eliminate the aforementioned neuroinflammation.
Finally, it is recommended to have meals in a relaxed, clean environment and with established schedules, as this will help create a relationship between the digestive system and the nervous system, which will help us to have a better digestion.
Austin, D. (2017). Food for Thought: The Neuroscience of Nutrition to Fuel Cognitive Performance. Oregon law review, 95(425), 427-515.
Spencer, S., Shukitt, B., Barrientos, R., Laye, S., & Korosi, A. (2017). Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion. Researchgate , 1(7), 3-8.
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