If you’re trying to live healthy, keep this in mind. Whether it’s a mid-morning cookie or an afternoon apple, the snacks you eat could affect how productive you are. Washing down candy bars with a cup of coffee at 2 p.m. every day isn’t going to cut it.
Healthy snack foods contain different brain-boosting vitamins and minerals that can help you power through an afternoon meeting or a mid-morning brainstorm. Vitamins and minerals that will help put some pep in your productivity include:
- Folic Acid
- Ascorbic Acid
In fact, one study found people who ate more fruit reported feeling happier and more creative at work. Another study found people eating an unhealthy diet were 66 percent more likely to report productivity loss than co-workers who ate whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Making healthy choices can have a positive impact on the neurotransmitters in your brain and give you the pick-me-up you’re looking for. It will also reduce your risk for heart disease and other health issues.
So, let’s take a look at some snacks that will allow you to live healthy and boost your productivity, too.
Live Healthy: Snack on Fruits and Vegetables
It’s no secret fruits and vegetables do our bodies good. If you want to live healthy, you’re probably already eating some. But did you know that produce can prop up our productivity?
Researchers think vitamins, antioxidants and carbohydrates in fruit and vegetables increase the brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters involved in mood, behavior and brainpower. So, the next time your belly is grumbling, try getting a boost from …
- Blueberries. The flavonoids found in blueberries interact with nerve cells, increasing communication among them and stimulating the regeneration of brain cells.
- Broccoli. Its brain-boosting abilities are tied to its levels of vitamin K, which improves cognitive function.
- Kale.This nutrient-rich vegetable contains vitamin K and manganese, both known for boosting brain function. Manganese also helps with your brain’s ability to focus on tasks and provide energy.
- Avocado. It’s high in monounsaturated fats that protect brain cells and promote blood flow, which increase brain function.
If a brain boost isn’t enough, another study found fruits and vegetables may even help us be less stressed out at work, too. Whatever your reason, it’s never a bad idea to add more fruits and veggies to your diet.
Live Healthy: Snack on Fish Tacos
Fish is a food you’ll want to work into your diet if you’re trying to live healthy. That’s because fish contains omega-3 fats, which help fight inflammation throughout the body, including your brain.
The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish like:
A quick fish taco, fish finger or even a few sardines might help get you through the afternoon. (Just make sure to have breath mints ready if you’re heading to a meeting.)
Live Healthy: Snack on Nuts
Nuts are a great snack at work or school—especially if you’re trying to live healthy. Not only are they a good source of omega-3 fats. They’re also rich in vitamin E, which has been known to prevent cognitive decline.
Almonds and walnuts are two great sources of vitamin E. Other nuts to throw in your work or school bag include:
On top of the brain-boosting power you’ll get from a handful or two of nuts, you’ll also benefit from the healthy fats they provide—and they’re a great source of fiber.
So, if you want to live healthy and are looking for better ways to get over the wall when you hit it at work or school, take a look in your lunch bag. The snacks you bring could provide the pick-me-up you need to get through your day.
Another thing that may help you live healthy is our guide: “5 Steps to Eating Healthy”. Not only will you learn fast food statistics that will have you avoiding drive-throughs, but you’ll find out how water can help you live healthy, too.