Whether it’s breezing through that work project or effortlessly finishing a university assignment, we all want to be more efficient and productive.
We all have them days where you seem to be “on fire”.
If you’re writing the words seem to write themselves. Ideas are plentiful and everything flows.
Of course this doesn’t ever last does it.
If you’re in the majority then days of brain fog, low energy and disinterest will outnumber the days you’re “on fire”.
There are many factors that lead to this.
Not including stress reducing activities like exercise and meditation into your daily routine will reduce productivity.
But it’s what you’re feeding your brain that is often overlooked.
For your body to perform well you have to supply it with a quality fuel source.
Believe it or not the average human brain expends about 20% of the bodies energy at rest. This is a huge number considering the brain makes up 2% of your total bodyweight.
So you can start to see why what you eat is going to effect how productive you are. Processed foods cause inflammation in the body. Prolonged inflammation can lead to lifestyle illness and even depression.
So is that big mac really worth it?
Apart from the 10 minutes of enjoyment while eating it there is no other benefit.
Here are 8 foods you need to include in your diet.
Not only will they make you more alert, they’ll also impact the way you look.
- Green tea
I love coffee but what I don’t like is the “wired” feeling when I over indulge. Last week I stopped drinking coffee for a few days as I went overboard on it when visiting Bangkok.
What I found was that green tea is a solid and more balanced substitute. The reason for this is due an amino acid called theanine.
Caffeine gives you that kick of energy but theanine balances it out so you don’t have that intense rush (“You took too much maaaaan”) followed by a crash.
If you don’t want to part with coffee I get you. Just don’t expect much benefit if you’re crushing 5+ coffees a day.
Use it strategically when you want to work, not to get you out of bed.
- Oily fish
Oily fish is packed with Omega 3 fat acids. These are great for maintaining a healthy brain and cardiovascular health. A diet high in Omega 3 has been linked with lower levels of dementia and heart disease.
If you don’t like fish try supplementing with fish oil.
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat. They increase blood flow to the brain keeping arteries unclogged and helping to boost brain activity.
- Coconut Oil
I love coconuts and coconut oil. It has so many benefits and uses. I wrote an entire blog about it here.
Blueberries are awesome. They taste great. They are a great supplement to a smoothie or protein shake and are without a doubt a superfood.
Blueberries boost concentration and focus. They are also high in antioxidants protecting you against cancer and heart disease.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds boost your mood and combat depression. They are rich in tryptophan which the brain converts to serotonin (the feel good hormone). Just be careful with portions as seeds are calorie dense.
Nuts like coconut oil and oily fish are a great source of omega 3. For best results soak your nuts overnight in water. This breaks down the phytic acid which makes it easier to absorb the nutrients. Like seeds be careful of portions as they are calorie dense.
I know seems like a no brainer but most of you guys are dehydrated. Dehydration leads to lower energy and sluggishness resulting in a drop in productivity.
Here is a simple habit to start today. Fill a 1.5 litre bottle of water and carry it with you throughout the day. When you wake drink .5 L and aim to drink 3L throughout the day.
Thirst and dehydration can cause fatigue. Substituting water for other liquids will have a positive impact on your body composition also as you cut out liquid calories.
What is your go to when you need to get stuff done? What leaves you feeling drained? Let me know in the comments.