One of the biggest buzzwords right now in business is optimisation. As business owners, we aim to streamline everything we do to ensure we can get the most productivity out of every day. No matter whether you’re head of a blue-chip branch or simply the singular driving start behind an innovative new start-up, optimisation is everything. Usually, we do all the standard procedures expected in a business, such as implementing procedures to speed up workflow, downloading all the time-and-money-saving software, optimising our copy to appear in search engines better, and even headhunting brilliant employees to build the perfect team. But what about our bodies? After all, if our body can’t function at its best, how can we achieve our maximal potential? One way we can ensure we are ready to take on the day is by giving our body, brain and overall mind the best fuel out there. So here are a few things to consider when making your everyday eating choices.
Power foods are the things we eat that can sustain the fast-paced world of today. Some of the best power foods out there are known as complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are a division of the essential macronutrient that our bodies love to use for energy. The brilliance of complex carbohydrates lies in their multiple bonds, which the enzymes in our digestive system break down slowly to produce energy. Think un-refined grains, rice, potatoes and pulses; and you’re on the right track. A breakfast rich in these foods such as a tasty bowl of overnight oats with chai seeds will provide you with a slow release of energy throughout the day, helping you feel fuller for longer. If you find you simply don’t have the time to prepare one yourself; look to see if you can get a balanced nutritious breakfast, rather than reaching for unhealthy snacks. “Snacky”, less complex carbohydrates; often referred to as simple sugars, do not provide the same steady flow of energy and instead feed us with a rapid dose of glucose, making our blood sugars peak dramatically. Whilst yes this might suddenly perk you up, soon after will come the almighty sugar crash, which we often experience as a feeling of grogginess, tiredness and sometimes even a headache. Therefore, try to avoid taking on things such as sugary drinks, table sugar in drinks, sweets, chocolate and pre-sweetened breakfast cereals.
One of our most valuable assets is our brain. It is the brain that helps us to think quickly, seal deals and quickly solve problems under pressure. So, luckily for us, there are many foods out there that have been proven to significantly improve our cognitive function. A great way to implement brain food into your daily diet is through snacking on nuts, seeds and berries. All three of which are packed with fibre, which is an essential part of healthy digestion. However, that’s not where all the goodness ends. Some nuts such as walnuts, for example, contain DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that has been proven through studies to enable higher cognitive function. Also, Dr. Steven Pratt who is the author of Superfoods: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, even nicknamed blueberries “brainberries”, as the sweet little treats help protect the brain from oxidative stress. As mentioned, seeds are also an easy snack to have at hand which are neither sticky or hard to prepare. Seeds are also rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant often used to treat brain and nerve diseases.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this article, let it be to eat healthy food. Clean and wholesome healthy foods that are packed full of nutrients and low in simple sugars and unnatural preservatives do wonders for the body and the mind. This means brightening up our plates with fresh and colourful vegetables; stop skipping lunch and grab a wholemeal wrap with good proteins instead, and swap out any sweet sugary snacks for a bowl of tasty nuts and tangy berries. Eating unhealthy food repeatedly has more side effects than weight gain. Poor food choices can lead to mood swings, poor focus, tiredness, disease and overall poor health; all of which can hold us back in our professional careers. If you’re in doubt whether something is healthy, give it a quick google search. However, nothing quite beats intuition, so ignore the “sugar-free” and “low-fat” marketing altogether by sticking to meals made from leafy greens, wholesome grains, vibrant vegetables and fresh fruits.
Hopefully, these few tips might go a long way in helping your body sustain the pace of the business world. By giving ourselves the best fighting chance to perform optimally, we ensure that we can be the best.