Posted by Robert Half on 29 September 2014
Did you know certain “super foods” could help boost your energy levels? For busy professionals in Asia, these food might come in handy before an important meeting or presentation.
Food has the incredible ability to affect your mental clarity, mood and memory. So if you are looking to boost your work performance, start by tucking into these foods right now.
The antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, to help keep your mind clear and fresh. Studies have also shown that these tiny beauties can boost concentration and memory for up to five hours.
Best way to eat them: Stir in a handful of fresh blueberries into a bowl of plain yoghurt (the pre-flavoured ones have too much sugar) or freeze them and blend them with other fruits for a smoothie.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to aid mental performance. People who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids are also more likely to experience mood swings, depression and fatigue.
Best way to eat them: Head down to your nearest sushi restaurant at lunch and tuck into a plate of salmon and tuna sashimi. Or, order a seared tuna salad at your favourite salad bar.
In a Swedish study of 262 workers, those who took probiotics for 80 days were 42 percent less likely to take a sick day for an upper respiratory infection or gastrointestinal disease. Probiotics populates your gut and digestive system with good bacteria, thereby improving the body’s absorption of B-vitamins, boosting energy levels.
Best way to eat them: These bacteria can perish in strong acidic environment so dairy products can help protect them. Cultured milk drinks and yoghurts with “live and active cultures” on their labels are what you should be looking for.
Dark chocolates contain a small amount of caffeine, which has been proven to heighten mental alertness. These yummy treats also have magnesium, which can help you de-stress by aiding the release of endorphins and serotonin (feel-good hormones).
Best way to eat them: Aim to buy the best possible quality – fair trade, organic, with at least 70 percent cocoa. A piece the size of a Hershey’s Kiss has enough flavonoids that can help lower blood pressure. Avoid fillings as these add sugar and hydrogenated fat.
Try not to have meals or snacks loaded with refined carbs if you’ve got an important meeting coming up. Instead, load up on green, leafy veggies like spinach and kale. These fibre-rich foods take longer to break down so your blood sugar is kept stabilised over longer periods of time. Rich in vitamins and minerals, they can help clear up brain fog and lower rates of depression.
Best way to eat them: Raw in a salad with minimal dressing is best. If you can’t stomach raw vegetables, have them lightly blanched and served with light soy dressing.