It takes real energy to negotiate, crunch numbers and exercise willpower.What you eat impacts your ability to do all these things. In fact, complex brain processes are “literally fed by glucose that circulates from gut to brain,” according to Psychology Today.
“Willpower is more than a metaphor,” Florida State University psychologist Roy Baumeister told the magazine. “The human body is undeniably an energy system. Evolution gave us this new and more complicated way of acting, but it’s expensive in terms of fuel burned. Being our better selves is biologically costly.”
Decision-making and “effortful control of thoughts” are impaired if you’re either working on an empty stomach or are eating the wrong foods, with too much fat and sugar.
We compiled a list of foods from Psychology Today and other sources that will improve the way you think and work.
Any kind of berry is golden: the potent combinations of antioxidants they contain can improve both memory and motor coordination
Eat fish like salmon for omega-3s, protein, iron and B-vitamins -- which support memory, recall, reasoning and focus
Yogurt also does wonders -- it has protein, tons of minerals, and probiotics which help the digestive system
Dark leafy greens are probably the best thing you could eat -- they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Iron, for example, helps bring more oxygen to the body (and brain), and improves cognitive control
While we don't suggest drinking on the job, red wine significantly improves short-term memory and motor skills
Whole grains like brown rice are filled with vitamins and magnesium, which also improves cognitive health
Garlic contains strong antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help shake off stress-induced colds and infections
Eating too little can make you process information more slowly, take longer to react and have more trouble remembering sequences
Sugary foods, like soda or candy, can make you feel spaced-out, weak, confused, or nervous once the glucose in your brain drops -- this is also known as a sugar crash
And heavy, calorie-ridden foods like hamburgers and fries will make you sleepy and slow you down at work
And of course, it's always a good idea to eat breakfast, exercise and get enough sleep for maximum productivity
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