Many of us, absorbed by the demanding rhythms of daily life, tend to fast for long hours or resort to easy last-minute solutions which are often characterized by low nutritional value, high calorie content, and high fat (such as puff pastries and other bakery products). However, if we wish to perform our best at work, the need to choose a balanced snack becomes greater, as this will provide us with the energy we need in order to cope well, while helping us be more focused and have stronger memory. In addition, consuming snacks can also help us alleviate our hunger reducing the possibility of overeating during the rest of the day.
These are the 3 key points that you need to look out for!
1. Smart breakfast options at work
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” is an old adage which is far from random since, as we’ve all heard, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. According to scientists, by regularly eating breakfast, we not only give our body the energy needed to start our day, but we also gain an ally in maintaining a healthy body weight, boosting our memory and generally improving our mental performance. Of course, if we do not prepare it from home, there is also the option of choosing a breakfast meal at work as there is now a variety of balanced eating options available in most workplaces. Such choices may be: yogurt with fruit and nuts, multigrain cheese toast, chicken & vegetable tortilla roll-up, whole-wheat baguette or bun stuffed with cheese or olive paste.
2. Variety and balance at lunch
According to the National Nutrition Guide for Adults, it is recommended to consume weekly: 3 servings of pulses, up to 1 serving of lean red meat (beef, pork, lamb), 1-2 servings of white meat (chicken, turkey), up to 4 eggs and 2 -3 servings of a variety of fish and seafood. Having that in mind, we can add diversity to out diet and create balanced meals. It is good to include a variety of nutrients including wholegrain cereals (bread, rice, bulgur, pasta etc.) and potatoes (the main component of which is glucose, the main “fuel” for our body).
For example, when you’re at home or at your workplace restaurant, you can choose:
• an avocado and salmon sandwich or fish with vegetables and a slice of bread. It’s worth mentioning that fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that play an important role in the proper functioning of the central nervous system and are related with the development of attention and problem-solving skills.
• beef burgers or grilled chicken fillet with mashed potatoes or rice and salad. Meat (as well as liver, eggs, legumes, etc.) contains good amounts of iron, an ingredient necessary for proper brain oxygenation and, ultimately, good physical and mental performance.
Of course, you also have to pay attention to the portion size you consume. If you think it’s too big or you’ve chosen a high-calorie or high-fat meal, you can share it with a colleague. Otherwise, you can try to avoid other potential pitfalls, such as dipping extra bread into our salad or consuming a high-calorie drink at the same time.
3. Choosing fruits as snacks
Fruits and natural fruit juices (without sugar) make up for a nutritious quality snack between meals. In this way, you can get one step closer to achieving the recommended goal of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. At the same time, they provide our bodies with B complex vitamins, also known as “happiness vitamins” or “neurovitamins”, as they since they are involved in the transmission of nerve messages (neurotransmitters) and they can help us fight against anxiety and stress, while they might be associated with improved memory and concentration!
Well, now you know how to take advantage of smart meal choices at work that will not only give your brain a boost, but also help you improve your health and wellness!