Career Woman

Boost your performance with the right foods

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Diet, exercise and sleep are three of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. Each has the potential to negatively or positively impact on brain health and mental function. When carefully monitored, they can boost your performance at work and do wonders for your career. It has been scientifically proven, for example, that without the seven to nine hours of sleep required by the human body every night, long-term loss in workplace productivity is inevitable.

As the number of female entrepreneurs continues to rise — in itself, a direct response to the gender wage gap and a lack of flexibility in the corporate workplace – the pressure is on to find ways of achieving professional success without neglecting personal commitments. This can tempt us to skip meals, eat on-the-go and choose quick-fix, high-calorie, caffeine-heavy snacks to get us through the day. The problem is that by abusing our diet, we’re actually making it more difficult to think, produce and reach those high standards.

Foods to boost your look

All entrepreneurs are the public faces of their companies. Choice of clothing, body language style, presentation and business manner can make or break a deal. There are many foods that actually damage our skin and cause outbreaks of acne or dehydration, which then results in premature aging. Few of us would be surprised to know that fried food and coffee are two of the greatest causes of skin damage, but milk, processed meats and cereals can also have negative impacts.

If we eat too much of these foods, it can make us look tired and withdrawn. They can give the impression that we’re far more burned out than we actually are and, let’s face it, clients would rather associate with entrepreneurs who are on top of the game than those who look like they’re burning the candle on both ends. A fresh, rested look inspires confidence and can help to seal new deals, which is why food intake for presentation purposes is so important.

Foods to boost brainpower

The brain, just like your heart, lungs and muscles, needs a range of nutrients to function at optimum levels. There are a number of foods that will help boost brainpower when consumed on a daily basis. The first food group would be whole grains. The brain gets its energy from whole grains, like brown rice, oats and quinoa. Omega-3 fats, found in oily fish, flaxseed and soya beans, should factor as another essential for our weekly diet. They help our brains to manage stress by releasing the happy brain chemical, known as serotonin. A positive mind on the job is a more productive and focused one.

If you enjoy eating fruit and vegetables, a daily dose of blueberries can improve or delay short term memory loss and broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K. The great thing about vitamin K is that it enhances cognitive function and improves brainpower. It can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, known as acetylcholine; a substance that our central nervous system requires to perform properly and to sharpen memory

School of Thinking reports that only 13% of employees worldwide and 24% of employees in Australia are actively engaged in their jobs, a figure that hasn’t changed in a decade. While analysis doesn’t reveal the exact root cause of the problem, reasons could be attributed to dietary habits.

Foods to boost your immune system

On top of looking great and pushing our brains to maximum capacity, entrepreneurs need to stay healthy. Missing days from work, because of coughs, colds and other ailments, is both time and money. There’s a wide range of foods we can incorporate into our regular diet to boost our immune system and keep us fit for the office the whole year round.

Registered nutritionist, Anthony Power, confirms that vaccines, including the flu shot, aren’t enough to keep colds, coughs and other basic ailments at bay. He explains the need for a well-balanced diet, rich in particular foods. For example, probiotics found in yoghurt helps the body to defend itself against colds, while vitamin C-rich foods, including oranges, garlic and cinnamon, can support the body through the recovery process.

Remember, while we may be inclined to want to keep powering through and to work all the hours possible, especially when investing in a new business venture, we would probably benefit more in the long-term from sleeping well, eating right and finding the time to exercise. Spending an extra thirty minutes a day, to prepare a tasty lunch and then sit down to enjoy it can have amazing knock-on effects on your business. So, if you want to get ahead, be smart.

 

About Jackie Edwards

jackiee@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie Edwards now writes on matters relating to business, money and family finance. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues

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