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Though it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, your diet can greatly influence your productivity at work. Your body needs certain vitamins and nutrients to function properly, and getting food that includes these things is important to staying focused and alert. Next, we will discuss which vitamins and nutrients your body needs, and suggest some lunch ideas that will provide you with those vitamins and nutrients to keep you working efficiently throughout the day.
Iron is important to the body because it produces hemoglobin and oxygenates your blood, which in turn provides oxygen to your brain. Therefore, iron directly impacts your brain functions, and a lack of it will be noticeable and possibly dangerous. Foods that are iron-rich include deans, dark leafy greens like kale, chard, and spinach, beef, chicken, turkey, fish, edamame, and soybeans.
Lunch ideas: One great lunch idea is a sushi bowl. In a sushi bowl, you will generally find some form of seafood, and some combination of grains and vegetables, commonly quinoa and edamame. Another healthy choice is a hearty salad—one that includes a variety of meat, as well as spinach, fruits and vegetables to give your body all the fuel—and iron—it needs.
Zinc is vital to the body because it impacts how neurons communicate with one another, thereby affecting how our memories are formed and how we learn. As a result, the level of zinc in your body greatly impacts your ability think, remember and learn. Pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and most beans have a healthy amount of zinc.
Lunch ideas: Try adding pumpkin seeds or pistachios as a side dish or snack along with your lunch. Additionally, you might consider having a bag of either on your desk for snacking throughout the day.
Vitamins B6 and B12
Both vitamins B6 and B12 are important to your body’s welfare. Vitamin B6 activates enzymes in your body that are responsible for producing energy, neurotransmitters, and red and white blood cells. Your blood cells are incredibly important because they stimulate the body and keep the immune system strong.
Vitamin B12 also makes neurotransmitters and is essential to synthesize other vitamins. One important thing to note about vitamin B12 is that, in its best form, it is only found in animal products; this is because the process necessary to create it involves the digestion process of many animals. While it is possible to salvage some vitamin B12 from plants, the body doesn’t absorb it as easily as it would vitamin B12 from animal products.
Foods containing vitamins B6 and B12 are often protein-rich like meats, eggs, and soybeans. Vitamin B6 can also be found in many fruits and vegetables for B6.
Lunch ideas: Given the wide variety of foods these vitamins can be found in, the possibilities seem endless. However, to ensure that you receive an adequate amount of both of these vitamins, ensure that you have a balanced meal with fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Whole grains are helpful in part because they contain many nutrients that your body needs, but their best advantage is that they release them slowly throughout the day, which can help you stay focused for a long period of time. Good sources of whole grain include oats, oatmeal, many bran cereals, and whole-wheat bagels and pastas.
Lunch ideas: Try a sandwich with whole grain bread. You can request whole grain bread at many sandwich restaurants, and it isn’t significantly more expensive than regular bread at the grocery store. Whole grain pasta is another lunch option, especially if you mix it with meat and vegetables to ensure you receive all the nutrients your body requires.
Last, but certainly not least, are foods that are omega-3-rich. There are some essential fatty acids your body needs that can only be obtained through diet, meaning they cannot be produced by the body—this makes it very important that they are present in your diet. Of these essential fatty acids, omega-3 is the most important. Foods that are omega-3-rich include salmon, tuna, sardines, shrimp, walnuts, and beef.
Lunch ideas: As either a snack or a meal, try tuna fish served on crackers with a salad and fruit. Once again, a sushi bowl is a great choice because the fish or seafood present will contain omega-3s, as well as iron and other nutrients. Lastly, if you are focused on receiving omega-3s, try a salmon bento salad.
Are you hungry yet? We sure are—time for lunch!
Be sure to check out KMG Consultants on CrunchBase for additional information about our company.