Eat This!

20 Foods That Will Increase Your Productivity

When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we need fuel to start the fire.

woman working
Eat This!

20 Foods That Will Increase Your Productivity

When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we need fuel to start the fire.

With laundry to fold, tough work hours, and technology rapidly advancing how many chores we can accomplish in just one short hour, life has a funny way of always getting in the way — especially when you have a task to complete on a deadline.

So how do you have a productive day? Simple: Grab a snack.

We’ve rounded up the top foods to increase your productivity — because sometimes light music in the background and turning off your messages just isn’t enough. These foods can increase your focus, memory, and stabilize your mood. And when you get enough of them on a consistent basis you get more productive days, weeks and months as a result. So why not fuel your body with the foods that help you get up and go? For more simple tricks to better your day, don’t miss these essential 50 Cheap and Easy Slow Cooker Recipes.

FRUITS AND VEGGIES


1

Blueberries

blueberry overflow

There’s a reason blueberries always fall on our best-for-you food lists like the . The antioxidant-packed berries do more than fight off disease, stop belly bloat, and curb your cravings. They’re also linked to enhancing cognitive ability. At the University of Reading, researchers observed schoolchildren’s memory and attention-spans after the consumption of flavonoid-rich blueberry supplements. Results showed that by consuming our favorite berries, the children displayed significant cognitive improvements, especially when being asked to complete a task.

2

Strawberries

strawberries in bin

The perfect snack for when you really need to just sit down and focus. Why’s that? These ruby red berries are filled with fisetin, a flavonoid that promotes signaling pathways in your brain to lend a helping hand in memory function. Studies show that consuming two or more servings of the berries a week leads you to gain a better long-term memory. In fact, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies published a study that explained that, in mice, fisetin was shown to not only boost memory, but also to protect and promote the survival of cultured neurons — which activate learning, memory storing, and information processing.

3

Spinach

plate spinach

Popeye was onto something good when he deemed this leafy green his go-to. Your childhood enemy does more than help you build muscle. According to research from Harvard Medical School, consuming these super leaves slows the rate of cognitive decline — which means your brain will stay stronger for longer. It also improves learning capacity and motor skills; all of which are needed to have a good day!

4

Kale

kale in collander

Still stuck on the kale craze? Good. The nutrition powerhouse holds more calcium in a cup than a class of milk, fills you with fiber, and fuels your brain. Rich in manganese, the superfood increases concentration and brain function. But wait, it gets better for your brain. Just one serving holds 1,180 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin K, which reduces your chances of mental decline. So on days that require tons of brain power — try using one of our 20 fresh tips for how to cook kale.

5

Avocado

ripe avocado

Seems like when you’re contemplating about paying extra, avocado is well worth it. Researchers at Kansas State University discovered more benefits from the fruit we’ve grown to love. Published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, the researchers found that consumption of the same kind of monounsaturated fatty acids that avocados are high in aids in the protection of brain cells called astrocytes. These brain cells offer support to information carrying nerves meaning they contribute to a healthy blood flow.

6

Tomato

heirloom tomatoes

With endless options to serve this fruit up, there’s no reason to keep tomatoes out of your diet. Tomatoes are hugely beneficial when it comes to increasing your mental focus and productivity because they are filled with lycopene. This antioxidant is a free-radical fighter, which means your chances of swelling are less likely. When our bodies are inflamed we feel anxious, depressed, and can’t get our thoughts straight — and none of those feelings lead to a productive day. Lycopene is also known to destroy toxic, disease-promoting cells. In fact, tomatoes are one of the best foods to consume for lowering the risk of prostate cancer.

7

Eggplant

eggplant

Take note: The next time you rip the skin off of an eggplant, think again. In fact, the skin is where the best nutritional benefit of this fruit comes from. The nutrient nasunin lies in the purple layer and is known to intensify communication between brain cells, according to a study published in Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology. And this important brain function keeps you focused and in place for whatever is coming your way.

NUTS AND SEEDS


8

Almonds

raw almonds

When our blood sugar starts to get low, so do we. Our belly rumbles, our mind wanders, and our hands get jittery. Research conducted by NASA showed that these feelings can put a damper on retaining information and cognitive efficiency. But popping back a few almonds can help. These nuts are filled with brain fuel (healthy fats) which slow the body’s digestion of sugar and carbs — keeping your blood sugar levels nice and steady, your focus in line, and your willpower up throughout the day,

9

Sunflower Seeds

sunflower seeds

We all know that a lack of sleep means we’re often destined to have a bad day. But by snacking on sunflower seeds, you can fight off those terrible feelings of sleepiness and irritability because they’re loaded with the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid is quickly converted to serotonin in the brain, which is a great thing since serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important part in the regulation of our feelings of happiness and energy levels.

10

Pecans

pecans

Your slice of pecan pie just got a lot sweeter! That's because the delicious nut has a ton to offer. Besides a major boost in self-confidence with your flat belly thanks to its strong quantities of anti-inflammatory magnesium, the nut is stocked in choline. This B vitamin helps support your brain’s memory and development. It also boosts your mood and energy levels.

11

Flax Seeds

flax seeds on spoon

Whether you’re eating them on top of toast, in your smoothie, or in a cracker, flax seeds deserve to be one of the most popular titles in your food repertoire. The superseed increases your daily intake of ALA — alpha-linolenic acid — a healthy fat which strengthens the function in your cerebral cortex, the area of your brain that processes sensory information.

12

Walnuts

walnuts

A productive day never stems from a sleepless night and mood swings. Rather, it's filled with the opposite. That’s why it's important to eat foods with serotonin. This chemical is crammed into walnuts helping both our mood and our appetite to stay balanced throughout the entire day.

ANIMAL PROTEIN


13

Roast Beef

roast beef meat

Many times, we steer clear of deli meats, but when it comes to organic roast beef, you don’t have to. A study published in the journal Annals of Medical and Health Science Research noted that when children are iron deficient — their success in the classroom was often weaker compared to when they had enough of the nutrient in their systems. Organic roast beef you don’t have to resort to downing spinach or broccoli for your recommended intake of iron — a nutrient is essential for cognitive functioning and effortless focus. Eating a couple slices of this during your lunch break will recharge you for the rest of your day, leaving you with a ton of energy and determination to have a great afternoon.

14

Tuna

light canned tuna

A serving of tuna contains 69 percent of your daily dose of vitamin B6, which according to a number of studies, is linked to motivation. That’s because lacking B6 leads to feelings of depression — and when we’re not feeling quite like ourselves, it’s harder to be productive. And there are other benefits. In a study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, researchers were able to use the essential vitamin to both prevent and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more often known as ADHD. The common disorder is known to increase levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity — all traits which are needed to have a productive day.

15

Grass-Fed Beef

grass fed beef

Grass-fed beef is packed with iron: a mineral that encourages your body to be a high-reaching hustler. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who had healthy levels of iron in their systems score higher on mental tests and completed those tests faster than those without a sufficient amount.

DAIRY


16

Greek Yogurt

greek yogurt

Here’s another reason we go crazy over Greek yogurt: The super-snack contains tyrosine, an amino acid that produces both dopamine and noradrenaline. Wait, what? These neurotransmitters help boost your mood and behavior. So the next time the big boss is coming into your office, be sure to have this for breakfast to ensure you’re on your best behavior.

17

Chocolate Milk

chocolate milk with straw

Mom wasn’t crazy for letting you slurp some sugar in the morning. And if you ever want to indulge in the nostalgic treat — go for it post-gym. In fact, in a series of related studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research research shows that by consuming a low-fat chocolate milk ration (with a balanced ratio of carbs and protein) athletes experienced a better muscle recovery and exercise adaptation. Productive work-outs? Bring it on.

GRAINS


18

Whole Grains

whole grain bread

Whole grains: Remember when your school teachers would tell you to get that blood flowing, but you weren’t sure how? They should’ve told you to grab a whole-grain snack. Whether it's farro, millet, quinoa or any of the others whole-grains always have your back. The complex carbs are known for enhancing weight loss goals by providing you with filling fiber. But what they aren’t known for is providing you with B vitamins like folate, which boosts blood flow to the brain. Lisa Moskovitz R.D., and founder of The NY Nutrition group explains that whole grains also provide you with B12 a true focus-boosting fuel. Without it, she says, “the brain cells responsible for learning and understanding new things don’t function properly.”

DRINKS


19

Green Tea

green tea brewed

The benefits this drink has to offer are endless: Metabolism-boosting, skin soon to be glowing, and fat shredding, the list goes on and on. But green tea doesn’t get enough credit for balancing your mood. Days on a deadline are tough — but green tea uses it’s containing catechins to help you relax, focus, and fight off any mental fatigue.

20

Coffee

coffee black

This one’s obvious, right? Besides containing caffeine, a person’s favorite way to start the day, your cup of job contains a large dose of dopamine — a chemical that boosts your mood to help you lead a healthy lifestyle. By enhancing your memory activity, including the ability to think in advance and resist impulses, it gives you the boost you need to cross everything off your day’s to-do list in your productive morning! If coffee isn’t your thing, then don’t miss these 20 Foods As Energizing As Coffee.