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18 Foods to Increase Your Productivity While Working From Home

When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we need fuel to start the fire.
Glass bowl with Greek yogurt and mixed nuts

When it comes to accomplishing our goals and being productive at home or at work (or while you work from home), we need fuel to start the fire. And to have a productive day, you'll need to eat these foods that can help increase your focus, memory, and stabilize your mood.

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?

1

Coffee

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This one's obvious, right? The caffeine in coffee promotes your body's natural production of dopamine: a chemical that boosts your mood. By enhancing your mood, including the ability to think in advance and resist impulses, coffee gives you the boost you need to cross everything off your day's to-do list in your productive morning!

2

Blueberries

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These antioxidant-packed berries do more than fight off disease, stop belly bloat, and curb your cravings. Blueberries are 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.

3

Whole Grains

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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, RD, 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."

4

Spinach

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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!

5

Strawberries

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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. These activate learning, memory storing, and information processing.

6

Avocado

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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.

7

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.

8

Kale

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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, according to a review in Frontiers in Neurology. So on days that require tons of brain power — try using one of our 20 fresh tips for how to cook kale.

9

Almonds

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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.

10

Grass-Fed Beef

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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.

11

Greek Yogurt

Glass bowl with Greek yogurt and mixed nuts
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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.

12

Green Tea

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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.

13

Eggplant

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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.

14

Pecans

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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.

15

Tuna

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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.

16

Flax Seeds

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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.

17

Walnuts

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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.

18

Roast Beef

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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.

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