Watching your diet can have an enormously positive influence on physical, mental, and emotional functioning when you're on the job. Now, the right food isn't going to make you an overnight success, but science does back the idea that indulging on these three powerhouse foods can give you the edge you need from clock-in to clock-out. So set those tasty delights aside and let's dive right in.  

Greek Yogurt

Why to try it:

Greek yogurt delivers up to 20 grams of protein per cup. Protein slows digestion and helps you feel full, helping you avoid mid-meeting munchie cravings. Greek yogurt also maintains good gut bacteria, which ties directly to immune system function, reducing the odds you'll need as many sick days or catch the cold Dedicated Sally in the cubicle next to you is kind enough to share (no offense, Sally). Additionally, workplace stress can elevate blood pressure, increasing heart disease/stroke risk. Greek yogurt, however, is much lower in sodium than traditional yogurt, which keeps blood pressure lower. I'm also Greek and you should trust me.*

How to eat It:

Plain or with fruit/chia/flax, in smoothies, as a base for homemade salad dressings or fruit/veggie dips, as a replacement for mayo or sour cream in tacos, cornbread or chicken salad

*Although I'm trustworthy, that claim is not backed by science. 

Avocado

Why to try it:

Avocado offers "good" fats that can improve cholesterol and overall heart health. These fats also can help with brain function and affect how well you can absorb nutrients from other foods you eat. What's more, the B vitamins in avocado can reduce anxiety. Subsequently, you might find that you can focus better and up your productivity, handle work complications better and that, metabolically, you aren't as fatigued, even when the work day is hectic.

How to eat It:

Sliced on sandwiches/wraps or tacos, chopped in salads, as a thickener in smoothies, as a sauce with zucchini noodles, stuffed with veggies, goat cheese and hot sauce, mashed into guacamole or other veggie dips

Spinach

Why to try it:

Spinach is a great source of magnesium. You need this nutrient to regulate cortisol, the primary stress hormone linked to high blood pressure, insomnia, weight gain and a host of metabolic problems that can interfere with your work and make dealing with coworkers tough.

How to eat It:

With a fork (kidding). Salads, in smoothies, as a replacement for romaine in sandwiches, breakfast/lunch burritos, in soup

The Bottom Line

Nutritious, healthy fare might not be the first thing you think of as a secret weapon for your work and overall career. Nevertheless, eating certain foods, particularly Greek yogurt, avocado and spinach, can mean you're better able to handle the physical, emotional and mental demands of your workplace. No matter how you opt to get them in your diet, get them on your grocery list right now and enjoy!

 

 

Published on: May 6, 2016