Every business organization counts on employee productivity to be able to stay relevant. According to studies, eating unhealthily accounts for about 65 percent increased risk of loss from lack of productivity. That is some huge fraction and it further underlines the importance of eating better to be able to work smarter. A well-balanced diet provides all the energy you will need to stay active throughout the day. The nutrients you need for growth and repair and that help you stay strong and healthy also come from a balanced diet. This will definitely help your cognitive abilities.
What is cognition?
Cognitive skills or abilities are the functions of how the memory part of your brain works. You can say that someone has good cognition when his or her brain remembers, reasons, holds attention, solves problems, thinks, reads, and learns very fast. Your cognitive abilities help you process new pieces of information by taking such information and distributing it into the appropriate areas in the brain. When there is a need for that information later, your brain also uses its cognitive ability to retrieve it for use. When you develop your cognitive skills, you help your brain to complete the storing and retrieval of information more efficiently and quickly as well as understand and process the information. In the office space, there are a lot of pieces of information available to you every day and you may need some of them at a future date. So, it is one place where cognition is needed.
Importance of cognitive performance to working smarter
The importance of employees’ cognitive skills cannot be downplayed in any serious work environment. This is why employers are always looking to hire candidates that are very smart, fast learners, and can apply what they have learned in solving company issues.
In the workplace, your cognitive skills can help you with the interpretation of data, or pay attention to an important meeting. These skills can help you remember things that pertain to your organization’s goals and help you connect the dots between old and new pieces of information so you can be more productive.
The connection between food and cognitive abilities
Everything in our bodies is connected in one way or the other. The blood that flows from our heads to every part of our bodies carries energy with it, distributing the energy around. What you eat determines what enters your bloodstream and the brain is the one that benefits most from this. When the body is healthy in terms of what you eat, you are better focused and that will improve your cognition.
Glucose is your blood sugar and it fuels your performance every day. The majority of the foods you eat are broken down into glucose after they enter the body. This glucose gives you the energy to accomplish physical tasks, keeping your brain more alert. The quantity of glucose in our bodies is determined by the food we eat. This is because different foods produce a different amount of glucose. While it is not good for your glucose level to be too little, it is also not good for it to be too high. Too little or too high will reduce your energy levels and make your brain perform at a low. This is why it is important to eat a healthy diet.
When you eat foods high in carbs and sugars like some chocolate cake, it will be broken down into glucose very quickly and enter the bloodstream immediately creating a sudden burst of energy. However, this also dies down within the hour and your energy level will drop because what the cake supplied to you was not enough to supply a steady amount of glucose. Chocolates and sugars have a high glycemic index but if you eat something low on the glycemic index like oatmeal, bananas, or even supplements and vitamins like sugar free gummy vitamins, you will have a more steady supply of glucose and energy to your blood that will boost your cognitive skills and help you work smarter.
Eating better for greater cognitive functioning
If you plan to reimagine your productivity levels for improvement, one of the things you should be doing is eating better. It may require a change in some lifestyles but the result would be fruitful in the end.
- You need to do away with too many junk foods, processed foods, frozen foods, and any other packaged food that will give you only a temporary supply of glucose and energy.
- Eat more berries, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and tomatoes. Also, tuna, beef, dairy, and green tea can boost your energy level and help improve cognitive functioning.
- Do not skip your breakfasts. Breakfast is key to high performance in the mornings.
- Hydration is very good because it helps move the blood in the body faster. So, make sure to drink plenty of water regularly.
- Reduce your alcohol drinking habit and if possible, quit smoking. All these things can make you lose focus at work apart from the other serious health problems that could come as a result of smoking or drinking too much.
- Eat healthier snacks like carrot sticks, apple slices, nuts, and other healthy options.
The desire to be more productive lies in your hands. Apart from eating better to be able to work smarter, there are other ways that can help you improve your cognitive abilities. Once you are able to change your eating habit, you would have dealt with a large portion of your lack of productivity. The rest wouldn’t be something you can’t surmount.