How does nutrition affect your productivity at work?
Enjoy your meal! It's quite possible that many of you already manage to eat healthily at work. But others say they simply don't have the time to get a healthy meal and eat it in peace.
Whether nurse or sales force employee – every professional group has its different needs. A construction worker needs about one third more calories than an office employee. The working hours vary too. And some have access to a canteen, while others have to fend for themselves. One rule of thumb applies to all occupations though: five portions of fruit and vegetables a day would be ideal.
Regular balanced meals keep you satisfied and healthy – try and do without sweet or high fat snacks at your desk or workbench. They only satisfy you for a short time. What's more, they dull your performance, make you crave more and want to have an afternoon nap when the inevitable after-lunch tiredness sets in.
With the right foods, you ensure you produce high quality work over a long period of time and avoid metabolic diseases. Find out here what you can do to remain productive.
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the perfect lunch is low in fats, but still rich in nutrients and dietary fibre. During the week, vary between vegetarian meals, meat and fish and help yourself generously at the salad bar. A large portion of salad can replace a main meal. Healthy side orders are potatoes, rice or wholemeal noodles. Light, low fat meals make sure you stay productive. For dessert, choose a colourful fruit salad or junket, don't bother with the cake or chocolate bars.
The good old tiffin box
Those of us who don't have access to a firm's canteen can still rely on the good old tiffin box, sandwich box or lunch box. This can save time too, because there's no need to queue. If you've cooked too much, put a portion in the deep freeze and heat it up in the office kitchen. If there's no microwave available, you can make yourself some tasty sandwiches. Fresh vegetables, vegetarian spreads, pesto or cream cheese give sandwiches that extra zing. Salad's easy to take with you too, if you keep the dressing separately. You should also pack milk products such as yoghurt, quark and cheese, because they provide important calcium.
Sources of energy
Hey! Go on, have a snack! But, even if it's tempting, don't touch chocolate, biscuits or cake. Sweet things increase the blood glucose level, so they only sharpen your concentration for a short time. During stressful times, it's better to reach for snacks rich in tryptophane such as bananas, cashew nuts, avocado and pineapple. You'll feel better, because they slow down the breakdown of serotonin. Cherry tomatoes, paprika sticks, yoghurt or rise crackers are sensible sources of energy for in-between times.
Drink healthy at work
The coffee machine is part of the furniture almost everywhere. The reason: the caffeine it contains wakes you up and can increase psychomotor performance. But it's important that you drink adequate amounts of other fluids. This helps you prevent fatigue and lapses in concentration and keeps you physically fit. It's best if you reach for mineral water, fruit juice mixed with mineral water or unsweetened tea.
Save the lunch break!
Whenever we're under stress, we tend to carry on working and, at best, may munch on a sandwich at the same time. But our body and soul need rest phases, including small meals, in order to stay productive and to beat the inevitable lows. When we eat in peace, we feel full earlier and don't run the risk of scoffing more than is good for us. Little by little, try to keep to your breaks and you'll notice how positively this affects your well-being. It's no coincidence that employment law rules that an employee must not be allowed to work for more than six consecutive hours without a break. According to paragraph 4, sentence 1 of the German Working Hours Act (ArbZG), the breaks can also be divided into periods of at least 15 minutes each. A win-win situation for both sides: the company retains a productive staff member and the employee stays fit, healthy and slender.