How healthier foods can boost productivity in the workplace

We are all aware of the benefits of a healthy diet, in terms of keeping our bodies working at their very best, but what do we do if we want to improve our minds. The answer is actually very much the same, which is why many employers are now looking at how the food that they offer can impact on the productivity of their employees.

No matter what good intentions we have when it comes to diet and exercise, this can easily fall by the wayside once we get to work. Temptations, time pressures and convenience all tend to win, and it is easy not to eat as well as we would like.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that the right type of nutrition can raise productivity levels by as much as 20%, so eating the right kinds of foods at work can have a massive impact.

Here, Jamie-Leigh James Marketing Executive at Cema Vending, specialists in corporate vending supplies, shares her insight into what a healthy diet can do to boost performance whilst at work.

Drink well

Hydration is important for any part of our body to work well, and this is just the same in the workplace. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that caffeine will keep us working hard, but after the initial pick-me-up this will then lead to a crash which can be counterproductive.

Instead, opt for water to hydrate the brain and keep it fresh. Having a water cooler nearby can encourage more employees to stay hydrated in the right way and boost their overall productivity.

Avoid inflammation

Foods that reduce inflammation are a great way to increase productivity as this can be a major cause of fatigue and a lack of energy.

If the body has to deal with inflammation, it sends less energy to the brain, so avoiding foods which are highly processes, contain trans fats, refined sugar, processed vegetable oils, high-GI carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners can play a part in this.

Foods which combat this inflammation are dark chocolate, carrots, blackberries, broccoli, chestnuts, onion and garlic to name just a few as these are all rich in polyphenol.

Less sick time

Whilst there are some foods that can give the body and brain a boost in the moment, it cannot be denied that overall health is of paramount importance.

A good diet can help to reduce the risk of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, strokes and even some forms of cancer, which means a healthier workforce who need to take far less time off work. With everyone in work for more of the time, productivity levels are bound to feel the benefit.

Energy levels

We have all experienced that lull in the middle of the afternoon where the mind can wander, and we reach for the treats. Whilst a sugary treat like a biscuit or chocolate bar might seem to be the ideal solution, it will only ever lead to the inevitable sugar crash a short while later.

By swapping high sugar snacks for more natural forms of energy, such as fresh fruit, energy levels stay more consistent. This is because they release their natural sugars much more slowly, giving an even distribution of sugar into the body to keep it working efficiently for longer.

These days, getting the most out of employees means providing them with an environment in which they can flourish. By providing them with the ability to make healthy choices, they can not only take better care of themselves, but also benefit the business too.

A few simple changes in the staff canteen or vending machine and make a huge difference to what happens behind the desk, and work productivity can take a significant rise.