Apart from being well-rested and taking managing time efficiently, keeping our mind sharp and in a state of productivity is largely influenced by our food choices. Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in plant-based foods is the key to good health, and also the secret to being able to tap into our body’s energy source. There are certain vitamins and minerals that can help you think faster, focus more, and help you be more productive.
Have you ever found yourself falling into an afternoon slump? If so, you may need to make a dietary change and start eating foods that work to boost productivity, as opposed to consuming foods that make you crash. Try eating the following foods to help you stay focused throughout the day.
Magnesium plays a large role in regulating metabolism, which is key for energy production. Magnesium is required for protein synthesis, nerve transmission, neuromuscular conduction, and regulation of muscular contractions. The best sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, avocados, and bananas. Getting a sufficient amount of magnesium is a good way to prevent headaches and fatigue, which can reduce productivity.
Folate is an integral nutrient to include in your diet because it helps to nourish brain cells and increase blood flow to the brain. It also aids the neurochemical synthesis process, which can help you stay focused on daily tasks. Some of the best folate sources are leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, chard, and arugula), which also work to oxygenate the brain to improve cognitive control.
In addition to benefiting the immune system and promoting healthy digestion, vitamin C works to maintain healthy energy levels. It helps to moderate dopamine, GABA, glutamate, and cholinergic neurotransmitters, all of which belong to cognitive functions related to learning and attention. Great vitamin C foods include bell peppers, citrus fruits, cauliflower, leafy greens, guavas, and kiwis.
While calcium is important for bone health, it also works to boost productivity. Calcium has a hand in synaptic plasticity, which is the cellular process of how we learn and memorize. Because of its neuronal involvement, a diet lacking in calcium can decrease attention span and general thinking. Some great plant-based foods that are rich in calcium include oranges, almonds, butternut squash, kale, beet greens, okra, blackstrap molasses, and spinach.
Zinc works to support brain functions because it has a modulating effect on neuronal metabolism, neuronal plasticity, and synaptic activity. In simpler terms, zinc helps us stay sharp. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency has been linked to poor cognitive function. Zinc is plentiful in legumes, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, steel cut oats, ginger, and raw cacao.