There is a strong connection between what you eat and how you feel. Our food choices influence energy and stress levels, depression, mood, memory, productivity, and even quality of sleep. Here are some of our top tips for eating to help boost concentration and energy, and reduce stress!
Don’t go more than 5 hours without eating.
Skipping meals contributes to hunger and low blood sugar, which can cause dips in energy levels and concentration. Try to eat within one hour of waking up, followed by a meal or snack every four hours.
Balance your plate.
Balance your meal with less processed/higher fiber carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Aim to make your plate half fruits and/or veggies, 1/4 lean protein, and 1/4 high fiber carbohydrate. Balance it out with a small portion of healthy fats. One of our favorite simple, balanced meals is fresh greens topped with Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water.
Use our “Rule of 2” when choosing snacks. Choose snacks with at least 2 out of 3: protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Be LESS refined (with your food).
Limit refined carbs like white flour based cookies, cakes, doughnuts, white bread, cereal, and crackers to prevent the energy/mood roller coaster effect.
Don’t depend on caffeine for energy.
Caffeine can pick you up in the short term, but in the long-term, it can leave you feeling more tired and more apt to turn to sugar as a pick-me-up. A cup or two of coffee or tea is totally fine, but if you find yourself depending on it to get all your daily tasks done, it’s time to look more closely at your food choices.
Take hydration seriously.
Every system in your body functions best when hydrated (including your brain!) Dehydration affects your ability to think clearly and concentrate.
- Plan water breaks throughout the day.
- Carry a full reusable water bottle with you at all times — and have it front and center on your desk.
- Limit caffeine: 2 cups of coffee or 5 cups of tea per day MAX.
Want to boost your productivity and focus? Here are ten foods that can help keep you sharp! These foods have a combination of nutrients that help your mood and concentration, including specific antioxidants, fiber, omega 3s, magnesium, and protein.
- Nuts & seeds (especially walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds)
- Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, wheat berries, etc.)
- Omega 3 rich fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna
- Leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
- Beans and lentils