8 High-Energy Foods to Boost Your Productivity

Workplace nutrition specialist, Lily Soutter, shares her tips for healthy snack-hacks to get you through the workday.

Do you often sit at your desk during the day struggling to concentrate and finding yourself falling into a downward spiral of fatigue and inefficiency during the mid-afternoon slump? It may be because you are not feeding yourself the right things.

A study by Brigham Young University found employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to experience a loss in productivity compared to healthy eaters, and those who only occasionally eat fruit, vegetables and low-fat foods were 93% more likely to have a greater loss in productivity.

Nutritionist, Lily Soutter, shares 8 high-energy foods to get through those long working hours and boost your productivity whilst maintaining a nutritious diet.

  1. Watermelon Seeds

This food source is a great way to keep your hunger at bay, but also give your body that boost of protein and fibre it needs. These seeds can be roasted with a sprinkle of salt making them into a great snack, dusted on salads or used in other recipes to make granola and seeded breads.

  1. Seaweed

Seaweed is the new kale, packed with a rich source of mineral iodine, which is great for controlling your metabolism. You can add it to sushi, miso soups and vegetable stir-frys.

  1. Chia Seeds

Rightly branded a superfood, these small and delicious seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and packed full of fibre - which additionally help to keep hunger at bay. They can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on top of salads and also stirred into porridge with a dash of honey.

  1. Green Tea

This drink is quick and easy to make and so delicious. It contains L-Theanine, which has been shown to stimulate a feeling of relaxed alertness and clarity, helping your mind to feel calm and relaxed.

  1. Hydration

It's obvious and one of the most important ones to remember, yet too often we don't drink enough to stay hydrated throughout the whole day. Dehydration leads to fatigue, lack of concentration and reduces your efficiency. Remember a hydrated body is a hydrated mind.

  • Try infusing water overnight with fresh berries, ginger, lemon, cucumber or mint
  • Set yourself reminders throughout the day to ensure you drink enough
  1. Wholegrains

Our brain's primary source of fuel is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates within our diet. Slow-release carbohydrates including wholegrains provide long lasting fuel for optimal brain power. Carbohydrates also play a key role in transporting tryptophan to the brain, which is then converted to our happy hormone serotonin.

  • Choose: wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, barley, rye, oats, quinoa, buckwheat
  1. Cranberries

Cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, essential for maintaining the normal function of the immune system, and tiredness and fatigue.

  • Top Tip: toss frozen cranberries in with your favourite smoothie recipe, add to your morning porridge or snack on a few during the day.
  1. Healthy 3pm Sugar Fix

If you have the right food to hand, you're more likely to make healthier choices when those mid-afternoon sugar cravings hit. Whilst many of us have sugar cravings, we rarely fancy sugar off the spoon. Instead, we crave a combination of sugar with fat, which provides the moreish effects.

For healthier sweet snacks that combine sugar and fat, try:

  • apple (sugar) dipped in nut butter (fat)
  • a banana (sugar) with Greek yoghurt (fat)

Eating nutritious foods and allowing your body to get the nutrients it needs are key. If you are hydrated, energised and on the top of your game, it will help you maximise your success and productivity.