Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables to Eat During the Workday
For those with busy schedules and careers, eating lunch is often an afterthought. For others, the stress of the workday can lead to unhealthy eating habits at lunchtime as a way of coping with stress or fatigue. The following foods are easy and nutritious choices that can improve mood, energize the mind, increase focus, and combat stress at work.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats and vitamin B, which calms the mind and energizes the metabolism. Avocados are easy to incorporate into mealtime, whether you prepare your own lunch or eat out. In slices, they make a delicious salad topping. In moderation, avocado-based guacamole can serve as a filling and nutritious dip or sandwich spread. For those with a sweet tooth, avocado can add fantastic flavor and texture to a fruit smoothie, which can also be frozen ahead of time and enjoyed whenever is most convenient for you.
Blueberries are packed with vitamins and are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods available. Blueberry consumption has been linked to many incredible health benefits that can improve performance at work, including enhanced cognition and memory. Blueberries are best enjoyed raw, as cooking can neutralize many of the compounds responsible for their health benefits. However, frozen blueberries maintain their nutritional value and are a delicious and refreshing treat on hot days. Blueberries also have a low glycemic index, which means they can serve as a sweet treat with limited impact on blood sugar, keeping energy levels consistent throughout the day.
Oranges are widely available and are perfect for workers with long commutes and business travelers, as they do not require refrigeration. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, an important nutrient that improves immune function and lowers stress hormones, including cortisol. Oranges can also be enjoyed in the form of juice, which remains high in vitamin C and other nutrient content. However, oranges are best enjoyed whole (sans peel, of course), as they are high in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and regulates blood sugar and energy levels.
This leafy green is rich in magnesium, another nutrient that limits stress hormones and promotes healthy brain function. Spinach remains nutritious whether raw or cooked, and can be incorporated into common lunchtime staples including salads, soups, and sandwiches. Spinach is also filling while being incredibly low in calories, making it a great choice for those who like to snack during the day. For those eating out for lunch, restaurants now commonly offer spinach options for salads and stock spinach on salad buffets, making this vegetable an easy addition to your workday lunch.
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin K and folic acid, both of which enhance brain function, improve mood, and help fight cognitive decline due to aging. Broccoli can also be enjoyed raw or steamed, though overcooked broccoli can lose some of its nutritional value. Both the stems and fluorets are equally nutritious, so you can eat only the parts you prefer, or both! However, avoid the temptation to smother this healthy choice in cheese, which may leave you feeling sluggish and bloated instead of energized.
Incorporating these five power-fruits and veggies into your lunchtime routine is sure to improve your productivity and mood. Whether you pack a lunch or grab it on the go, be sure to incorporate these healthy choices for optimal brain function at work!