Foods That Will Make You Smarter | sheerluxe.com

Foods That Will Make You Smarter

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Feeling the stress of the daily grind? Often when we’re up against it, we eat what we can to fuel our way through the day. Juggling countless deadlines with piling workloads can really start to take its toll – particularly when you’re not eating the right kind of sustenance – and we find ourselves pushing harder and harder to make it through the week.
 
So what’s the solution? Food psychologist and nutritionist Dr Christy Ferguson says it’s all about fuelling your brain with the right kind of foods at the right time of day, to get the most productivity out of your week.
 
To beat that mid-afternoon slump, Dr Christy has developed a Brain Food Diary that trains your brain to work smarter, not harder, so you’ll have more energy and get more done. From brain-boosting breakfasts to taking regular desk breaks, these expert tips will have you working smarter in no time…

Your countdown to a successful working day

The 80-20 Break: Productivity is not equated to how long employees slave at their desks. Employees should schedule regular breaks to leave their desk and get some fresh air. Businesses are increasingly citing the "80-20 rule" which says that 20 percent of time should be used to produce 80 percent of results. There is an overwhelming idea that spending as much time as possible at your desk is what should be valued above the quality of work. But by carving out regular breaks, you not only decreases stress levels, but increase concentration and productivity later in the day.
 
Feed Your Brain: Your brain can’t store glucose, so you need to give it a fresh supply every three to four hours, otherwise you’ll find your mood and concentration dip. By choosing low glyceamic load fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, you can replenish the brain. Fresh berries contain fructose (fruit sugar) along with fibre, nutrients and antioxidants making their natural sugars release slowly into your bloodstream to help keep your mood and energy levels steady throughout the day.
 
No Time For Breakfast: The first meal of the day is so important for productivity. Companies should encourage workers to make time for breakfast by offering healthy options such as fresh berries, nuts, oats and yoghurt in the office or providing facilities for employees to make breakfast at work.
 
Presenteeism: Busy schedules mean that so many employees end up eating lunch at their desk. The human brain can’t focus for long periods of time without a break. More and more offices are recognising this, and creating a relaxing space for staff. The unifying force is food. Eating together creates openness and honesty in a relaxed environment and helps improve morale and communication when you go back to your desk.
 
A Meeting Revolution: Meetings often break up the day in illogical ways that can interfere with the flow or peak concentration times. When people are cooped up in meetings all day, productivity can nose dive. And when all that is on offer are tea and sugary biscuits, it can be difficult to resist nibbling away unconsciously. Implementing a ‘healthy meeting policy’ by offering a punnet of fresh berries, which are low in sugar and high in nutrients  and can supercharge our concentration levels. Making the focus narrow and limiting the size of the meeting means you will only invite people that you know are decisions makers, to maximise the time spent together.

On a Similar Note

Dr Christy’s Five-Day Brain Food Diary

MONDAY

BREAKFAST – overnight oats with blueberries
Place half a cup of oats and mixed seeds in a mason jar. Pour over ½ a pint of non-dairy milk such as almond, oat or coconut. Sprinkle over a pinch of cinnamon and soak overnight in the fridge. In the morning, serve topped with fresh blueberries and a little honey.
 
LUNCH - halloumi & avocado salad
One chopped avocado served with sliced toasted Halloumi, tomatoes, and mixed green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
 
DINNER – pasta with vegetables
Spelt or brown rice pasta with peas, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms and onions. Mixed with green pesto made from olive oil, lemon juice, avocado, basil and pine nuts whizzed in a blender.

 

TUESDAY

BREAKFAST – strawberries & yoghurt
A good handful of fresh strawberries, topped with bio live, goats or coconut yoghurt, sugar-free muesli, shredded coconut and a drizzle of honey.
 
LUNCH – cabbage wraps
Two savoy cabbage leaves filled with almond butter, avocado, chopped pepper, coriander, chopped cashews, onion and tamari. 
 
DINNER - fish salad
Trout fillet and asparagus grilled then served with mixed green salad, chopped tomato and spring onions dressed in lemon, garlic, balsamic and olive oil.

 

WEDNESDAY

BREAKFAST - porridge & raspberries
Take half a cup of oats and ½ a pint of non-dairy milk such as almond, coconut oat and heat in a pan. Once cooked, serve topped with raspberries and dessertspoon of mixed ground pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. Drizzle over Brown Rice Malt Syrup or honey if desired
 
LUNCH – chickpea salad
Take ½ a tin of chickpeas with chopped pepper, coriander, onion and mixed salad leaves. Dress in olive oil, wholegrain mustard and orange juice and season.
 
DINNER – seabass with salad
One fillet of seabass with mixed green leafy salad, dressed in balsamic, garlic and olive oil. Serve with one small baked sweet potato.

 

THURSDAY

BREAKFAST – mixed berry smoothie
Whizz strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a blender with organic bio-live or coconut yoghurt and oats and serve.
 
LUNCH - chicken salad wrap
Wholemeal or gluten-free wrap filled with grated carrot, tomato, hummus, sliced chicken and mixed salad leaves.
 
DINNER – stuffed roast peppers
One red pepper roasted filled with quinoa, sauteed onion, mushrooms, garlic and topped with grated goats cheese. Served with a mixed green salad.

 

FRIDAY

BREAKFAST - omelette
Four egg omelette with chopped onion, mushrooms and kale.
 
LUNCH - open salmon sandwich
Two slices of rye or seeded bread topped with mashed avocado smoked salmon and seasoned.
 
DINNER - stir-fried chicken
Stir-fried chicken breast with mushroom, mixed peppers, onion,  garlic, ginger, tamari served with brown basmati rice and topped with toasted cashew nuts.

Snack Options

  • Two oatcakes with hummus or cashew nut butter

  • Crudites made from cucumber and carrots with hummus or bean dip

  • One handful of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and a handful of nuts such as hazelnuts, cashew nuts or almonds

 
Dr Christy Fergusson PhD CPsych, MSc, BSc Hons, BA Hons, DHyp, MBSCH, MBPS, MBANT is a Doctor of Psychology Chartered Psychologist, Nutritional Therapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Hay House Author. Dr Christy has a PhD, MSc and BA Hons in Psychology, she is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

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