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Nutritional nuggets of Wellness wisdom in the Workplace

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We’ve survived the seemingly eternal darkness of winter - happily waving goodbye to bitterly cold days that left us feeling SAD! Indeed, research commissioned by the Weather Channel and YouGov shows that one in three of us experienced symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder during winter - ranging from low energy levels, to low self-esteem and anxiety.

This would probably explain the need to prop up eyelids with matchsticks during an agonisingly long business meeting, or random tearful outbursts on the commute to work during the winter months.

Although spring may be a bit of a shy season this year, at least we have longer days to look forward to, which bring higher energy levels and a renewed zest for life – both on a personal and professional level. The good news as that this season of rebirth brings with it the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your wellbeing at work, and renew your health and nutrition strategy.

In this blog, we share our top tips to help you juggle your work commitments along with your health and nutrition goals.

Nuggets of Nutritional Wisdom to manage your performance at work

Research shows that stress is one of the biggest challenges to modern businesses, leading to a significant level of workplace absence throughout the UK. According to statistics by the Health & Safety Executive, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40 percent of all work-related ill health cases and 49 percent of all working days lost due to ill health over the course of last year.

Healthy employees tend to be much happier at work, and as such do their jobs to a higher standard. Over recent years the wellbeing of staff has become a top priority throughout the business community, with many employers recognising that happy and healthy staff lead to increased productivity in the workplace, with less sick days and lower absence rates.

Below, we outline our top nuggets of wellness wisdom for the workplace!

1. Eat lots of fruit, vegetables and high fibre foods daily

The British Journal of Health Psychology published a study showing that people who ate more fruit and vegetables were more engaged, creative, and happier than those who did not. For optimal performance at work, you need sustained blood sugar levels for energy, alertness, and good concentration. You’ll be more productive if you eat healthy foods like fruit, salad, vegetables, nuts and pulses. Wholegrains are better than refined flour, and these foods provide sustained energy, and glucose to the brain, not just in short rushes, but slowly, to keep you performing optimally all day.

2. Remember the 80 percent Nutrition vs 20 percent Exercise rule

The key to achieving weight loss is through consuming less calories than you burn. This means that in order to shed a single pound, you need to achieve a 3,500 calorie deficit. So if you're following the 80/20 ratio, you'd want to burn approximately 750 calories through exercise and cut an additional 3,000 calories through your dietary intake. That’s a total deficit of 3,750 calories for the week.

3. Increase your protein intake

Optimise your intake of essential fatty acids, which are necessary for a healthy mind, and help you to concentrate. Eating walnuts, linseed, or oily fish which is rich in omega 3 oils will provide clarity of thought. However, it’s important to note that the body finds protein hard to digest, so go easy on the animal products. Protein uses more energy, and takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. Try to increase the fruit and vegetables in your diet because they are easy to digest and help you recover from the physical affects of stress on the body.

4. Eat breakfast

A well-balanced breakfast sets you up for the day, nourishing your brain and making you more alert and ready to face the challenges in your job. Research proves that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet 48 percent of people skip breakfast and the other 47 percent have a sugar filled breakfast as well as coffee and tea to start their day. Both of these lead to mid morning slumps in energy and unbalanced blood sugar levels which also mean concentration lapses and lower productivity.

Other top nutritional tips include:

  • Drink between 2-4 litres of water a day

  • Consume 4 to 5 small meals/healthy snacks per day.

  • Eat smaller portions

  • Drink less alcohol

  • Have a cheat day

  • Cook meals from scratch

Whilst juggling a healthy routine with all the demands of your professional life may seem like a daunting task initially, you should always remember that there is no step too small when endeavouring to get your health and wellbeing back on track. What do you do to stay healthy in the workplace.

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