You are unique and you do your own thing but you probably do some form of work to survive or just for fun. A crucial element that ties in all the work you do and makes it more effective is productivity. Without productivity, you will end up putting in way too much work than is necessary. When talk of productivity comes up, many people are quick to think about linking productivity skills and productivity tools to improve their results, but what if after doing this you are still not very productive? What if your diet is what’s pulling you back from realizing your full potential? Here are four foods that may be lowering your productivity:
1. Cold cuts
Sandwiches are a quick fix when you are working but cold cuts, one of the common sandwich ingredients, can actually be lowering your productivity. Most packed cold cuts contain loads of preservatives, nitrates, additives, and colorings which are all recipes for an energy and health disaster. Nitrates are known for vascular headaches, preservatives for water retention and bloating, and additives and colorings for mood swings. Need I say more? If you value your health and your productivity you should consider making your own cold cuts at home. It is undoubtedly healthier and your work will love you for it.
If your meal contains carbohydrates you will possibly find yourself getting sleepy after eating. Carbohydrates promote the production of tryptophan, an amino acid which the body uses to produce serotonin, which in turn makes melatonin. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone responsible for pleasant and calm moods and melatonin is responsible for drowsiness. Combining these two will allow for a peaceful snooze. This is great when it is time to take a break, but when you are in the middle of work, this all becomes counterproductive and will limit your productivity.
Carbohydrates cause a sudden energy spike due to a rise in blood sugar followed by a plunge in insulin levels which will give you fatigue and make you want to sleep. This does not mean you should cut them off them completely to increase your productivity. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and there is a way to incorporate them into your meals without having to sacrifice productivity – ditching refined carbohydrates for low glycemic ones. Even if you do switch to low-glycemic carbohydrates, portion size still matters, and if you are eating for maximum productivity, you should have the right quantities.
3. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are currently trending and they are making headlines for all the right reasons. If you are a fan of fermented foods you will probably be disappointed to know that although they are great for your health, they are bad for your productivity. While carbohydrates make you sleep, fermented foods may keep you awake. They contain tyramine, an amino acid that stimulates brain activity and may make it hard to fall asleep. Resting is an important part of any work schedule and foods that hinder sleeping properly are bad for productivity. If you eat fermented foods you may struggle to sleep and you will end up tired and unable to work effectively.
4. Processed foods
It is perhaps unsurprising that processed foods are on this list because if something is bad for your health, then it is no good for your productivity. When you are working it is easy to favor the canned foods and packaged nibbles (seeds, anyone?) because they are convenient, but you should stay away from these. Canned foods come with the same cons as cold cuts, and processed seeds have a particular preservative called potassium bromate which is bad news. This chemical blocks the thyroid from absorbing iodine and this is likely to leave you with undesirable effects like muscle weakness, depression, and joint pain. A great way out of this is to consume homemade fresh food. Try to roast your own seeds, and pick fresh, organic ingredients for your snacks and meals.