Well-being: Eating better, working better, living better
Eating strategies to help you stay healthy and productive.
Healthy food nourishes our bodies and brains, provides us with the nutrients to function and meet the physical and mental demands of our work, and provides the brain and muscles with glucose to help avoid exhaustion.
As a first step to good health, ensure your medical checkup is current, and that your risk for diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease is assessed. Maintaining your blood sugar, blood pressure, lipids, and body weight within the normal range is a priority for your health, quality of life, and productivity.
Below are some eating strategies to help you perform better at work:
• Do not skip meals.
• Start your day with a healthy breakfast — the most important meal of the day — which should include food that helps regulate your blood sugar level (sugar at breakfast can make the blood sugar level fluctuate).
• The healthiest breakfast consists of whole grain bread or unsweetened cereals, fresh fruit, low fat cheese, labneh, or non-fried eggs, and a cup of low fat or nonfat milk.
• Take short breaks to reduce work stress.
• Consume a light lunch — a healthy lunch includes a small cup of grains or vegetable soup, a small portion of steamed rice, pasta or a baked potato, a small green salad, fresh fruit, and a portion of grilled, steamed, or baked lean meat, skinless poultry, or fish.
• Consume a healthy small snack in the afternoon to maintain energy and brain function.
• Consume brightly colored fruits and vegetables, healthy oils such as olive or canola, salmon or tuna, and unsalted almonds and walnuts.
• Drink water — to function mentally and physically, the body needs adequate fluids, and the best fluid is water. Other fluids, such as unsweetened fruit or vegetable juices, low fat or nonfat milk, and low fat soup, are also recommended.
• Limit your consumption of beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and depletes the body of water. This may lead to dehydration.
• Avoid smoking (active or passive) and alcohol.
• Keep active and exercise regularly — do moderate exercises daily, or at least five days a week, for 30-45 minutes. Exercise strengthens the body, brain, and enhances immunity, and reduces the risk of many diseases.
• Keep dinner simple and light. Include soup, baked potatoes, yoghurt, baked chicken, or grilled fish.
• The body slows down at night, so try to wait about three hours between a last meal and bedtime.