This Is What You Need To Eat To Be Super Productive At Work, According To A Nutritionist

While we've all been hearing since we were in elementary school that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, how many of us are actually heeding that advice? Even if you're one of the "good kids" and you dig into a healthy bowl of Cheerios or a cup of Greek yogurt every morning, your tank is still going to need refueling long about midday. If you're more of a coffee-only breakfaster, then you'll definitely be running on empty by noon. In order to be productive up until quitting time, it's important that you eat a healthy lunch.

Dr. Brooke Scheller, DCN, CNS, who is the Director of Nutrition at Freshly, points out that "lunch makes up roughly [one-third] of our food intake for the day." In order to make sure that this meal, falling right in the middle of our workday, is of maximum benefit, we should take care to eat the right things. As Scheller advises, "The best lunch is made up of a few different components: protein, healthy fats, fiber, and vegetables."

Healthy lunch choices for better productivity

Every healthy lunch should include some protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, or nuts. As Shcheller says, "Protein stabilizes blood sugar and keeps energy even keel throughout the afternoon. Protein also provides key amino acids that support the brain and aid in muscle and bone health." A good lunch also needs some healthy fats, as these can serve as "a source of energy that slows our metabolism of foods," as well as being "critical for absorption of key nutrients that support the brain and also support hormone production (including our stress hormones)." 

She mentions that Omega 3 fats are "especially important as they provide key building blocks for the brain." High-fiber foods such as almonds, beans, and bananas are also necessary to "keep us full and satisfied for longer," while vegetables "provide the vitamins and minerals needed to support energy production and brain function."

Scheller's lunch suggestions include "a helping of roasted veggies with chicken breast and avocado, a big salad with leafy greens, salmon, and olive oil dressing, or a bowl made with fiber-rich grains, veggies, and chicken," as each of these contains all four elements of a healthy lunch. With a meal like this under your belt, you should be able to tackle whatever the afternoon holds in store ... and you won't have to feel quite so guilty about ending the evening with a glass of wine and the two most important men in your life, Ben and Jerry.