Ever experience that sluggish sleepy feeling of the mid-day slump? You’re not alone. Anyone who has ever consumed a cup of coffee understands how food and drink can directly affect the brain. Whether it be the buzz from your morning latte, or a sugar high after an afternoon candy bar, studies show that the food we consume has a series of interesting effects on our brain, both in the long and short term.
THE ‘WHY’ BEHIND THE MID-DAY SLUMP:
According to the Harvard Health Blog, there is an apparent chemical explanation for why food is so deeply related to mood. Serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter that controls everything from our sleep to appetite, mood and pain level, is almost completely produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin levels are also influenced by bacteria found in the GI tract. A healthy diet that is full of lean protein, unprocessed grains and fruits and vegetables has been shown to be the best way to support brain health through nutrition.
When the body is deprived of food for too long, its essential processes begin to shut down. We become sluggish and unproductive. This is why many of us experience that mid-day slump that sends us to the candy machine for a pick me up. Unfortunately, by the time we start to feel the effects of food deprivation, it is likely that our brain has already been deprived of energy for too long. A quick fix of sugar will send glucose to the brain immediately, followed by a crash that can leave us feeling even worse.
FOOD BECOMES THE BOOST WE NEED FOR OUR BRAINS:
Eating healthy in the workplace isn’t as easy as it sounds. Looming deadlines, hectic schedules and the lack of access to healthy foods are just a few of the barriers that employees face. When employers recognize the value of access to good nutrition, they start to realize that they can take action to directly affect the productivity and health of their employees in a fairly simple way.
Experts suggest that the best way to keep productivity at its peak is by preventing blood sugar from dropping by grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day. When employers give their employees access to brainpower boosting foods, such as nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy grains and proteins, employees are more productive, happier and more willing to get things done.
A VERSATILE SOLUTION FOR BOOSTING BRAINPOWER WITH FOOD:
One option to help power the brain throughout the day is to provide a micro market, a grab and go station with fresh food options and healthy beverage items conveniently located within your corporate breakroom. With a micro market just steps away from their desks, employees have the ability to access a variety of food items. This can help power their brains or alleviate the mid-day slump, whenever they want.