Healthy lunch makes you sharper and more productive

Why settle for unhealthy snacks from the canteen, for example? Or the same stack of cheese sandwiches every day? Having a healthy lunch at home or work makes you sharper and more productive and reduces stress. And it can be done without a blender and all kinds of complicated recipes. Here are seven tips.

Never skip lunch

Lunch is an important meal. After all, you need the energy to perform your tasks properly. British research shows that the productivity of workers who skip lunch drops significantly around three in the afternoon And because of this drop in productivity, you lose as much as 40 minutes of work time!

Think about why eating a healthy lunch is important

Workers who eat healthily during the day are 25% more likely to have better job performance and are 20% more productive. This is according to a joint study by the Health Enhancement Research Organisation (HERO), Brigham Young University and the Centre for Health Research.

Healthy eating affects your intelligence, learning ability, concentration and memory. It keeps your energy levels up and helps combat stress. You feel more comfortable in your skin, literally and figuratively, and you are less susceptible to disease. So do you want to spend your working days sharp and productive? Then eating a healthy lunch is very important.

Know what to leave out

How to do that? First, you need to know that glucose is the fuel for your brain. For your brain to function correctly, it is essential that your glucose level - your blood sugar level - remains as constant as possible. Low glucose levels make you feel sluggish and unfocused.

As soon as they feel tired, most people go for the quick fix: stimulating foods like coffee, cola and energy drinks. But bread and snacks also contain a lot of fast carbohydrates. Those so-called 'quick sugars' provide a quick energy spike, which unfortunately drops at least as quickly.

Know what is healthy

Foods that have not been boiled, fried or otherwise processed give you the most energy because your body digests them slowly, so they constantly provide new energy. Raw vegetables are a good example. Furthermore, it is best to eat high-fiber carbohydrates, such as cereals, potatoes, whole-grain products, beans and lentils.

Lunch dishes that keep you sharp and get you through the afternoon productively include salads with a grain (e.g., quinoa), bean or legume, protein, vegetables and sprouts. You can also think about green smoothies, (whole-wheat) wraps or homemade soup. Nuts also do wonders for your brain if unroasted and unsalted. They barely raise blood sugar, and the fats ensure good communication between nerve cells. Make sure you stick to a small handful of nuts due to the large number of calories. And specific products like strawberries, avocados and dark chocolate also help against stress thanks to certain substances.

Can't do without sandwiches? At least choose nutritious sourdough, spelt or rye bread with, for example, a boiled egg, lean meat products, nut spread or fish and some raw vegetables for fiber.

Bring your own lunch

If you want to eat a healthy lunch, it is best to bring it home. If you can and are allowed to work at the office. True, it takes some preparation, but in the end, you will get a good dose of energy in return!

Don't feel like putting the blender in your bag? Then make sure you have the proper storage containers at home. There are even trays available that keep your food cool, should there be no fridge at work. And hot soup? Put it in a good thermos. Of course, if you work at home, you can be more elaborate, and take that time! A short break to make a healthy and nutritious lunch does no harm.

Choose a healthy alternative

If you are having lunch at work or have little in the house, still opt for the healthiest thing you can find. Think salad, fresh juice and unroasted and unsalted nuts. If there is a supermarket near your workplace, it is also an idea to take a walk there. Then you'll have some exercise right away.

See it day by day

Does it all seem like too much hassle to you? Then start taking a smoothie or healthy snack to work every other day. You will soon find that it becomes routine. And, of course, the energy you get in return is absolutely worth it.

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