How to eat healthy at work

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Healthy eating is crucial for our health. It's easy to forget about it when you spend hours at work, eating fast food and having a few cups of strong coffee on the go. However, it's not that difficult to reconcile your professional career and a healthy diet.

Fast doesn't mean healthy

The pace of work, constant stress and neverending hustle often require eating your meals fast. There is a reason for the low nutritional food to be called fast food. Available off hand, kebabs, hamburgers or instant soups are only temporary stomach fillers. Such meals not only fail to deliver the valuable trace elements, but also have a negative impact on the functioning of human body. Last year it was confirmed by the Australian scientists' research, which proved that fast food significantly affects short-term memory. The scientists claim that only five days of fast food diet may cause serious problems with concetration and retention. Often visits to snack bars may result in the hippocampus inflammation (the part of brain responsible for recognizing people and things, as well as for colligation of facts), and more frequently recurring feeling of hunger when compared to partaking in wholesome meals. On the top of that, fast food contains unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, so you can easily say that eating this type of meals leads to obesity and memory problems.

Not only unwholesome food may spoil efforts to preserve your health and attractive figure. The way of partaking in meals is also a problem. Fast eating favours digestive system diseases, indigestion and overweight - warns Małgorzata Filipowicz, a coach, betteryou.com.pl. Healthy eating means slow eating, with careful chewing. Meal break is not a waste of precious work time but an investment in health and physical and intellectual efficiency of an employee. An employee should have enough time to have elevenses and lunch and to eat those meals slowly and peacefully. - she emphasises.

 

Quality and regularity

A positive impact of healthy food on human body comes from both, the right choice of nutrients and regular meals. The most popular mistake of working people is skipping breakfast, which is the basic meal of the day. To ensure yourself enough energy for work, you should eat a wholesome breakfast within two hours from waking up. If there's no time for such a meal at home, you can always have it on your way to work (in case of commuting by bus or train) or at work. A substantial breakfast is a solid ground for your performance during the day.

What you should remember of is the regularity of your meals. It's more healthy to eat smaller meals but more often. - advices Małgorzata Filipowicz. Having three meals a day may lead to obesity, cause dehydration and deplete your body of nutrients. The best solution is to have 4 or 5 small meals a day.

 

While preparing food for work, you should pay attention to its quality. How do you know that a salad you prepared is a wholesome meal?

A wholesome meal is the one which delivers the organism all necessary vitamins, mineral salts, building and energetic blocks. A well-balanced meal gives you both energy to work and substances which constantly regenerate our organism, and have a positive impact on the work of our brain. - explains Małgorzata Filipowicz.

Valuable trace elements delivered in meals cannot be replaced with the dietary suplements. That is why its worth having a look at the groups of products which contain nutrients important for your body.

Trace elements positively affecting human body
Vitamin/Trace element Products                                                                                                                      
Vitamin B                            

brewer's yeast, bran, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, diary products, buckwheat, legumes, meat, eggs, nuts

Vitamin C rosehips, citrus fruits, strawberries and currants, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes
Boron broccoli, peaches, nuts and dried beans, grapes, pears, apples and carrots
Zinc fish, legumes and whole grains
Selenium saltwater fish, bran and cereal products
Iron green vegetables, liver, meat and fish
Unsaturated fats high quality margarine and vegetable oils, fish
Substances having negative impact on human body
Product/substance Impact
Coffee, tea destroying vitamins B and C
Saturated fats increasing the cholesterol level and adipose tissue in organism                 

The above chart presents only a part of products worth including in a diet.

A perfect source of flavonols, which are responsible for our intellectual abilities, is dark chocolate - adds Małgorzata Filipowicz. The last of the substances which aids brain regeneration, development of new brain connections and process of thinking is protein. Wholesome protein can be found in meat, diary products and fish, and unwholesome, but still important and needed protein can be found in legumes and whole wheat bread.

 

Home-made lunch at work

A healthy diet of an employee should be important also for the employer, especially if there is a canteen available in the workplace. The diet has a direct impact on the employee's efficiency, therefore it's important to ensure not only the right conditions for peaceful eating of meals but also - if it is possible - to provide nutritious food products.

A well-balanced meal should contain 55-60% carbohydrates, 10-15% protein and 30% fat - says Małgorzata Filipowicz. People with sedentary lifestyle may eat a little bit less fat. It is also important to remember than 1 gram of carbohydrates or protein gives 4 kcal of energy, but 1 gram of fat gives as much as 9 kcal - she adds.

So what should a healthy, wholesome meal look like? Have a look at one of the examples:

A recipe for a wholesome lunch by Małgorzata Filipowicz, betteryou.com.pl:

¾ cup of boiled brown rice

leek sliced into thin stripes

a carrot, an apple and a celery grated coarsely

1,5 teaspoon of lemon juice + 3 teaspoons of olive oil

a half of a steamed trout

roasted sunflower seeds or sprouts

to drink: kefir or yogurt

 

Preparation of a wholesome lunch is not a challenging task. Transport of an earlier prepared meal also isn't a problem. There is a whole range of hermetic lunch boxes available on the market. They not only ensure the right conditions for storage of dishes, but also don't take much room in your case or bag.

If you raise the issue of healthy diet in your workplace, it's impossible not to mention the problem of eating between the meals. Sedentary, sometimes monotonous work by the computer may increase your appetite for sweets. However, contrary to popular belief, a sweet snack won't help you deal with the feeling of hunger, it only supplies some additional calories. There is a healthy way of dealing with a temptation to eat something sweet at work.

A good alternative for sweet snacks are salads and fruit which contain a lot less calories - suggests Małgorzata Filipowicz. In fruit and vegetables, especially the raw ones, there is a lot of substance called roughage. It's really beneficial for our organisms, particularly for people with sedentary lifestyles. Roughage improves bowel movements, preventing constipation, and slows down digestion, eliminating the feeling of hunger for long periods of time.

Healthy eating at work is possible. Preparing of healthy meals is not expensive, it's also not too complicated. A balanced diet ensures energy and well-being throughout the day.


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