In the Mood to Work

In today’s competitive business environment, high productivity levels are a prime factor in ensuring a company’s survival. Owners and managers must keep current with the latest methods to keep their employees motivated and energized to perform efficiently. Human resource professionals need to educate themselves on ways to promote collaboration between individuals and work teams.

When employees are motivated and cooperating with one another, there is a positive environment, which benefits the company and its workers financially. A profitable company means better salaries, bonuses, incentives, and less chance of workforce reduction. A pleasant and productive work atmosphere can transcend the workplace and help employees have a better home life due to decreased stress levels.

Since we are what we eat, food plays a big role in healthy lifestyles and workplace productivity. Certain foods can contribute to or take away from proper work performance. Refined sugars are not good food energy sources in most cases, and healthier options are definitely available. The question remains: what are the best foods for enhancing workplace productivity, health, weight-loss regimens, and mood.

Studies show that foods rich in antioxidants can provide the benefits a person needs to help ward off sickness and disease. Antioxidants fight the oxidizing effects of free radicals, which attack our cells, cause our bodies to breakdown, and speed the aging process. While not a cure-all, they are one element in an overall health program.

A fruit that is rich in antioxidants are acai berries. “Acai berries are already considered one of the richest fruit sources of antioxidants.” (University of Florida News, January 12, 2006, From Source: Stephen Talcott, Assistant Professor, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)

A natural food product such as this berry is a great alternative to processed sugar, which researchers believe, is not conducive to good health when over-consumed. “Sugar is a carbohydrate and a source of energy, but too much sugar in the diet can contribute to health problems, including obesity and tooth decay.” (Health Insite, An Australian Government Initiative, Primary Source: Better Health Channel (Information produced in conjunction with Royal Children’s Hospital Nutrition Department, Australia). Acai berries have low natural sugar content, which may aid diabetic sufferers who look for healthy diet alternatives.

For an afternoon energy boost that is good for ones’ health it is best to consume fresh fruit which contain natural sugars. Another alternative is healthy chocolate. Chocolate rich in pure cocoa and unsweetened is the best, although if you have to choose between two types of sweetened chocolate go for the dark over the milk chocolate.

Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants like red wine, mangosteen fruit, acai berries, Noni fruit, and blueberries. The darker the chocolate the more antioxidants it contains. Chocolate added into a diet can actually satisfy dessert cravings a person who is dieting may have. Diets that prohibit people from foods they enjoy often cause the person to abandon the diet because of its severity of lifestyle change. Treating oneself to a little healthy dark chocolate as a treat while on a diet can keep a person on the straight and narrow to their diet goals. They satisfy their delectable food cravings, get antioxidant benefits, and still do not overindulge. People, who do not overindulge, are not prone to weight gain, which can lead to diabetes.

Chocolate has a high ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), as do acai berries. The higher the ORAC Value of a food the better it can destroy free radicals in the body. The ORAC measurement tells the antioxidant capacity of a food.

Therefore, in the workplace it is a good thing for employers to educate their employees to eat properly and especially snack properly during the day. Mid-morning and afternoon breaks are famous for processed sweets and soft drinks. Substituting healthy chocolate and fresh fruit drinks, smoothies, and other natural foods can benefit employees and employer alike. Fresh fruit drinks with blueberries, acai berries, and the like will provide the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which gives people energy. Increased energy levels are capable of enhancing moods. When a worker has a positive mood he or she cooperates with fellow workers better and simply does more work, or the same amount of work with more quality.

There are many options available to those who want to eat healthy and avoid refined sugar. Research shows that sugar produces highs and lows in mood, contributes to weight gain, and contributes to obesity and diabetes. When there are fresh fruits and berries, and pure cocoa products available, the workplace environment can be one that is healthy and productive.