There’s been a lot of talk about superfoods lately, but what does the term actually mean? Generally it refers to things that are packed with nutrients – vitamins, minerals, protein, and so on. But one of the most important things to remember is that a balanced diet is essential. So while, say, blueberries have health benefits, there’s no need to go overboard on them – just incorporate them into your fruit and vegetable intake when you fancy, and make sure you’re getting loads of other great nutritious foods too.
So while some foods may be ‘superfoods’ and highly nutritious, there are other things that we need to limit, such as high fat snacks that consist of pastry and processed meat. Fizzy drinks are also very high in sugar content and don’t really provide anything other than calories, so why not swap the fizz for some water and get some water of fruit juice instead?
The workplace is somewhere that many of us may feel more tempted to just grab whatever’s convenient and readily available, rather than put nutrition first. This is understandable given the busy and often pressured lives we lead these days. But there are a few workplace superfoods that not only provide us with the energy we need to get on with all the challenges the day presents – they’re also nutritional powerhouses too.
So without further ado, here are our top 6 workplace superfoods:
6. Porridge. Perhaps once this power breakfast wouldn’t have been a practical workplace option, but there are now plenty of one-portion instant options that are perfect for a working breakfast, so long as you have access to a kettle and a spoon. Porridge is filling in a sustaining way, and its soluble fibre content means that the stomach has that full feeling for longer. Soluble fibre is also beneficial in helping lower cholesterol.
5. Nuts and seeds. They’re full of nutrients and they can help stave off hunger pangs – making them the perfect workplace snack. Light and portable, and nuts also have a good amount of protein in them too.
4. Water. Okay, so not strictly a food , and doesn’t contain any nutrients. But staying rehydrated is important for being alert and feeling well. The amount of fluid we need daily depends on things like body weight as well as the amount of physical exercise we get. But don’t go thirsty, and you’ll feel brighter and better.
3. Wholewheat bread. When you’re preparing your lunchtime roll or sandwich, then make sure the bread is whole grain. Lower GI and full of lovely B vitamins, brown bread is a healthy and tasty alternative.
2. Tangerines. Good source of fibre as well as vitamin C. And some studies in the past have indicated that ensuring we have our recommended daily intake of vitamin C may not just be essential for keeping our cells healthy, it could also have an effect in helping us deal with stress.
1. Bananas. Compact, portable, tasty – and good for you. Potassium and vitamin B6 as well as a good source of energy. Perfect for a snack at your desk when hunger hits – and totally natural too.
Jen Jones is a health blogger specialising in workplace wellbeing and nutrition, working with AXA PPP healthcare corporate cover providers.