Performance@Work: Nutrients Your Body Needs

How To Re-Energize During Your Day
Performance@Work: Develop Emotional Coherence

Optimizing what you Eat is a highly crucial factor to improve your performance. Nowadays, people have resorted to eating whatever is quick, convenient and satisfying to their taste buds. Most of this type of food provides minimal nutritional value and has unhealthy amounts of salt, sugar, and fats. If consumed regularly these foods can rapidly damage your health, and as a result can contribute to serious health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and stroke.

If you are not paying attention to your health then you are most certainly eroding it. Eating right helps you maintain a healthy weight and avoid numerous health problems. Not only does what you eat have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing, it is also the fuel, nutrition, and energy your mind and body needs to function at work, home, and play.

The most damaging food is processed food. Most people do not think of the food they eat to be harmful, but some of the ingredients commonly found in processed foods are considered toxic. “Toxic”, meaning chemicals or highly processed ingredients that aren’t good for you and can cause harm to your health, and body. Some of these include refined grains, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and all the other artificial junk, and chemicals you cannot pronounce or recognise on the ingredients lists. Any food that has been canned, dehydrated, reduced in fat, or had chemicals added to it is a processed food, and these food make up over 60 per cent of the average diet.

When food is processed, not only are valuable nutrients lost and fibres removed, but the textures, natural variation and flavours are also lost. After processing, what is left behind is a bland and tasteless “pseudo-food” that people would not dare eat. Due to this, flavours, colours and texture are added to the processed food in order to make them more attractive, and this is why they become loaded with food additives.

US processed foods are worse than those in other countries. Many of the food additives that are legal to use in US foods are banned in other countries. More than 3,000 food additives such as preservatives, flavourings, colours and other ingredients are added to US foods. This is one of the key reasons why you should avoid them.

The more processed food you eat, the less nourished you become. Not only are you depriving yourself of nutrients your body needs to function and perform but you are also clogging up your arteries, intestines and colon with junk. If you do not recognize the ingredients on the food label (for example, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)), your body does not either. And it does not know how to digest and make use of them, trapping them inside your body. Your body does not just release them. Therefore, even if you go on a diet, your body is all clogged up, making it hard for you to lose weight.

A clogged up body will also not repair itself efficiently during sleep, which is an even deeper concern. And taking additional nutritional supplements will not make much difference either because the body is unable to absorb most of their goodness. Most supplements leave the body in much the same condition they went into the body so money is literally poured down the toilet.

If you like your milk low fat or skim, milk undergoes additional processing to remove the fat content. In this process, the majority of the nutrition are removed, as well as Vitamin D and their omega 3 content. Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to many health benefits including improved heart and brain health, and a lower risk of cancer.

Many people avoid drinking whole milk because they assume the fat content and calories will cause them to gain weight and develop heart disease. Many studies have shown that consuming whole milk helps prevent weight gain and is associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

A build up of chemicals in your body can lead to blood clots, heart attacks, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon, thyroid, adrenal, kidney, bladder and brain cancers.

How healthy would you be right now if you did not eat processed food? It is never too late to start eating healthy, and experience the difference it will make.

The easiest way to be healthy is to eat food that does not have a food label, like for example, avocado or steak. A good way is to prepare high-quality meals for yourself and your family. If you rely on processed food, you exchange convenience for long-term health problems and mounting medical bills.

A matter of huge concern is when organizations provide sweets, candy, lollies, doughnuts, chocolates, cakes, cookies, biscuits, processed food, ice cream, frozen yoghurt, fruit juices, sugar-packed beverages, especially for free, is doing their people and business, a huge disservice.

Another huge disservice is serving desserts at conferences, workshops, meets, and the like. These are all too much of a sugar boost. They will weigh you down, make you tired, and cloud your thinking and concentration. You can power through this tiredness if you need to, but it will only be at a reduced level of functioning. Trying to stay awake or alert by drugging yourself with coffee is not good for your health or wellbeing. This will not position you to deliver your best performance.

Organisations need to rethink what their people are eating, and what is on their menu. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it (and organic) will make a huge difference to everyone’s performance and energy.

The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace unhealthy processed food with real food. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.

Russell Ackoff, who was a top thought leader and systems thinker, sums up a system very effectively, “The system is never the sum of its parts, it is the product of their interactions.”¬†With this in mind, giving importance and engaging in all four of the blogs in my Performance@Work Series (Develop Emotional Coherence, Why Sleep Matters, and Reasons to Exercise) , and treating them as a system, will enhance and improve your performance. And improve your health and wellbeing for years to come.

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