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4 Tips For A Healthy Diet At Work

4 Tips For A Healthy Diet At Work

What does eating healthy at work mean?

Healthy nutrition means above all to eat a balanced and varied diet and in this way to prevent a nutrient deficiency as best as possible, because an imbalance can have a great impact on our well-being and in the worst case even lead to:

  1. depressions
  2. anxiety
  3. fatigue
  4. weakened brain function.

Despite the great importance of healthy eating, often certain life circumstances and situations make it difficult for us to implement these nutritional guidelines. Work, in particular, often gets in the way of this, although it is there that we should make an effort to take care of ourselves.On average, we spend about 25.3 days per month at work, trying to reach our full performance potential. It is therefore especially important to supply the body with essential nutrients and to support mental and physical performance.

The basic rules of a healthy diet include:

  1. eat more natural products (fruits and vegetables) than animal products
  2. eat more unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. olives, nuts and fish) than saturated fatty acids (e.g. butter and meat)
  3. drink a lot of water and avoid unnatural drinks such as cola and similar drinks

What does mental health mean in the workplace?

Mental health, as defined by WHO, is "a state of well-being in which a person is able to realize his or her capabilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to his or her community."(WHO)

According to this, in a state of mental well-being we are satisfied, feel good and are able to face (work) everyday life in the best possible way, we are more productive, more committed and make fewer mistakes. Conversely, this also means that with a lack of mental health, we can only act in a limited way and cannot perform to our full potential at work.

The strong transformation of the work situation in recent years, due to globalization, digitalization and societal changes, has led to high demands being placed on the mental health of employees. (University of Heidelberg)

For this reason, mental illnesses have increased sharply, especially in the workplace. Around 15% of all days of absence are due to mental illnesses, and the duration of illness is on average three times longer than for other illnesses. (German Federal Ministry of Health) Thus, the importance of preventing mental illness in the workplace is steadily increasing.

What foods give me the right nutrients for a successful day at the office?

1. Nerve food against stress and for more resilience

Quite a few unanswered mails, long lists of tasks, and all the time on the phone. Stressful days at the office are unfortunately not uncommon. It's exactly on these days that you should support your body and mind with healthy food.

True stress killers include nuts, fish, legumes as well as oatmeal, quinoa, bananas and spinach. These foods provide our bodies with all the essential nutrients in stressful situations and can support brain function. Nuts, for example, give our brain the necessary amount of vitamin B and magnesium. Oatmeal is also particularly good during stress, because it regulates blood sugar levels, which can often go crazy in such situations. Bananas, on the other hand, with the tryptophan they contain, contribute to the production of serotonin, making us happier and more resistant to stress.

An example of a perfect dish for lunch at work is a vegan salad with quinoa base, pears and walnuts. Walnuts and quinoa are rich in magnesium, iron and protein, thus boosting physical fitness, and at the same time the tryptophan in quinoa also provides feelings of happiness and reduces stress.

2. Brainfood for more concentration

Concentration is the basis for a successful working day, because if we lose focus and find it difficult to complete our tasks, dissatisfaction and frustration can quickly develop.

Nutrition can work wonders in this regard and positively influence brain function. By integrating the following foods into everyday life, concentration can be greatly enhanced. Especially green vegetables such as avocados, or eggs, nuts and red berries are suitable as support for concentration difficulties and counteract them. The reason for this is the omega-3 fatty acids and a high content of vitamin E contained in the foods, which have a positive influence on our brain function.

In addition to nutrition, the intake of plenty of fluids is also very important. Water or unsweetened teas such as green tea are best. This also makes us more alert and can even be more effective than coffee in the long run, as the so-called "caffeindown" does not occur. A caffeindown occurs when too much caffeine has been absorbed by the body over a long period of time, the body has become accustomed to the active ingredient adenosine and has become resistant.

So, in order to promote concentration, one should consume plenty of fluids and the right foods. An example of a great dish for extra concentration is a Chicken Gyoza Bowl with chickpeas and broccoli. Chickpeas and broccoli are both rich in natural proteins that help us with mental performance.

3. Energy booster for more power

Especially in the approaching cold season, care should be taken to eat the right foods to boost the immune system and replenish energy stores. Spicy foods containing chili, ginger or similar spices are particularly suitable for an energy boost. These are not only super for the immune system, but they also make us awake, because they stimulate the metabolism and bring all processes in the body to full speed. Consequently, our mental well-being also benefits as we feel rich in energy.

An example of a great dish for that extra energy is a Red Chicken Curry or Jackfruit Curry (also for vegans). If you have a sweet tooth, chocolate with a high cocoa content or citrus fruits rich in natural vitamin C are suitable.

4. Powerfood vs. mood killer

A healthy and balanced diet can also play a big role in self-confidence. Lots of protein, fruit, vegetables and little fat are here the secret recipe and act like real power boosters!

If, on the other hand, we eat too many "bad" foods, this has a negative effect on our body and ultimately on our psyche. Too much sugar or fat, for example, promotes inflammation in our body. Responsible for this is the LD protein, a bad cholesterol, which can clog the arteries and lead to cardiovascular disease. If a lot of sugar is also consumed, this acts like an accelerator of the LD protein. Since our heart is connected to all other organs, it can also be called the center of our health. So if we are in good health, mental illnesses are also reduced. (Focus)

Especially, too much sugar can make us lack energy and unhappy. According to the Center for Health, too much sugar even makes us depressed, which is especially due to foods with a high proportion of industrial sugar (Center for Health). The WHO recommends no more than 50 grams of sugar per day, which is about 10 teaspoons (values for an adult at 2,000 calories). If you do feel a craving for something sweet, you should rather resort to sugar in fruit form or also to healthy fats such as vegetable oils, flaxseeds or avocados. Nuts, for example, are very healthy sources of fat, which can boost our mood and concentration.

It is also recommended to avoid too much caffeine because, contrary to popular belief, too much caffeine does not make us more alert. In fact, if we drink too much coffee at work, the many caffeine leads to nervousness and concentration problems. This is because after the first high, our concentration and mood drop drastically.

Thus, caffeine and sugar can become a real mood killer that you should avoid, especially at work. However, caffeine and sugar can be replaced super easily by consuming natural sugar in the form of fruit instead of industrial sugar and perhaps drinking a green tea instead of coffee.

Do you want to do something good for your body and mind? Then you can do so with a chicken salad, for example. A great dish for your workday, full of protein and healthy fats.


All in all, the right diet is a decisive factor for our emotional state. If we eat a thoughtful and balanced diet, we can give our lives a new lease of life with it, we can increase our performance potential and be happier. To the point that we can significantly support and treat mental illness with healthy nutrition.

This article was created in cooperation with Likeminded.

Likeminded is a platform for mental health solutions for employees. It offers quick and anonymous access to various formats of psychological support - from one-on-one sessions with trained psycholog:in, to group workshops, expert webinars as well as digital exercises. In this way, employees can be empowered to find their own path to greater mental well-being and a more fulfilling life. This has a positive effect on employee satisfaction, productivity, and even sick days and employee retention.

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