Vegetables to increase focus and decrease stress
It’s common knowledge that your diet plays a key role in regulating your mood, but research now suggests that what you eat could also have a significant impact on your sense of stress and anxiety- and in turn your levels of productivity. Advocates for healthier food consumption have further suggested that it is, indeed, vegetables that are responsible for reducing the effects of stress in your body- and increasing your rates of cognitive function. What sets them apart from other components of a healthy diet, such as fruits and nuts for example, is the presence of certain vitamins and chemicals that can stimulate your brain and reduce the presence of stress inducing hormones.
However, it’s no secret that vegetables are healthy, and those who lead a healthy lifestyle typically consume a generous proportion of vegetables already- without noting any significant shift in mood or productivity. This isn’t uncommon, and there are usually two reasons as to why your vegetable consumption may be stopping you from reaching your productivity potential.
1The first reason may result from your stress being too severe to treat with low grade chemicals found in everyday vegetables, or most natural remedies.
This could mean that your anxiety is at a level that may require the assistance of a professional, or that your symptoms are resulting from an underlying condition. In either instance, you should consult a trained medical professional.
2The second reason as to why vegetables, or your diet in general, may not be helping you achieve your maximum productivity levels is that you may be eating the wrong vegetables or foods.”
Not all vegetables contain the same amount of vitamins, amino acids and other mood enhancing chemicals that can boost your work while relieving your mind from anxiety. In fact, much like choosing medicines, you need to look at the content of a vegetable before selecting it. And, in keeping with the medicine analogy, once you select a number of vegetables- you must then consume them regularly and in higher doses to ensure that you’re receiving the nutrition that will benefit you as much as possible.
?So how do you choose a vegetable? The key is to become, and remain, informed. Research is constantly changing and evolving, although to date, there are a number constants in the science and nutrition world that give us a guideline as to what foods should be chosen in the interest of boosting brain power. To put it generically, dark green leafy vegetables are the current favorite- and have been for a number of years. A lot of the reasoning behind the research is unclear, but a number of studies have suggested that vegetables that are dark green in color are typically better at increasing productivity in humans, as well as leveling any stress-associated chemical present in the brain and body.
Dark leafy vegetables
A more detailed look into the broad and undefined family of ‘dark green leafy vegetables’ gives us a better idea as to which vegetables we should, ideally, seek to consume on a daily basis. One vegetable that stands out in studies of natural ‘productivity enhancers’ is spinach, for example.
SSpinach has a longstanding reputation for providing a great source of iron to body builders, and pop culture is largely responsible for the muscle-spinach association. However, this green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin E, and a lesser known chemical named ‘folate’ or ‘folic acid’. Combined, they provide spinach with the unique ability to reduce harmful chemicals in the brain that can damage or even kill nerve cells- and thereby reverse a process that could eventually lead to reduced cognitive function.
Successful, working professionals tend to favor spinach for two important reasons. The first is that just over half a cup of spinach, cooked, can provide nearly 30% of your daily intake of vitamin E. This means that it’s relatively quick and easy to fulfill your requirement by incorporating one or two cups of spinach into your everyday diet. The second is that spinach is an incredibly versatile vegetable. Unlike other dark leafy vegetables, spinach isn’t limited to salads or savory mains. Spinach smoothies, spinach juices and a huge variety of other meals are now available to those seeking its productivity boosting powers- without the monotony of simply ‘eating your greens’. Similarly, kale is equally as versatile, although it stands as second to spinach in terms of its nutritional value.
Another dark green leafy vegetable, ideal for increasing productivity, is broccoli.
BBroccoli is a rich source of Vitamin K, a substance that many working professionals rely on for its ability to significantly increase cognitive function. A suitable amount of broccoli in your diet could boost brainpower, and help improve both your ability to remember and concentrate. These are essential skills, necessary in a hectic workplace. And many conclude that having an ability to concentrate and remember better could make working in a stressful environment easier, which could in turn reduce anxiety and stress.
Alongside spinach and kale, Swiss chard and black cabbage are a few further examples of brain boosting vegetables that reduce anxiety.
SC Swiss chard is particularly effective, because like other types of dark green vegetables, it’s densely packed with magnesium.
Magnesium is an excellent anxiety reducer, as it helps your body control the adrenal axis in the brain.
It also provides an anti-inflammatory properties that help calm inflamed muscles resulting from stress.
However, brain boosting powers aren’t reserved exclusively for dark leafy vegetables. There are other, more colorful vegetables that also provide excellent sources of productivity inducing substances. For example, carrots and sweet potatoes as well as most root vegetables, provide a great source of carbs and fibre. Despite what popular diets suggest, carbs and fibre are important for boosting serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that can contribute towards easing anxiety.
This means that if you consume a diet high in serotonin, symptoms of you anxiety could ease, and you could find yourself naturally productive once more.
Similarly, mushrooms provide a great source of relaxation. Although technically a fungi, most people associate mushrooms with vegetables, and in this instance they can be a very effective vegetable.
Lots of different varieties of mushroom contain an antioxidant called selenium.
Certain studies suggest that low levels of selenium can cause anxiety, which means that by consuming a diet rich in mushrooms, you could reverse the cause and symptoms of your anxiety. Successful, powerful people are typically capable of managing their anxiety- and this allows them the time and energy to focus on working and progressing professionally.
TTomatoes, although technically a fruit, are widely regarded by most as a vegetable. And as far as ‘vegetables’ go, the tomato is an excellent choice. Tomatoes naturally contain lots of antioxidants, including one called ‘Lycopene’, that has been linked to the preventing of certain conditions- including Alzheimers. Because of this, tomatoes are widely believed to have the ability to improve cognitive function, and memory, which is why they can potentially help prevent dementia and other similar conditions.
EEggplant is a another vegetable that professionals rely on, because it contains various different vitamins and minerals that can improve your cognitive function. What’s more, it also has the ability to improve the communication that occurs between cells in our brain and messenger cells around the body. This means that it can keep both your mind and body sharp and active, while providing a starchy addition to your diet, that can keep you fuller and more awake for longer.
Generally, most vegetables contain large amounts of antioxidants and vitamins, which means that a diet rich in any vegetable can be beneficial to your mind and body. In fact, it’s typically a basic requirement for most humans, as a vegetable and fruit based diet is needed to remain healthy. However, when you look to specialize your diet, by choosing vegetables on the basis of their brain boosting power- remember that this is a process that takes time. While the effects won’t be immediate, there will be delayed gratification in the future. If you sustain a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, after some time, you will begin to notice a new vitality. An improved memory, sharper concentration and better mood are also all likely to manifest within a few weeks of you committing to a brain boosting vegetable rich diet. The most important factor, however, is commitment- because if you abandon your diet before due time, then you definitely won’t reap the benefits.
The great thing about choosing a vegetable based diet to improve your mood and brain power, however, is that vegetables are so easily incorporated into your diet. And in particular, you can easily introduce various vegetables into your day by eating them together. For example, by choosing a dark leafy salad for lunch, you can receive a substantial percentage of your necessary nutrients in one sitting. And if you incorporate a few leafy vegetables into your morning juice or smoothie, then you can subtly introduce their brain boosting powers into your regular routine. In general, vegetables are easy to eat, and provide nutrition both when eaten raw or when cooked- so there’s truly no reason why this diet can’t be tailored to fit your routine or schedule.
In terms of anxiety, the vegetables listed above are selected with the dual function of improving your mood while increasing your productivity. They contain certain chemicals that will seek to relax your mind, and relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety. A lot of these chemicals are naturally occurring in the body, and the vegetables simply boost their levels, thereby naturally promoting relaxation and good moods. However, it’s important to remember that vegetables can only help so much in the struggle against stress.
+If your stress has become unmanageable, then it may be time to consult a medical professional.
Typically, you should assess this a few months after you begin changing your lifestyle. There is no quick fix solution in nature, and revolutionizing your mind naturally will take time. However, if despite your changes in lifestyle, you still find yourself under crippling stress- then you should seek medical assistance from thereon.
However, if you aren’t enticed by artificial drugs, then the first step to try is usually the natural or homeopathic one. For this reason, vegetables provide an excellent, proven source of chemicals and substances that can and will increase the quality of your life and work. Coupled with other healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and drinking plenty of water, you can revolutionize your mind and hopefully find newfound productivity in a short space of time. Much like success in the workplace, however, this diet will require commitment. So next time you’re tempted to pick up a pack of chips, opt for some leafy vegetables or crispy carrots instead.