Nutrition tips

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PROPER NUTRITION FOR OFFICE WORK 

There is a strong connection between proper nutrition and health. According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), the incidence of obesity in Europe has tripled three times in the last two decades and has now reached epidemic proportions. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many people sit too much. Estimations by the WHO suggest that 41% of people in Europe do not exercise at all during the week. Thus, the risk of chronic diseases is increased.

In addition, eating too poorly or too richly at work can lead to a loss of productivity of around 20%. However, it is not only what you eat that matters, but also how you eat. 

A conscious, delightful diet is a powerful tool for reducing stress.

  • There are minerals, such as magnesium, that have been shown to be effective in combating stressful situations and muscle problems. A recent study by the University of Montreal demonstrated the “relaxing” properties of magnesium at the cellular level. So it’s safe to say that the right amount of magnesium in our daily diet can help us combat stress. Magnesium is i.e. found in spinach, nuts, cereals, bananas and pulses.
  • Some foods have real “calming” properties, such as raw cacao, but also almonds, walnuts and whole grains. An idea for an office snack that keeps you in a good mood even under stress can be natural yoghurt with bitter cocoa pieces (at least 70% cocoa) and crumbled nuts.
  • Apricots, molasses and oranges are also said to have stress-reducing effects.

 Emotional

Stress and anxiety put a strain on the gastrointestinal balance, as the digestive organs are very sensitive to psychological stimuli. Psychosomatic reactions easily occur, such as air in the stomach or colon, pain and cramps.

There are some foods that contain a higher amount of tryptophan, an amino acid that supports and stimulates serotonin production and can thus have a mood-lifting effect. Tryptophan is supposed to be taken in through food, as our organism is not able to produce it on its own. It is found in milk, chocolate, cod, tuna, anchovies, caviar, cheese, pork, veal, chicken, turkey, oats, nuts, peanuts and bitter cocoa.

Importance of vitamins

In hectic lifestyles or sedentary activities with the risk of psychophysical dysfunction, it is important to ensure that the body is adequately supplied with vital nutrients to maintain (or regain) a state of well-being.

Vitamins are essential substances that are not produced by the body. The main sources of vitamins are natural foods. In order to ensure that the benefits of essential vitamins are preserved, it is appropriate to give preference to fresh produce that nature provides us with: Seasonal vegetables and fruits, preferably raw or steamed. 

Water

Water is involved in almost all functions of the human body; it is the main component of the human body and accounts for about 60% of body weight. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established a cause-and-effect relationship between daily water intake and the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions. Drinking water during work is therefore essential, especially to maintain concentration and ensure proper physiological functions.

Important foods in a diet related to office work:

– Whole grain bread: To get through the day optimally, we need carbohydrates that provide energy. Slow-release carbohydrates in whole grains should be preferred.

  • Bananas and avocado: These fruits are precious sources of potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure under control.
  • Oranges: The high vitamin C content of oranges protects and strengthens the immune system and keeps blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.

– Garlic: has blood pressure lowering properties.

– Spinach: a natural source of magnesium to strengthen the nerves and prevent migraines and headaches.

  • Chestnuts and walnuts: rich in selenium, which counteracts the onset of depressive symptoms and a powerful antioxidant
  • Salmon: Like fish in general, it contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are very valuable for heart and cardiovascular health. Alternatively, the daily requirement can be covered by algae oil, for example.
  • Pulses: They are a low-fat food, rich in fibre, an excellent source of vegetable protein, filling and relatively low in calories.

Dried fruits: Dried apples, prunes, dried figs and even sultanas have great benefits for our body and should be consumed daily in moderate amounts. Dried fruits provide a lot of fibre, potassium sources, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals, which also have a positive effect on the heart.

– Goji berries: contain vitamins A and C, all B vitamins and up to 18 essential amino acids. They have a toning and revitalising effect and are recommended at breakfast to provide energy.

Snacks recommended during breaks at office work: 

Dried fruits (walnuts and almonds): alleviate hunger and increase concentration,

– Fruit salad: take a few minutes in the morning to prepare a fruit salad that you can take with you in a container with a lid.

– Fruit bars: you can find fruit bars in all shapes and sizes on the market.

– Greek yoghurt: requires no preparation, it is fresh, creamy and rich in calcium and probiotics. It can be refined with fruit, honey, cereals and chocolate.

  • Rice or corn wafers: a light snack that immediately makes you feel satiated and can be kept right in the office.
  • Dark chocolate: good for concentration, but also and above all good for the mood, as long as it is consumed in moderation.

Nutritionist

Patrizia Cascarano

Reflection on your own eating behaviour

 The 6 W’s:

  1. what do I eat? (quality)
  2. how do I eat? (sitting, standing, how fast, mindful, pleasurable, how fast?)
  3. where do I eat? (environment and place: canteen, dining table)
  4. when do I eat? (distribution throughout the day, frequency)
  5. how much do I eat? (quantity)
  6. with who do I eat? (social contacts)

Five principles of regeneration and recovery: 1. sleep (approx. 6-8 hours), 2. food intake (approx. 2-3 hours), 3. exercise (approx. 1 hour), 4. social contacts (approx. 1 hour), 5. the hour for oneself (approx. 1 hour)