Your job performance depends on many factors. Education, training, and experience are the basics on a high-performer’s resume. But there are plenty of other contributors to success, including sleep, diet, and exercise.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your performance by hacking your diet, here are some foods to consider:
- Wild salmon: Whether it’s canned or fresh, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, are chock full of healthy fats like omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation and support heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat the effects of high-stress careers by improving heart health.
- Aloe juice: More than just a sunburn remedy, aloe juice is a healthy drink that provides antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, plus vitamin B12, folic acid and choline. It’s also a good source of magnesium, calcium, and zinc —which all in all contain 20 out of 22 of the amino acids your body needs.
- Brazil nuts: These delicious nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral your thyroid depends on to function properly. Your thyroid is tied to your energy levels and your metabolism. Supporting it through your diet can benefit your overall health. It also helps boost your immune system and prevents nerve and cell damage, as an antioxidant. And the best part of Brazil nuts is that a few go a long way towards supporting your health goals.
- Watercress: This underrated veggie is full of both phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which can help prevent disease and slow aging. Rich in beta-carotene, watercress can also help to prevent eye disease and even some cancers.
- Sauerkraut: Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut and other foods with live cultures — like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha — can help relieve constipation, bloating and gas. That’s because the friendly bacteria that caused the fermentation, called probiotics, are still alive. When you eat them, they help break down certain parts of food, making it easier for your gut to absorb nutrients. Nutrition coach Andrew Moss told WebMD that research “shows regular consumption of fermented foods supports long-term health, helps prevent disease, and boosts our immune system.”
Be choosy about what you buy, however. If the product has been pasteurized to preserve it, the high temperature has killed the probiotics. Other jars and bottles on the shelf may have used vinegar rather than bacteria to pickle the food. Fermented foods can also have a lot of salt and sugar, so read the labels.