Whatever our line of work, we all experience stress in the workplace.
Stress has some immediate effects and it can impact us long term too, with a negative effect on our health and increased risks of depression, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Obviously worthwhile managing our stress, this being the case, and doing everything we can to keep our immune system enhanced and our stress levels low.
The good news is that some of the measures we can take are simple and delicious - although this might depend on how you feel about your green veg.
Diet can play a huge role in how we fight stress and remain well. For serious and long term anxiety and stress, you must of course consult your doctor. Meantime, there are easy additions you can make to your everyday diet that any medical practitioner will approve of.
Start nailing your stress levels with the spear shaped wonder plant. Stress is often associated with low levels of folic acid. Asparagus is loaded with folic acid, and a handful of asparagus spears provides your body with over two-thirds of your daily recommended intake of it.
Fresh asparagus is best steamed for a few minutes and enjoyed straight from the garden or paddock - try sourcing some from a farmers’ market and know you’re buying the freshest produce direct from the grower. When it’s not in season, the tinned and jarred variety still contains a higher proportion nutrients than you might think. Frozen is even better.
Try mixing asparagus with a salad, or baked into a frittata or quiche for a tasty boost for your mental health.
No wonder Sydney-siders go through so many avocadoes to alleviate their worries about housing prices - avocados are packed full of B vitamins that actively help with anxiety.
Avocadoes are a delicious and nutritious start to the day eaten smashed with dill and lime juice and served on toast. If you’re a traditionalist, try them in salads and sandwiches or smoothies. Mix it with some cacao powder and coconut oil to make a delicious ganache.
They might look innocent, but every blueberry is a tiny nutrient bomb just waiting to explode. They’re packed with helpful of antioxidants and vitamin C - and what’s more they’re sweet and juicy. Not only is this great for stress, it helps your immune system combat colds and flu during the winter months.
Blueberries are super versatile and can be used in a range of sweet and savoury dishes, or eaten just as they are, straight from the punnet.
The impact of colds and flu on the workforce is well documented and nothing is more miserable than struggling through with the sniffles. Bypass them with a blueberry boost!
It’s by no means nutty to include nuts in your diet, especially when they’re full of B2 and E vitamins which help to boost your immune system. Just a small handful of almonds per day can also reduce cholesterol.
Almonds are delicious nibbled straight from the packet as a handy snack. But you can also enjoy them mixed with rice dishes, porridges, salads, cakes, or you can grab some almond butter for your toast in the morning! Buy the flaked variety and toast them - you’ll be amazed at the aromas and flavours it releases. Scatter them over your favourite yoghurt and you’ve got an extra nutritious and delicious lunchtime dessert.
Coming down with a cold or flu? We’ll bet you’re finding it difficult to concentrate. First make sure you don’t have any colleagues with nut allergies - and then include a handful of almonds in your lunch box to fend off those winter lurgies.
It’s not called the king of fish for nothing. Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids help to ease your body’s reaction to stress by limiting your spikes in adrenaline. It can also help protect your heart. If you’d like to be calm and rational in the face of client conflicts, tight deadlines and swift project changes, salmon is the fish for you!
For office lunches, smoked salmon is an excellent option. Pair it with cream cheese on a wholemeal bread, toss it through a salad, or enjoy raw salmon on some beautiful sushi.
Simple changes such as including a few of these healthy super foods in your diet can make a tangible difference.
Eat better and you’ll feel better - and your energy and motivation levels will register the difference. If you’re struggling to concentrate or keep motivated, try making some small changes to your diet. Keep your immune system fighting and perform at your peak!