11 Foods That Can Help You Be More Productive

What you eat during the day has a big impact on your productivity. So put those pizza bites down -- they could be hurting your performance at work.

Here are 11 foods that can help you be more productive. (Note: The last one is especially delicious.) Just be mindful that you’re getting a variety of nutrients in your diet and not consuming too much of a good thing.

Related: Get More Done by Following 'The Productivity Diet' (Infographic)

1. Eggs

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Start your day sunny side up -- or scrambled, if you like. Eggs are high in choline, a nutrient that studies show improves memory.

Eggs also contain several vitamins, including B5, which releases energy from food, and B12, which assists with brain and nervous system function.

Not to mention, eggs are an excellent source of protein, which can help you sustain your energy level and stave off hunger throughout the day.

2. Yogurt

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People are paying an increasing amount of attention to the bacteria in their guts these days, as research reveals that the tiny organisms living in our bodies could be key to physical and mental health.

For one, it’s possible that yogurt may help you maintain a more positive attitude during a busy work day. In a small study, researchers at UCLA found that eating probiotic yogurt twice a day can reduce activity in the part of your brain that registers pain and emotion. Scientists have also begun to draw links between consuming probiotics and thinking fewer sad thoughts.


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3. Blueberries

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Blueberries reduce inflammation in the central nervous system and fight back against molecules that are harmful to the brain.

After a particularly strenuous experience, such as intense physical labor or an stress-inducing traumatic event, blueberries can help reduce bodily inflammation and help you recover.

4. Avocados

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Guacamole lovers unite! (Just go easy on the chips.) Avocados are a healthy source of unsaturated fat and also contain fiber, both of which will keep you full and less susceptible to food-related distractions.

Another benefit of eating avocados is folate, which boosts metabolism. Folate deficiency can make you irritable, forgetful and mentally sluggish.

5. Spinach

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Popeye ate spinach when he was feeling depleted, and so should you. Research says that eating spinach can increase cognitive function -- a lot.

Those who eat one to two servings of spinach per day have a cognitive ability of someone 11 years younger, thanks to vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene.

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6. Almonds

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Cholesterol reduction is one of the most well-known benefits to eating almonds, but they are also a superb source of vitamin E, which may increase cognitive performance.

Additionally, almonds are full of magnesium, which helps to prevent the stress hormone cortisol from entering the brain, according to Psychology Today. Magnesium also helps ward off headaches and fatigue.

A handful of the seeds, commonly incorrectly referred to as nuts, are another great snack option to curb hunger during the day -- and increase productivity.


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7. Salmon

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Salmon is high in selenium, which boosts your immune system. Fewer sick days mean more time to get work done.

Salmon is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers have found a connection between the consumption of one of the omega-3s found in salmon and improvements in depression, anxiety and sleep.

8. Whole grains

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The glucose from carbohydrates fuels your body and brain, but carbs of the whole grain variety break down slowly, keeping you full and sharp. They regulate blood sugar and maintain energy levels, allowing you to stay focused.

9. Eggplant

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Eggplant’s primary benefit is its phytonutrients, which are natural antioxidants that protect against brain cell membrane damage. Cell membranes help cells receive operating instructions and maintain an influx of nutrients and the removal of waste. Eggplant skin is an especially good source of the phytonutrient nasunin, so refrain from peeling next time you prepare one.

10. Mussels

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A serving of mussels offers a full daily intake of vitamin B12, which helps insulate brain cells and keeps your mind sharp.



11. Chocolate

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This the one you’ve been waiting for. Not only is chocolate good for you in the sense that it makes your soul happy (my excuse for eating most things), but it is actually really good for you. Eating chocolate, at least weekly, is correlated to boosting everyday performance and cognitive health.

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