Top 10 Foods to Help Your Team Focus & Engage
Eat Smart & Think Smart To Help Your Team Focus
Your brain is the greediest organ in the body. We have all struggled with team focus. We’ve had a sugar crash, brain cramps, bloating, food comas, meat sweats and food-triggered lethargy, as well as the slowdown of thinking, mood, and memory.
What if the meal you just had actually did the opposite and inhibited engagement and learning for the rest of the day during a learning session? It can be done with the right food choices. We highly-recommend you demand the snacks and meals that help your team focus so they will remain alert during the program and retain what they learned.
What you eat affects how you think, feel, and retain
Chefs at Radisson Blu Hotels, a client of Learn2, developed something called Brain Food. Both Learn2 and Radisson Blu Hotels care about every aspect of your learning experience. If you choose to host your event or program at a location other than Radisson Blu, here are some recommended foods to make sure your participants remain focused at all times and RETAIN what they learn during your programs.
To ensure participant and team focus, the following 6 are main principles to live by:
- Plenty of fish, whole-grain products, fruits and vegetables
- Primarily fresh, locally sourced foods
- Pure ingredients, with minimal processing
- Less meat with never more than 10% fat content
- Natural sweetening with no more than 10% sugar
- Focus on delicious taste and healthy options
1. Choose whole grains
Your participant’s ability to concentrate and focus fully during sessions requires an adequate, steady supply of energy. Achieve this by choosing whole grains with a lower Glycemic Index, which release glucose more slowly into the bloodstream, keeping participants mentally alert throughout the day. Ask your hotel or caterer for brown cereals, wheat bran/germ, granary bread and brown pasta to keep your participants more mentally alert.
2. Serve oily fish, switch oils
In Learn2 programs, participants use their brains – a lot! Essential fatty acids (EFAs) encourage healthy brain function, joints and general well-being. They are not made in the body, so serving them is key. Ask your chef to choose oils high in EFAs like linseed (flaxseed) oil, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil and soya beans. Oily fish contains these oils in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. Ask for salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Remember that low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. You want your participants remembering and retaining their learning for a long time after!
3. Bring on the Blueberries
Eating blueberries and deep pigment fruits and vegetables helps preserve the brain machinery and boost the potency of neuron signals. Blueberries literally strengthen the brain. They have compounds that turn on key systems in the brain enable other proteins to help with memory or other cognitive skills.
In one recent study, subjects who ate one cup of blueberries a day for two weeks showed an increased birth rate of brain cells in the hippocampus (region responsible for memory), and scored significantly higher in classroom tests than those subjects who did not.
4. Add in blackcurrants, fruit & veggies with Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility. One of the best sources of this vital vitamin is black currants. Include strawberries in desserts and snacks.
5. Pumpkin seeds in snacks and salads
Even a handful of pumpkin seeds is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.
6. Broccoli please!
For steamed vegetables, Broccoli is a good choice, rich in vitamin K. It is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.
7. Get mixed nuts
Nuts clear up that “brain fog” and enable participants to think clearer and are positive mood enhancers. Focus on these potent nuts:
- Walnuts help make it easy for nutrients to pass thru the outer membrane of the cell and helps remove waste efficiently. Walnuts help correct the human brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is an important brain chemical that controls both our moods and appetite.
- Cashews are high in magnesium, known to open up the blood vessels in your body. More oxygen-rich blood leads to better brain function.
- Almonds are high in riboflavin, which boosts memory. The phenylalanine found in almonds can do wonders for your mental and neurological health. Phenylalanine has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulates the brain to generate natural mood-boosting neurotransmitters called dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
- Pecans and peanuts provide choline, another important nutrient for optimal brain function. Choline aids in both memory and brain.
8. Chocolate and more chocolate help team focus
A great treat for everyone! Dark chocolate contains many natural stimulates and antioxidant properties. It can also increase endorphin production and enhance concentration and focus.
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