5 Foods for Enhanced Thinking

When running a meeting or conference, the food you offer participants will make a huge impact on the amount of information they retain. Coffee is a morning staple among most people, but the food suggestions offered below offer individuals a more nutritious, as well as a more brain stimulating way of carrying energy levels throughout the day. Here we have five staple foods that will benefit your meeting attendees.

  1. Avocados: Avocados contain high levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. This fruit not only helps memory and concentration, but is low in sugar and high in protein. This “super fruit” is packed with beneficial fats that are also vital for healthy skin.
  2. Blueberries: This tasty fruit is small in size but packs many benefits to get your mind going. It is extremely high in antioxidants, containing Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber. Blueberries also have a high level of Gallic acid, which help with stress and protects the human brain from deterioration. Recent studies at Tufts University state that blueberries may be effective in improving short-term memory loss.
  3. Broccoli: Broccoli with its “brain top” appearance also plays the part of being a smart food. Broccoli contains high levels of Vitamin K and choline, which are great for memory. Broccoli is also high in glucosinolates. Glucosinolates slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps the central nervous system perform properly.
  4. Dark chocolate: Who said eating for enhanced thinking would not be fun? Dark Chocolate contains flavonols, which contain anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Fiber, iron and magnesium, also found in dark chocolate, are thought to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and the heart. A recent study showed that eating dark chocolate one day out of the week can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Don’t go crazy on the candy bars quite yet. Be mindful of the amount of sugar it contains and keep this food to a minimum.
  5. Salmon: “The smartest food in the sea” is known for its high levels of omega-3. In recent studies, omega-3 is believed to stimulate activation in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with memory, the occipital cortex that is associated with vision and the cerebellar cortex that plays a vital role in motor control. This has anti-aging effects and also acts as an antidepressant. For parents, various studies show that feeding children salmon can boost academic performance so imagine the output of your participants when loaded up on healthy omega-3s!

Food is a vital part of work and living in general. Offering foods such as the ones listed above can help peak performance in employees and make the work place a more intelligent environment to be in. When we provide proper nutrition for our bodies, it improves our memory, skin and helps our brains to remain strong and active. These are all things that are vital for success in the workplace and at JNR we want our employees to use their full potential.

Written by Shawn Brown

Works Cited

https://draxe.com/8-salmon-nutrition-facts-proven-health-benefits/ (Dr. axe)

https://draxe.com/15-brain-foods-to-boost-focus-and-memory / (Dr. Axe)

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/ (BCC Kris Gunnars)

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/12/top-7-brain-foods.aspx

https://brainfoods.org

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower (Nutritionist Jo Lewin)

______________________________________________________________

JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 36 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.

Photo: “Brain for everybody” by Ars Electronica is licensed by CC by 2.0.

JNR Spotlight: Brain Foods for Meetings

Not only should foods be wholesome and nutritious in everyday life, but when it comes to feeding the crowds at a meeting or conference they should also boost concentration and learning ability. This category of food has been labeled “Brain Food” and is used to improve mood, motivation and intellectual performance.

When learning is an important aspect of an event, maintaining steady blood sugar levels through complex carbohydrates and consumption of foods with low glycemic indexes can improve concentration and ultimately, ROI of the meeting.

“Brain Foods” improve brain function and increase alertness.  What we find though is foods that are traditionally served by caterers produce chemicals in the body that make participants unfocused and tired and should be avoided.

So what should you be serving at your next meeting to get the most out of your participants and see a higher ROI?

Breakfast:

  • Avoid sugary foods and those made with white flour such as doughnuts, Danishes and bagels (unless it is whole grain).
  • Offer meal options that are high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
  • Fresh juices, antioxidant yogurt bars, hard-boiled eggs and cereals are great options.

Lunch:

  • Avoid meats that produce tryptophan in the brain, such as red meats and turkey.
  • Try to stay away from highly processed foods and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid fatty foods that require more energy to break down. Ever felt tired or had a “food coma” after a big meal? This could be due to your body using a large amount of energy to break down the fat in the foods you just consumed.
  • Offer smaller options with proteins such as chicken and fish over a bed of quinoa, brown rice or whole-grain pasta.

Dinner:

  • Most of the day’s learnings will have been achieved by dinner so this is a meal where participants can enjoy traditional options including red meats.
  • Smaller portions are still a good option.

Snacks:

The following list was compiled by The National Conference Center and released in their paper The Science of Food for Thoughts: Enhancing Meetings Through Food.

  • H2O
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt
  • Mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Whole Grain Breads
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Energy Bars

It is easy to see the benefit that a healthy and nutritious menu can have on participant experiences at meetings and conferences.  With hotels such as Omni Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts introducing “Brain Food” options to their catering menus, the change can be easy.

If you would like to learn more about how you can increase the ROI of your meetings and conference through the introduction of “Brain Foods” please contact JNR. We would love to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed.” by Gloria Garcia  is licensed by CC by 2.0