Do Plants Make You More Productive?
Will Consuming Plants Increase Productivity?
List of Plants that Make You More Productive
The human brain, which makes up 2% of an individual’s body weight but takes up over 20% of one’s total energy expenditure, relies heavily on a diet rich in nutrients to sustain energy for optimal productivity. By regularly consuming high-quality foods containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, one can boost their overall productivity, which improves energy levels, motivation, focus, and creativity. The following is a list of specific foods that help to sustain productivity throughout the day. For optimal nutritional value, these foods should be non-GMO and organic.
Avocados provide a source of monounsaturated fatty acids that the brain and body require to function correctly. These healthy fats in avocados protect the entire cardiovascular system. Other plant foods containing monounsaturated fats are nuts, olives, and sunflower seeds.
Bananas contain antioxidants, minerals, and B-vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that keep nerve impulses hopping from one neurotransmitter to the next in an energetic fashion, promoting clear thinking. Bananas also help improve mood as they contain tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin (a natural “feel good” chemical), which calms the brain and lowers stress levels.
Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries, are packed full of antioxidants that enhance brain health and increase overall energy. Cranberries improve memory as well, which certainly boosts focus and productivity.
Brown rice contains necessary minerals, such as magnesium, manganese, and selenium, for healthy neurotransmitters, metabolism, and blood flow.
The brain relies on a healthy amount of glucose for overall energy. Since brown rice is a carbohydrate that also contains a fair amount of fiber, it is a good source of fuel for the brain that will also keep blood sugar stable. Maintaining blood sugar contributes to increased productivity due to sustained energy levels.
Dark chocolate is a rich magnesium source, which reduces cortisol production (a stress hormone) and improves mood. Chocolate also is high in antioxidants, which improves cognitive functions.
Eggplant contains Nausinin, which causes the eggplant peel to turn purple. Nasunin is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from damage. Eggplant also includes b-vitamins, copper, fiber, folate, and minerals that contribute to brain health.
Green tea contains antioxidants unavailable in other plant foods. It also contains caffeine, which increases mental cognition, alertness, and the ability to focus on tasks. Matcha is a particular type of green tea that seems to be a favorite. For those who prefer less caffeine, Sencha is available.
Daily servings of micronutrient and antioxidant-rich leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, turnip, and mustard greens, contribute toward proper nerve functioning in the brain and body. Dark leafy greens also protect against free radicals and help to delay the aging process.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and walnuts, power up the brain and increase energy levels and productivity due to their healthy fat content. Nuts are a good source of magnesium, b-vitamins, amino acids (protein building blocks), and monounsaturated fats, such as omega-3s. Sunflower seeds, like bananas, contain tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the brain. As mentioned earlier, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that keeps sadness, fatigue, and depression at bay while improving mood. A positive mindset stimulates better focus and productivity.
Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in brain health. Wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of omega-3s, which improves communication between brain cells, fights depression, and improves mood and focus. Again, the health of neurotransmitters is what is necessary to improve brain health and productivity. Other omega-3 rich plant foods are chia, edamame, flaxseed, kidney beans, seaweed, and walnuts.
Herbs & Roots
The following herbs can also serve to improve productivity. Many are often included in recipes, including teas, juices, smoothies, sauces, and dressings. Some are used in a variety of ways. For example, Catnip is made into a tea, taken in the form of a supplement, and smoked like marijuana to relax.
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Gotu Kola
- Yerba Mate
In addition to plant foods that can be consumed or smoked, house plants can also increase productivity, especially in home offices, by increasing oxygen and improving air quality in the environment and providing peaceful focal points. The top twenty houseplants for increasing productivity are Jade, African Violet, Azalia, Peace Lily, Chinese Evergreen, English Ivy, Parlor Palm, Snake Plant, Gerber Daisy, Philodendrons, Cactus, Warneck Dracaena, Ming Aralia, Spider Plant, Weeping Fig, ZZ Plant, Aloe Vera, Umbrella Tree, Zebra Plant, Pothos Plant, and Fittonia.