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The science is in. Moving lunch to the top of your priority list could be your most productive action for the year. A healthy midday meal can improve your work as well as your waistline.

Want to boost your job performance by 25 per cent without working any harder? Let food do the work. Research shows that what we eat directly impacts the quality of our work. An extensive two-year workplace study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in  January 2013, found that workers who followed a healthy diet outperformed their colleagues who didn’t by 25 per cent. Those who ate at five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times a week were 20 per cent more likely to be more productive.

Even a handful of blueberries can improve your mental powers. Researchers at Tufts University in the US have found that eating blueberries leads to improved short-term memory along with balance and coordination.

It all comes down to the power of nutrition. Our bodies need food to function – performing at a peak level requires a consistent supply of protein, nutrients and vitamins. Ingesting the optimal combination of foods and spreading their intake throughout the day allows you to make the most of your working hours. The nutritional aspects of whole grains, for example, provide a slow, steady stream of energy that helps minds stay alert and focused. Essential fatty acids, which are found in linseeds, walnuts and salmon, help manage stress and produce serotonin, the natural “feel good” brain chemical.

In short, time not spent thinking about lunch could be hindering rather than increasing your performance and productivity.

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