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Food and drink for everyday life in the office
When temperatures are high it is essential to eat and hydrate properly to cope at work in the best possible way. Nutritionist Silvia Castelló addresses this issue and explains how to prevent tiredness and improper nutrition from damaging day-to-day efficiency.
1. Hydration, key all year round and essential in summer
“With our frantic pace of life, we quite often forget to drink water. Sometimes, we even lose the feeling of being thirsty, as a result of not paying attention to it. There are many ways to properly hydrate, but the best option is water. Now, if we prefer other refreshing options, we can also incorporate carbonated water, infused water (with fruits such as lemon and orange or herbs such as mint or peppermint), fresh infusions or iced coffee. And let´s not forget that some foods are also rich in water, as is the case of fruit that, in addition to providing essential nutrients, includes a large amount of water in its composition”, explains Silvia Castelló.
The list of drinks advised against as a source of hydration includes sugary drinks, such as soft drinks and artificial juices, as well as alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer.
2. Fruit, our great ally
“In addition to providing hydration, fruit has many properties due to its high content of vitamins, minerals and fibre. It provides a feeling of satiety and there is a wide variety, especially in summer. Official recommendations suggest eating at least three servings a day and the mid-morning snack is an ideal time for this”, states the specialist.
Other healthy alternatives are found, according to the nutritionist, in raw or roasted nuts without salt, dried fruits, homemade fruit shakes or almond milk. For savoury lovers, there are options such as vegetable crudités with hummus or guacamole, cherry tomatoes or a sandwich with avocado, tomato, egg and smoked salmon, for example.
3. Say goodbye to ultra-processed foods
“We must run away from products such as juices, ice cream, rice or corn cakes, sandwiches with cold meats and snacks both sweet and savoury that, far from being healthy, can even be harmful to our health”, underlines the nutritionist. In that sense, products that use claims such as "light", "sugar free", "no palm oil" and "0%" should be consumed with caution. In that sense, refined cereals and wheat derivatives such as flour, pastries, pasta and rice should be used sparingly. And, whenever possible, opt for wholemeal flours.
4. The healthiest lunch boxes
“My favorites in summer are salads. There are no limits to the imagination in the kitchen and we can make varied and filling salads. Legumes for example are simple dishes to prepare, as well as being satiating and refreshing. And let's not forget the absolute king of the healthy summer drink: the Andalusian gazpacho. This is, without a doubt, a nutritious, refreshing, hydrating and easy to consume option at any time of the day”, states Silvia Castelló.
A lunch box should always contain vegetables. In fact, they should take up 50% of the space, whether in a salad, as a side dish or vegetable purée.
“25% should be composed of quality proteins, both of animal origin such as meat, fish and eggs, and of vegetable origin such as legumes or their derivatives. The other 25%, which will depend on our level of physical activity, can be provided by whole grains and tubers. If we add a piece of fruit and water to that, we have a complete and nutritious lunch box”, states the nutritionist.
And, preferably in a glass lunch box. “I always recommend glass lunch boxes because they ensure that there will be no crossover of any kind of flavours or smells. Foods are better preserved, especially if you have to heat them up”, explains Silvia Castelló.
5. The healthier you eat, the more energy you will have
“Productivity has a very important relationship with our diet and our lifestyle. In other words, if we choose a healthy diet, we are correctly hydrated, exercise regularly, respecting the hours of rest and sleep and the circadian rhythms and, on the other hand, we avoid a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco and alcohol and ultra-processed food with large amounts of sugars and poor-quality fats, productivity rates increase. We will feel better and have more energy and we will be healthier and more active”, asserts the specialist.
6. Coffee, better black
And, when speaking about energy to get through the day, coffee warrants mention. “It has been shown that coffee can contribute to a greater capacity for performance and concentration both at work and during physical exercise thanks to its caffeine content. So, it can be a great ally in this regard. It is advisable to drink coffee without sugar or added sweeteners. Coffee is not sweet, it is bitter and we should get used to drinking it that way. But if you have been drinking it with sugar or sweeteners for many years, they can be gradually reduced until your palate adapts to the real taste of coffee. You can also drink coffee with milk or a vegetable drink and even add cinnamon, which will give it a very special flavour”, highlights Silvia Castelló.
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