Tips to eating well in the office
Up to 80% of the human adult body is water. That's why it is so important to stay well-hydrated throughout the year, but especially in the summer months when temperatures soar. A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, also provides the body with water and contributes to physical well-being and an improved mood.
The nutritionist Elisa Escorihuela from Nutt has drawn up a list of tips on how we can all take care of our nutrition and hydration in the hot months and to what extent the company can encourage a healthier diet and lifestyle for its staff.
“Companies should encourage and promote water consumption in the office as the main source of hydration. To this end, it is necessary to try to reduce the consumption of sweetened and unsweetened soft drinks that have a negative impact on our health and provide information about them. A fun way to drink water is to prepare bottles of flavoured water, which give it a different touch and make it seem less boring. Water with fruit, fresh aromatic herbs or spices are an excellent alternative”, explains the nutritionist.
Having water sources less than 30 metres from each workstation is one of the measures adopted by Actiu within the framework of the WELL 2.0 certification process, the international standard that focuses exclusively on the impacts of buildings on human health and well-being.
Replacing the products available in the vending machines with healthy food and getting rid of the ultra-processed options is also an investment in health.
When it comes to the snacks that can be prepared at home to take to work, the main attraction for summer is fresh fruit. “Water is perfect when it comes to hydration, but we must remember that fruit contains 90% water with vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates that promote more effective hydration. If we bring fruit in a lunch box that has been washed and peeled beforehand at home, we will waste less time at work and it is always more hygienic”, recommends Elisa Escorihuela.
In her opinion, a person´s ideal mid-morning snack will depend on the level of physical effort required for each person to perform their job. For the most demanding jobs, sandwiches and toast accompanied by some source of protein, either animal or vegetable, such as fresh cheese, tuna, cured ham, eggs, hummus with vegetables or avocado are a good idea.
“Those in more sedentary jobs may opt for lighter lunches. There are an endless number of possible combinations. Fruit, yoghurt or kefir, nuts - unfried and salt-free - hummus with raw vegetables, guacamole with raw vegetables or fresh cheese, for example”, explains the specialist, who also raves about the convenience of nuts as a snack.
“Nuts are an excellent source of energy. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that help us improve our cardiovascular health. Furthermore, they contain a high amount of fibre that generates a satiating effect, especially indicated for people who are watching their weight. They are easy to carry around and also quite durable, so they can be stored in a drawer, without the need for a fridge”, says Elisa Escorihuela.
And, of course, it is always a good idea to eliminate ultra-processed foods, industrial baked goods and fried snacks from our diet and to consume tea and coffee in moderation. Studies show that tea and coffee can contribute to concentration, but in high doses they can have the opposite effect.
Beyond lunches and snacks, when it comes to packing our 'lunch box', how does one come up with a balanced and healthy menu?
According to the nutritionist, a foolproof guide is Harvard's "Healthy Eating Plate":
- 50% must be made up of vegetables and fruit, especially seasonal and locally produced. This way, the dishes will be tastier and more environmentally friendly.
- 25% should be composed of proteins, either of animal origin (meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products) or of plant origin (legumes).
- 25% should come from whole grains, such as rice, pasta, quinoa or oats.
A note about carbohydrates. Despite the fact that there are many trendy diets that limit or eliminate their consumption, Elisa Escorihuela emphasises that, due to their fibre content and slow absorption, they help maintain the feeling of fullness for longer, as well as regulating intestinal transit and blood cholesterol and acting as protection against colon cancer. It is advisable to always consume whole grains.
If you are unsure about whether to use a glass or plastic lunch box, it is better to always opt for glass. “Not all plastic containers are suitable for transporting, heating and cooling food. In addition, if they are damaged, they can easily transfer particles to the food, altering its taste and smell and even transferring toxins to the food, depending on the composition of the lunch box”, says the nutritionist to finish off.
With all these suggestions, there is no excuse for not encouraging healthy eating in the workplace.
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