Eating right for your business

When you’re a small business owner facing long hours and never-ending tasks, it’s too easy to fuel up on fast and nutritionally poor food. But you might want to rethink those eating habits because the right food could drive your business success.

Successful business owners are also healthy business owners. Lifestyle habits that keep your mind sharp and your body in peak condition give you a very real performance advantage over your competitors. Poor eating habits, on the other hand, directly impact your energy levels, creative output, physical well-being and eventually, your bottom line.

When our bodies are under any form of stress - be it emotional, mental or physical - its need for nutrients increases. The right food can make all the difference between coping well with daily stressors and succumbing to the fatigue, anxiety and various ailments that result from chronic stress.

Here’s what you can do to ensure both you and your business thrive and remain resilient during times of stress.

Eat natural and unrefined whole food

Avoid processed food and excess sugar, salt, additives and refined flour. Instead, make fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains the bulk of your daily meal plan.

Stay well-hydrated

Your brain loves water and the first step to any positive dietary change is always hydration. Drink water regularly throughout the workday and you’ll soon enjoy higher levels of energy and mental performance.

Load up on omega-3 fatty acids

Your brain is fond of the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish, raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado and whole grains. Including this fatty acid in your diet will increase your mental alertness and boost your mood.

Eat more protein

Protein isn’t just for muscle development. It also makes sufficient neurotransmitters for effective communication between the brain and nervous system. A lack of quality protein could challenge your memory and focus so be sure to include some form of protein-rich food in meals or as a snack.

Put more colour on your plate

As the most energy hungry organ in your body, your brain needs a steady supply of glucose from good quality carbohydrates. As much as possible, steer clear of refined carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta and white rice, which metabolise rapidly and causes a sugar crash. This in turn will lead to cravings, fatigue and irritability.

For sustained energy levels and better brain performance, choose whole grains, legumes, low-sugar fruit (apples, oranges and pears) and plenty of vegetables. The more colourful the food on your plate, the wider the variety of essential nutrients your body is absorbing.

Feed your gut

Healthy gut bacteria boosts immunity, good and absorption of nutrients so include fermented probiotic-rich foods in your diet such as kefir, yoghurt, miso, kombucha, kimchi or sauerkraut.

Drink moderate amounts of coffee

Caffeine can be a mental and psychological crutch for many overworked business owners. But the positive effects of caffeine depend very much on your level of consumption. When enjoyed in moderation, you’ll feel improved mental alertness and a better reaction time. Go overboard and mental fatigue will take over instead.

In short, every bite you take is an opportunity to invest in your health and work performance. Make sure you make each one count towards your business success.


Discover more business ideas

Get business stories, ideas and offers in your inbox each month.