Can what you eat actually impact job performance? What about your performance at a job interview?
Twenty years ago, people might have thought that what you eat could have little impact on your job performance or an interview, but modern medical discoveries have proven otherwise. What you eat leading up to and on the day of a job interview can, in fact, have a significant impact on how well you perform. In this article, we will explore what you should eat so that your brain and body are ready to go and ready to handle any interview question.
Let’s begin with the basics. If you are eating food that makes you feel horrible or even sick, then you are not likely to perform your best at any task, be it a job interview or otherwise. This is why you should greatly reduce or even eliminate junk food, processed food and sugar. Here is why. Junk food and processed foods are high in chemicals, additives, food colorings, sugar, sodium and trans fats. These “ingredients” are not what you need to be at your best physically and mentally.
This is why you want to opt for whole food options instead of processed food options leading up to your job interview.
The kinds of foods you need to be eating are foods that will make you feel good and give your body the nutrition that it needs to function properly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a great foundation. In addition to fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and smart, well-chosen proteins should make up the bulk of your diet. In fact, the right kind of proteins can actually give your brain the kind of boost that it needs for optimal performance during your interview.
Brain boosting foods are going to be those that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are fats that actually work to reduce inflammation in your body. As a result, they are able to fight disease and even ease aches and pains. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to be heart and brain healthy. Omega-3 rich foods help to keep your brain functioning properly and at a high level. In addition to making you feel/be smarter, they can also boost your mood as well.
Needless to say, this is exactly what you want for your next job interview. Let’s look at some of the top brain boosting foods that you will want to consider.
Maybe you are not a big fan of sardines, as these little fish often don’t make it onto the table. From a health and diet perspective, this is a real shame. Sardines are low in calories. Yet, at the same time, they are high in protein. More importantly, they are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can only help you perform better during an interview. Other fish are also great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild Alaskan salmon is a great pick. Your salmon should be wild Alaskan salmon, as farm raised salmon has been shown to have a variety of contamination issues.
One study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition reviewed the type of impact that fish oil had on the mental performance of 18-35 year olds. They found that those who took this supplement had increased levels of blood flow to their brains when they performed mental tasks and they also had faster reaction times.
The journal Neurology recently reported similar findings. Those with low blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids had lower scores on tests of mental acuity. They also had lower cerebral brain volume.
Not all omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. The nut world has provided us with a rich source in the form of walnuts. Walnuts are simply outstanding, as they are rich in numerous disease fighting compounds and are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Many experts feel that walnuts are one of the healthier foods that you can eat.
Other foods that you should consider for boosting your job interview performance include garlic (but not just before your job interview). Garlic has a range of health benefits including chemicals that fight inflammation as well as bacterial, viral and even fungal infections. If you want to stay healthy year round, then consider eating both raw and cooked garlic!
The bottom line is that you want to be feeling your best when you meet with someone in charge of hiring, during your job interview. Everyone knows that junk food is bad for you, yet many people make the mistake of eating it right before important moments like job interviews. If you can select foods that give you sustained energy and keep your brain running smoothly, you will always perform better.