We’ve heard of “brain food” but can it actually help you when it matters?
Diet plays a big part when training for a physical event, but are we prepping properly when it comes to our mental challenges?
Nutritionist Zoe Bingley Pullin suggests eating the right things before a job interview or exam can enhance your performance. Speaking to Lifestyle, Zoe confirmed that certain foods can help maintain energy levels to avoid anxiety highs and lows, as well as improve concentration.
Here’s what you should chow down – and what you should avoid – before your next job interview.
What to eat:
- Sourdough or rye bread with avocado and eggs
- Brown rice or quinoa with salmon and avocado
- Whole rolled oats with yoghurt, berries and LSA
Slow-release or low GI carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, sourdough bread, sweet potato) are important prior to a job interview, epecially when combined with some healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds) and protein (eggs, yoghurt, fish) for a good balanced meal.
Foods rich in magnesium, such as cashews or leafy greens, and B Vitamins – wholegrains, mushrooms, eggs – can help support your nervous system and keep energy levels steady.
What to avoid:
- Legumes and lentils, which can cause bloating
- Garlic and onions – avoid bad breath for your interview!
- Refined sugar, including sweets and confectionery, sugary cereals, soft drinks
Zoe recommends avoiding foods that cause a spike in blood sugar levels and a false sense of energy as these could lead to a crash and possibly exacerbate anxiety. Eat small meals and try to steer clear of anything that will upset your stomach to avoid bloating.
Coffee: yes or no?
When it comes to coffee, Zoe says it really comes down to your caffeine sensitivity. Depending on how you respond to caffeine, you could wind up on top of your game, or unable to focus or keep a handle on your pre-interview anxiety!
If you are sensitive to coffee, Zoe recommends a chamomile tea or even a turmeric latte to help regulate your neurotransmitters and potentially reduce feelings of stress.