Here Insider Doctor Anca-Liana Ciobotaru shares some top tips to keep healthy so you can grow your business. Did you know these facts about health and inflammation?
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“So, you have all those wonderful ideas for your business – if only you could have the energy to apply all of them…
Fatigue at work
The National Safety Council in the US estimates $1 million is lost each year to fatigue by a typical employer with 1000 employees (1). Interestingly, only about 1/3 would be due to absenteeism, and 2/3 to presenteeism. Let that sink in for a moment. You can lose a significant profit just by going to work tired.
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK (2) underlines that fatigue is a “decline in mental and/or physical performance” resulting in “slower reactions, reduced ability to process information, memory lapses, absent-mindedness, decreased awareness, lack of attention, underestimation of risk, reduced coordination etc.” Nothing that one would want for their business.
How to nurture the main asset in your business
Your business profit depends on the state of its main asset: you!
How do you take care of yourself, and how do you ensure you have the stamina to accomplish your goals?
In an efficient and business-like fashion, how about focusing on the main determinant of your health: your immune system? Inflammation is the activation of the immune system, and it is one of the main drivers of fatigue (3).
You may be thinking that your immune system is not activated because you don’t have a disease you know of. However, you may want to reconsider this. Even if you don’t have a specific diagnosis, just the simple act of eating a meal can cause increased inflammation in your body for up to 4 hours afterwards (4) or even longer, depending on what you eat.
A healthy diet is a premise for a healthy business
In fact, whether you are healthy or not, diet is the first intervention that you should consider with the aim of managing inflammation and its consequences, including fatigue and poor productivity.
Yes, you should also aim for a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Chances are that your sleep quality – hence the benefit you have from sleeping – will be impaired when your body is in an inflamed state (5). So, don’t just put aside the hours. Make sure you give yourself the best conditions for a well-deserved rest.
When you optimise your immune system and reduce your overall inflammation burden, you could become fitter from a physical and mental standpoint, and you could tackle that lack of motivation that sometimes accompanies fatigue. What better premises for a successful business could you wish for?
The diet-based fatigue management system focusing on your immune health could truly transform your business. All natural. Extra benefits included in terms of mood (6) and disease risk (7) in the long run. A no-brainer, right?
Top 3 dietary hacks to support your health in the business world;
- Ensure adequate vegetable fibre intake every day.
The sources of fibre are whole vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, intact whole grains. For an optimal amount of fibre, choose minimally processed foods (i.e., whole fruit and not fruit juice; brown rice instead of white rice or white bread). There are several types of vegetable fibre, all with specific benefits, so including diverse sources will be the best strategy for health. The fibre will feed the good microbes in your gut. In turn, the good microbes will teach the immune system to be balanced and avoid unnecessary inflammation (8). Furthermore, the products resulted from bacteria feeding on fibre can directly influence immune function, taming inflammation (9) so your energy can be invested in your business, and not in unnecessary internal wars.
- Have at least 5 portions of colourful vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.
If this is new to you, you may find it useful to develop a habit like taking a picture of your plate and making sure you have as much diversity as possible. Vegetables and fruits are rich in thousands of beneficial chemicals called phytonutrients, on top of vitamins and minerals. Some of these phytonutrients provide the colour of plants, so a good way to ensure you eat a diversity of health-promoting compounds is to try to eat a rainbow of natural plant foods with every meal. Phytonutrients can directly inhibit the inflammation pathways in your cells (10), and they promote the beneficial, immune-calming bacteria in your gut (11). Some phytonutrients are antioxidants, meaning they can protect your cells from damage. Damaged cells will trigger the immune system and create inflammation, thus increasing the risk of counter-productive fatigue.
- Have enough fatty fish in your diet.
Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects (12). Furthermore, omega-3s can directly influence how the genetic programme is expressed in immune cells, hence their function (13). This is a very powerful potential and you can easily take advantage of it. Aim to eat wild-caught fish such as herring, sardines, anchovies, mackerel or salmon, at least 3 times per week. Larger fish may be more likely contaminated with mercury, and fish from fisheries may have been treated with artificial chemicals, and those could counter-balance the benefit of omega-3s. If for any reason you cannot have fish, there are omega-3 supplements, including some vegan, algae-derived options.
When you choose to apply these top 3 hacks, let us know if you see a good return on investment in your business productivity? (14).
And if you want to know the top 3 things to avoid for immune health and good productivity, you can start your productive health journey with this free quiz that will help you assess where you are with your immune function:
You can also find more free articles and ebooks on our website, allergyimmunologydoctor.com. And I love being in the Insiders sharing my knowledge and hearing all about you and your business so see you there too.
Disclaimer: This content is not intended to diagnose, treat or substitute medical advice and care in any way. This is for educational purposes only. The ideas discussed here do not take into account specific food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances which should be managed by a healthcare professional.
About the author
Dr Anca-Liana Ciobotaru applies comprehensive and targeted assessments and interventions to help people optimise their immune systems, which impacts on their overall health and well-being. She is the only medically qualified Allergist and Clinical Immunologist practising functional and lifestyle medicine in the UK and she is also a qualified and registered nutritionist. Whether you have allergies, autoimmune issues, or those weird symptoms your doctors were not able to diagnose, you will probably benefit from an immune system MOT. Your quality of life and your business will thank you for it!
- Karshikoff B, Sundelin T, Lasselin J. Role of inflammation in human fatigue: Relevance of multidimensional assessments and potential neuronal mechanisms. Front Immunol. 2017;8(JAN):1–12.
- Erlanson-Albertsson C, Stenkula KG. The Importance of Food for Endotoxemia and an Inflammatory Response. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep;22(17).
- Petrov KK, Hayley A, Catchlove S, Savage K, Stough C. Is poor self-rated sleep quality associated with elevated systemic inflammation in healthy older adults? Mech Ageing Dev. 2020 Dec;192:111388.
- Benson S, Brinkhoff A, Lueg L, Roderigo T, Kribben A, Wilde B, et al. Effects of acute systemic inflammation on the interplay between sad mood and affective cognition. Transl Psychiatry. 2017;1–9.
- Wagenaar CA, van de Put M, Bisschops M, Walrabenstein W, de Jonge CS, Herrema H, et al. The Effect of Dietary Interventions on Chronic Inflammatory Diseases in Relation to the Microbiome: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021 Sep;13(9).
- Kuo S-M. The interplay between fiber and the intestinal microbiome in the inflammatory response. Adv Nutr. 2013 Jan;4(1):16–28.
- Sanchez HN, Moroney JB, Gan H, Shen T, Im JL, Li T, et al. B cell-intrinsic epigenetic modulation of antibody responses by dietary fiber-derived short-chain fatty acids. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan;11(1):60.
- Aggarwal BB, Shishodia S. Suppression of the nuclear factor-kappaB activation pathway by spice-derived phytochemicals: reasoning for seasoning. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1030:434–41.
- Bland JS. Application of Phytochemicals in Immune Disorders: Their Roles Beyond Antioxidants. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2021;20(5):16–21.
- Calder PC. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochem Soc Trans. 2017 Oct;45(5):1105–15.
- Williams-Bey Y, Boularan C, Vural A, Huang N-N, Hwang I-Y, Shan-Shi C, et al. Omega-3 free fatty acids suppress macrophage inflammasome activation by inhibiting NF-κB activation and enhancing autophagy. PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e97957.
- Haß U, Herpich C, Norman K. Anti-inflammatory diets and fatigue. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):1–24.