By Jeffry Farman, past Global President, International Association of Conference Centres.
Off-site conferencing can be a significant investment for most organisations. So, you want the event goals to be achieved and therefor the ability of attendees to be at their best is paramount.
It’s helpful if your venue partner has an understanding of the principles of how what we eat affects our energy levels, concentration and brain function. Here are a few important considerations.
Blood Sugar Balance
It’s not just the rapid increase in cases of diabetes that has put the spotlight on blood sugar balance. Awareness of this key metabolic measure has highlighted its impact on our ability to concentrate and think clearly. Refined carbohydrates in the form of sugary snacks and drinks will rapidly raise levels of blood sugar, however the natural response is then rapidly triggered to remove sugar making any energy burst short-lived and result in higher levels of fatigue. Carbs that release their sugars more slowly will make the body feel full up for longer and produce steady energy and concentration levels. Good examples of slow releasing carbs include fibre rich foods such as fresh fruit & vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and wholemeal bread, beans and lentils.
Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Our biochemistry requires these important nutrients for day to day functioning – it’s not just about preventing colds. Brain chemistry in particular depends on them. They include, B & C Vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. The tips at the end of this piece list some good sources of these nutrients.
Believe it or not, the brain consists of 60% fat, getting the wrong fats absorbed into the brain can be a real hazard. Hydrogenated fats which are prevalent in processed foods and ‘trans’ fats found in fried foods can occupy the place of essential fats such at Omega 3 and 6, fats found in oily fish, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and other seeds and their oils. These fats are needed to regulate the release and performance of neurotransmitters and help the brain function effectively.
Basic guidelines for a good Brain Food Diet
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables – ideally organic and raw or only lightly cooked. Ask us about setting up a fresh fruit Smoothie Bar for your next event. A great way for your group to get their FF&Vshare.
- Add a healthy protein such as chicken.
- Choose whole grains like brown rice such as Basmati, organic oats in porridge, muesli, oat cakes and rye bread
- Eat oily fish, nuts and seeds. We can tailor a menu to suit.
- Drink plenty of water, ideally 2 litres a day
Learn more about CountryPlace's customised, flexible approach to conferencing from the Vision Personal Training case study. You’ll discover how we selected suitable activities and experiences to ensure Vision PT achieved their ideal wellness retreat for clients and staff.