These are the foods you should have before a job interview, according to a nutritionist

You’ve worked out exactly what you’re going to say and how you ought to say it. Your tediously considered outfit is folded at the edge of your bed next to the Norman Mailer book you’re gonna pretend to read on the commute. Your printed out resume is already tucked neatly in your bag, and you’ve given yourself eight whole hours of sleep before the big interview.

All you need now is a bit of raw chocolate, and you’re all set. Yes, because chocolate is a delectably merited comfort food, but also because it’s rich in antioxidants, minerals, and stress-alleviating compounds, perfect for starting a high stake day.

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Everything there is to know about what to wear and say when preparing for a job interview is already floating around in a thousand different forms on the internet, but we don’t pay nearly enough attention to what we should be eating to help us make the best first impression. There are in fact, foods that contain nutrients that play a huge role in mitigating stress and energy levels. Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Peggy Kostopoulos filled Ladders in on the best foods to keep us calm and focused enough to land the job.

The myths

First things first, try to limit caffeine intake. Coffee has become so synonymous with productivity, its function has kind of become obscured.

Sometimes a good night’s sleep is simply unobtainable, and we need a java kick to help us crawl to the finish line. But, if you don’t need the stuff, the jittery, gastro menace that accompanies it, is rarely worth the risk, especially when coupled with the inherent nerves of trying to impress a stranger.  Consider green tea instead, what it lacks in caffeine, it makes up for in  L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that encourages relaxation by affecting various parts of the brain.

Another popular pseudo-productivity booster are energy drinks, like Monster or Red Bull. These drinks are incredibly high in sugar, which can negatively impact blood sugar levels, which in turn leads to brain fog.

Similarly, Kostopoulos dispells the myth that sees many young professionals not eating anything all before an interview, typically by reason of a nervous loss of appetite. She explains, “Not eating anything at all prior to an interview can impair cognitive function, memory, and concentration.  Opt for something high in fiber, protein and healthy fats to stabilize blood sugar and optimize brain function. ”

An ideal pre-interview breakfast does a body good

“Protein, healthy fats, and fiber.” Kostopoulos needed no time to rattle these off. Think whole grain toast, avocados, spinach. Whatever fiber-fats combo, you deem fit make sure you get some eggs in there somewhere. “Whole eggs provide a healthy dose of protein and fats which helps to satiate hunger. Plus, the choline found in the yolk helps to improve memory and brain function,” Kostopoulos told Ladders. Protein for the brain function, fiber for the charge. Foods like avocados and spinach, contain healthy fats and fiber, which will help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you energized for hours.

Snacks to provide comfort and keep you stress-free

Once you’ve got breakfast out of the way and you’re on the move, it’s okay to pack some healthy alternatives to junk foods that will make you feel at more at ease, sans the guilt and a serious crash to boot. As foreshadowed above, raw chocolate contains the same endorphins that suppress pain and stress as regular chocolate in addition to the nutritional boosts.  Almonds are similarly loaded with important minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that contribute to a balanced mental state.  “Almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for proper brain function and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety in the body and mind,” Kostopoulos told Ladders.

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