Are some of your employees tired, unable to concentrate, and prone to taking sick days, while others are bounding with energy and vigor? The answer comes down to that old saying, “You are what you eat.”

A well-balanced diet plays a profound role in overall health and wellness. The foods you choose to eat determine what kind of day you’ll have. Skipping breakfast makes it hard to focus at work, while sweet afternoon snacks drain your energy with blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Then there are the long-term health effects. A diet high in saturated fat may lead to weight gain and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Too much salt can elevate blood pressure, which in turn raises the risk of stroke or heart disease.

Poor diet can have far-reaching effects on your company, too. A BYU study found that employees who don’t eat well are 66% more likely to see their job productivity decrease. Plus, when employees are healthy, they don’t call in sick. In fact, they’re more likely to approach their job with eagerness and a positive attitude, performing tasks to the best of their ability.

Your company may also shoulder higher health care costs when employees aren’t eating right. One study estimated that cases of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes caused by poor dietary habits generate more than $50 billion in health care costs in America, with employers who subsidized insurance premiums and worker’s compensation bearing some of that burden.

The benefits of eating right have a major impact. Set the tone for your team by making a focus on the wellness part of your company culture. Instituting an employee wellness program and providing nutritious meal and snack options can reinforce the importance of eating balanced meals. Make a point to educate your employees on what they gain from a well-rounded diet, and give them the tools to make good eating habits the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Why it’s important for your team to eat well.

Your employees can feel for themselves the benefits of healthy eating. The waistband on their pants isn’t as snug, they wake up energized and refreshed, and the discomfort of bloating or heartburn goes away. Here are some ways that good food is good for your team members.

They maintain a healthy weight.

Poor dietary choices can lead to obesity. That, in turn, has been associated with several health risks: type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, pancreatitis, and some forms of cancer.

A well-balanced diet improves their heart health.

Avoiding trans fats, saturated fats, and partially hydrogenated oils helps lower the levels of cholesterol that can build up in the blood vessels of the heart and lead to heart attack or stroke. Eliminating extra sodium from food—by cutting back on processed foods, for instance—can decrease the risk of high blood pressure.

They get all the nutrients needed for health and wellbeing.

A well-rounded eating plan includes vitamins and minerals the body needs. Calcium (from cruciferous veggies and low-fat dairy products) fortifies the bones and teeth. Zinc in beans, nuts, and grains supports the immune system. Vitamin E’s antioxidants help guard against cellular damage; find this vitamin in sunflower seeds, nuts, and dark leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard.

Good food = good mood.

The benefits of healthy food go beyond physical wellness. According to one study, a healthy diet may reduce symptoms of depression. Conversely, another study found that high-glycemic, refined-carb foods such as soda and white bread may increase depression symptoms. In recent years, scientists have explored the connection between our gut health and our mental health, suggesting that digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome can negatively affect mood through signals to the body’s central nervous system. Research in this field has expanded to the point that there is now a term for it: nutritional psychiatry. Eating the right foods can also help mitigate the toll stress takes on the body.

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It keeps the mind sharp.

One recent study suggests that including omega-3 fatty acids as part of a daily diet can help maintain cognitive function, which is especially important as people age.

People tend to sleep better at night.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends a diet rich in fiber and low in sugar to get to sleep faster and get more hours of sleep each night. The organization also suggests avoiding fatty foods at night to avoid heartburn that disrupts sleep and including B vitamins to help fight insomnia, since it's believed that nutrient aids production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Healthy food helps regulate the digestive system.

People are less likely to deal with diarrhea, constipation, or other gastrointestinal issues when they eat foods high in fiber and probiotics.

How you can make it easier for your employees’ to develop healthy eating habits.

Because there are so many advantages of healthy eating habits, share them with your team. There are several ways you can do this, even while everyone is working from home.

Give them the knowledge to make good food choices.

Have a nutritionist hold an educational webinar for your employees on healthy concepts such as intuitive eating, and provide suggestions on how they can be incorporated into a daily eating plan.

Communicate the benefits of healthy eating habits.

Send your team members nutritional eating tips as part of your company’s internal newsletters or emails.

Offer smart meal solutions.

Fast food may seem like a quick and simple weeknight dinner option for employees who don’t have time to cook at home. Unfortunately, they’ll probably lose out nutritionally. Instead, give them the ease and convenience of DoorDash for Work products such as Expensed Meals, DashPass for Work, and Employee Gift Cards. They’re a great way to get a healthy meal on the table.

Send a snack care package.

Snacking can be a pitfall when your employees are trying to eat well. Use DoorDash to send your team members a curated box of healthy snacks they can nosh on while working in their home office.

Supply nutritious food at the workplace.

If your employees are back at the office, provide the benefits of healthy snacks at work and stock the lunchroom with nutritious choices. Don’t forget to install water dispensers throughout your building so that team members can stay well-hydrated. Choose restaurants specializing in fresh, nutritious dishes for employee lunches and place Group Orders with them. Your employees use a group order link to choose the dishes they want, and they’re all delivered together, allowing everyone to eat at the same time.

Make every meal a healthy one.

If your employees have important meetings coming up, you can reduce the stress and costs of meal prep and ordering with Expensed Meals. Your team members have a set budget they can use for DoorDash orders, which can be placed anytime and anywhere, from any DoorDash partner restaurant. It makes planning simple and straightforward, so your employees can focus on the big meeting instead.

Inspire your team members to make a well-balanced diet part of a healthy lifestyle. Use DoorDash for Work products to promote vibrant, nutritious eating habits with your employees at home or in the office. Contact us today to get started.

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author-kristenvannest
Kristen Van Nest
Writer

Kristen Van Nest is an L.A.-based writer with bylines in Forbes, HuffPost, and VentureBeat to name a few. As a former Fulbright Scholar and Newsroom Columnist for the British Chamber of Commerce’s publication in China, she specializes in market trends and strategies businesses can use to grow. Her free time is spent ordering in dumplings and honeycomb ice cream and writing funny content to make people laugh.