Can Vitamin Deficiencies Impact Office Productivity? Nutrient-Rich Business Lunches Help!

Posted by on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 with Comments Off on Can Vitamin Deficiencies Impact Office Productivity? Nutrient-Rich Business Lunches Help! Comments

It may seem like vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be a thing of the past — or only appearing on commercials starring Sally Struthers — but the sad fact is that many Americans are overfed and undernourished. We have plenty of food, but when we don’t eat the healthiest kinds (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish), we can end up being deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients.

woman excited about vegetables

Vitamins and minerals help employees perform at their most energetic best!
Image source: Flickr user sharynmorrow

This matters — obviously to individual health, but also in the context of the workplace. A lack of some nutrients can lead to symptoms like fatigue and depression, which certainly take a toll on productivity and energy in the office. Adults need adequate levels of vitamins to function at their best — both physically and mentally — and research shows that we absorb them best when we consume them through our diet, rather than a pill.

Cultivate a workplace wellness culture, and combat the most common vitamin deficiencies that could be harming your employees! Invite a nutritionist in for a health-focused lunch and learn, or provide an incentive for employees to track their vitamin consumption on a smartphone app for a week and determine any weak spots. And, most importantly, lead by example: make sure the business lunches and catered meals you serve are healthy and wholesome.

Here are a few common nutrient deficiencies to look out for — and easy ways to incorporate the needed vitamins and minerals into business lunches and office breakfasts, which can boost morale along with health!

breakfast at a desk

Yogurt is one of the best sources of iodine.
Image source: Flickr user Katie Laird


If your workplace employs young women in their twenties and thirties, chances are you have a few employees with iodine deficiencies around the office — this demographic is most likely not to consume the recommended 150 mg per day. Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function, and iodine deficiencies can cause cause developmental problems or hormonal issues during pregnancy, and may even be linked to breast cysts and possibly breast cancer. To boost the iodine consumption in the office, serve an iodine-rich staff breakfast: eggs, yogurt, and milk are all rich sources of the essential mineral.


Magnesium is essential to more than 300 body processes, and the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are quite varied, ranging from muscle cramps and eye twitches, to fatigue and low energy levels. The easiest way to supply magnesium to employees may be via the snack bowl: a small dish of nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts will be full of magnesium.

small bowl of nuts

Magnesium-rich nuts make a perfect office snack.
Image source: Flickr user Anders Sandberg

Vitamin D

As spring lags behind in much of the country, many of us are probably depleting our stores of vitamin D. Mainly synthesized in our body by ultraviolet rays from the sun, people living in the northern half of the country tend to “run out” of vitamin D near the end of winter. This isn’t good: vitamin D helps boost immunity, strengthen bones, and may reduce inflammation in the arteries. Vitamin D deficiencies may also be the culprit behind seasonal affective disorder, since not getting enough of the vitamin has been linked to depression and few of us get plenty of sunshine during the winter. Food sources of vitamin D are few and far between, but one of the richest sources is in the flesh of fatty fish. When you order in catering for a business lunch, think seafood. Include salmon, tuna, cod, or swordfish for a vitamin D boost — or make sure the milk and orange juice served at breakfasts is fortified with vitamin D.


Iron is the most commonly deficient nutrient in the U.S., and the primary cause of anemia, which can lead to low energy levels and diminished cognitive performance. Want to boost iron consumption in the office? Serve a hearty business lunch with reasonable portions of beef, along with a spinach salad topped with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pizza and cupcakes are great for special occasions, but practice what you preach when it comes to workplace wellness and office meals! makes it easy to fill your catering table with wholesome, well-rounded business lunches and breakfasts — with online ordering and prompt food delivery services, it’s never been simpler to bring healthy meals right to the office.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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