When under pressure, it’s tempting to dedicate every minute of the day to work, grabbing a quick sandwich without taking your eyes from your computer screen. But foregoing your break to put in more hours is counter-productive. Bodies and brains need food and even a short rest at lunchtime to function properly. Rushing or skipping meals can impair the work of the digestive system and leave us feeling sluggish.

Nutritional therapist Melanie Flower offers top tips for a healthy lunch break:

Take a break: Try not to rush through lunch; our digestive systems struggle to process food that has been hastily swallowed. Schedule in specific times for meals, rather than slotting them in around work.

Snack attack: If you’re tempted to snack, take two portions of fruit to work. Try apples, bananas, raisins, nuts or satsumas – work towards five-a-day whilst satisfying the hunger pangs!

Stay hydrated: Our digestive systems need fluids in order to efficiently process food.

Curb the caffeine: Coffee and energy drinks may provide a short-term boost – but caffeine can affect the flow of stomach acid and protein-digesting enzymes which can ultimately damage the digestive system. Limit coffee intake to one cup a day, then drink herbal tea or water.