As a nurse who works long hours, misses breaks, and endures the challenges of shift work, you know there is seldom time to prepare healthy, nutritious food. If you work rotating or night shifts, you also tend to drink more caffeine and eat high sugar foods to stay awake. When you are always on the move and working hard as a nurse, it is not easy to eat healthily, but it is worth it. Eating right will help you:
- Sustain a healthful weight
- Reduce main health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer
- Improve bone health
- Improve the immune system
- Increase energy levels
- Promote better quality sleep
Eating healthy foods is crucial for you to perform your best work as a nurse. When you avoid skipping meals and eat nutritious food, you will be on your way to getting the nutrients your body demands to stay healthy and active. Here are a few reasons why eating healthy matters.
Do Not Skip Meals
When you skip a meal, it puts your body into fasting mode and you use less effective energy sources. As your blood glucose level falls, your concentration deteriorates, and you feel irritable. Skipping meals also leads to cravings and sudden blood glucose spikes, increasing triglyceride production, and increasing your chances of gaining weight.
Staying hydrated will help you maintain proper bowel function, circulation and body temperature regulation. It will take the stress off your heart, decrease your core body temperature and help you combat fatigue. Strive to drink at minimum 8 cups of water daily. Please bring in a large water bottle to work each day and keep it filled.
Avoid Vending Machine Snacks
Try to maintain a supply of healthy snacks with you at work to avoid using the vending machines. If the vending machine happens to be your only option, try for something nutritious.
Relax When You Eat
Stress is a major reason that nurses skip meals at work. Stress curbs hunger, which makes it simple to skip a meal. So, before you eat, try to take a few deep breaths and relax. It will provide your body time to digest food properly.
Plan and Prepare for the Unexpected
If you purchase your meals in the hospital cafeteria, read the menu in advance so you can decide to bring something from home, thereby decreasing the urge to impulse buy unhealthy food. There will occasionally be those shifts where time for a meal is non-existent—plan for this scenario with a high-fiber protein bar or a meal replacement drink.
Do not let nursing shift work jeopardize your health. A few adjustments in your eating habits can impact your energy level, job performance and overall health. If a new nursing job would help you out too, then check the openings available now at Power Personnel. The professional recruiters at Power Personnel can help you advance your nursing career.
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