Studies show that stress levels may highly be affected by the foods you eat—especially if you don’t have time to sit down and eat the proper daily recommendations of nutritious foods. Taking on stressful tasks as a travel nurse isn’t something out of the ordinary. Luckily, there are foods that can help with your stress levels at times you are feeling overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, there are foods on the opposite end of the spectrum that can trigger stress receptors and send them into over drive. Typically, “trigger foods” are more accessible in stressful times than what should actually be consumed in frantic times.
Stray Away From Aggravations
Travel nurse positions can be a bit of an overload at times. Make sure you aren’t making things harder on yourself by consuming the wrong foods and drinks. Even on the go, keep conscious of what you are putting into your body because it may be causing you to feel worse. It will be a lot easier to keep your patients feeling their best if you are at your best as well!
Foods and drinks that you want to stay away from that can aggravate stress include:
- Coffee, cocoa, energy drinks, sodas, and tea- try to stay away from these common drinks if you are feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed. Although they provide a kick start to the day the neuro-stimulators, such as caffeine, have been linked to increasing stress levels.
- Fast foods- takeaway foods and junk food may be of the easiest access to you but steer clear! Containing high levels of fat and carbs, junk food is far from packed with the vitamins and minerals you need to reduce stress.
- Sugar– blood glucose levels increase when you are stressed and sugar should be avoided to ensure that you don’t develop a higher risk of becoming diabetic in these times.
Don’t get too down in the dumps; you don’t have to avoid all delicious beverages and food when you’re stressed! Remember: A happy nurse is a healthy nurse. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed or constantly on the go, reduce your anxiety with some of these quick and healthy alternatives!
Keep these foods near and dear when stressed:
- Water– being that 70% of our body is made up of water, it is important to keep your body functioning at its best, so you must stay hydrated without adding the sugar and artificial flavoring that comes along with other drinks. Keep it simple and start feeling better in no time!
- Fresh fruits and veggies– these super foods are vital in keeping your body and mind in top condition as they are packed with an array of vitamins and minerals. For an added bonus, fresh fruits and vegetables are high in fiber to help your digestive system stay on track while stressed.
- Fish– the omega fatty acids found in fish are excellent for heart health and reduce risks of developing heart diseases. If you seem to be forgetting things lately due to stress, fish is also high in choline, which is a natural memory booster!
- Yogurt-make sure you’re eating a nutritional yogurt and not a sugar filled decoy! Nutritional yogurts contain essential vitamins and minerals that help in controlling nerve impulses, like calcium. You can even double up and add some fresh fruit to your yogurt and feel better in no time!
Plan for the day
You may not have hours on end to prepare and cook nutritional foods for every meal of the day, in turn that could actually stress you out more! Take it easy and design a meal plan in advance for the next day or even the week that includes some of these helpful super foods.
In order to get the jumpstart you need in the morning, it’s important to eat a big breakfast something like:
- fresh fruits
You’ll most likely be busy during lunchtime, so pack something light like:
- Fresh vegetables
- Cup of soup
Your breakfast should be able to hold you over throughout the day that is the goal, so come dinnertime you may still be pretty full! Prep for another small meal, something like:
- Roasted vegetables
- Grilled fish
Start feeling your best today! With these healthy food alternatives you should be less stressed in no time. Being a travel nurse you’re consistently on the go and helping patients so it’s important to be the best you can to provide your patients with the care they deserve. For more helpful healthy super food recipe ideas, check out this post from our friends at Allied Travel Careers.