Healthy Eating Matters for Healthcare Workers

3 Ways Nurses and Caregivers Can Look After Their Own Diet for Improved Mental Wellness


People tasked with caring for the health needs of others often find themselves in an interesting but hazardous predicament. On one hand, they are very concerned about improving patients’ lives. But, on the other hand, they often neglect their own well-being. Doctors, nurses and professional caregivers know how to eat healthy, but sometimes it just isn’t a priority. It’s easy to understand why healthcare workers neglect their own diets given their busy schedules. However, now may be the time to reconsider.


Here are three ways healthy eating can improve your mental wellness and increase happiness:


  • Did you know that high-sugar diets ultimately reduce energy levels? Although sugar may give us a quick rush, science shows that the crash is very real and very hard. The quick-fix simply isn’t worth it. Worse yet, it seems sugar is found in many convenient foods ranging from “fruit snacks” to candy bars and soda drinks. Steer clear of vending machine options and instead pack your own snacks and lunch. Not only will you save some cash, but you’ll also feel more energized!


  • We now know that vitamin and mineral-rich foods naturally increase energy and brain function. Some especially helpful vitamins are those in the “B” family, iron, magnesium and potassium. Special consideration should also be given to Vitamin D, which is clinically proven to reduce feelings of depression. Foods rich in these vitamins and others include bananas, fatty fish, spinach, eggs, oatmeal and various types of beans. Don’t forget that, although it’s good to moderate consumption of red meat, it’s a terrific source for many nutrients including iron.


  • Caffeine is an amazing chemical and definitely increases energy in the short-term. However, it is also a temporary fix and can negatively affect mental health. This is particularly true for professionals suffering from anxiety. Healthy and happy people learn to moderate their caffeine consumption, perhaps limiting it to one cup of coffee in the morning and maybe one more in the afternoon.


The bottom line is that unhealthy eating often results from being “too busy.” If someone is constantly on the run, it’s easy to simply grab a hamburger from the nearby fast food joint or drink an extra cup of coffee. Avoid this trap by preparing meals and snacks in advance that focus on foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. Ultimately, your body will thank you for the effort, and you’ll find yourself happier and more energetic! Nurses, caregivers and healthcare workers seeking employment in the San Diego region are encouraged to apply today.


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