Nurses often make the worst patients. We take pride in teaching our diabetic patients on the foods with the lowest glycemic index and foods to avoid completely, yet many of us forego meals when we are in the thick of patient care or make poor food choices as a result of stress and lack of time. What we eat is so important for our energy, well being, and critical thinking. We know this. Nutrition is an essential part of our nursing education. So why do we often neglect ourselves while serving others? Here are some great brain food suggestions to eat before, after, or at work that are easy to prepare or take no preparation at all. They are high in protein, fiber, and maintain glucose levels-perfect for a twelve-hour shift.
Avocado can be eaten by itself or added to any salad, sandwich, with eggs. I add it to everything I eat. Avocado is low in saturated fat, high in fiber, magnesium, and maintains a stable blood sugar, among other things.
A handful of walnuts go a long way. It’s perfect for work because you can grab a handful and eat when there is no time to sit down. Walnuts are a good source of magnesium, Vitamin E, protein, and fiber. Walnuts are high in Omega-3 oils which are essential for brain function.
Another Omega-3 rich food, salmon is a good and easy dinner choice. Baked salmon with drizzled olive oil and your favorite spice is super easy and takes 30 minutes max to make. You can throw it in the oven while getting ready for work. I keep a stock of it in the freezer. I love to eat it with a salad, Greek yogurt , and couscous. So easy!! For a guide choosing salmon, check out Seafood Watch here.
Referred to as the “powerhouse” of fruits by the super food guru himself, Dr. Steven G. Pratt, blueberries have one of the longest lists of vital nutrients. These “brainberries” have the highest amount of antioxidants. They are brain, heart, and skin healthy. Wash and take with you to work. It’s that simple. Organic is ideal.
Honey is not just a sweetener. It is loaded with antioxidants, trace minerals, and has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities. It also optimizes blood sugar which optimizes brain health and energy levels. Opt for a teaspoon of honey instead of sugar if you sweeten your coffee (my cousin swears by it) or tea. It is the better alternative by far.
The key is eating foods that make keep us satiated, maintain our blood sugar for longer periods, and make us generally feel good. Stay tuned for more food for thought and recipes. What are your go to foods?