Night shift nurses often need a lot of energy when they are on duty. Most of the time, they look around for food that will keep them up and alert all night so they can fulfill their responsibilities during their shift.
Also Read: Best Diet for Nurses – 8 Nutrition Tips for a Healthier You
If drinking one cup of coffee after another is boring you already, worry no more. Here is a list of 7 super snacks for night shift nurses that will keep you energized and healthy at the same time:
Most nuts contain tryptophan, vitamin E and magnesium which naturally give you energy. They are also a good source of unsaturated fats that will help you stay alert and your mind sharp and keen. Night shift nurses should try walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans and hazelnuts, as they contain high amounts of fiber, protein, healthy fats and B-vitamins that will keep you up and going.
Aside from containing probiotics that can help promote good digestion, yogurt also contains amino acids that can relieve fatigue. Fat-free or low-fat yogurt may give you more protein than regular yogurt. You can even choose sugar-free yogurt as they are healthier.
Cheese contains the amino acid tyramine which stimulates the brain to produce certain chemicals that will keep us alert and energetic. You can prepare sandwiches with healthier varieties like feta, string cheese, parmesan or cottage cheese. Eating sandwiches in between your shift will not only give you the energy to do your job well all night, but also keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Aside from caffeine, chocolate also contains tyrosine which is converted to dopamine when consumed. Dopamine is a stimulant that can cause increased energy levels and alertness. This should be good news to night shift nurses who are chocolate lovers. A bar or two of your all-time favorite chocolate will definitely keep you alert and energetic.
5. Ginseng Tea
Although herbal tea has been known to help us have a good night’s rest, ginseng is another story. Ginseng-infused tea acts as a stimulant, giving you enough energy to survive your night shift. It tastes good and it contains lots of anti-oxidants too!
Prepare by pouring boiling water over five thin slices of ginseng. Allow it to sit and steep for five minutes or longer, depending on how strong you want your tea to be.
There are also ginseng extracts available in most supermarkets, and thus will allow you to prepare your ginseng tea a lot easier. Just add a few drops of the ginseng extract to a cup of boiling water and stir. You can also add sugar or honey to sweeten your tea.
Fruits such as apples and bananas contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients such as B-vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, fructose and fiber. The natural sugars that fruits contain are known to help boost our energy especially when we need it.
Oranges and other citrus fruits which are rich in Vitamin C will give you energy and help burn fat at the same time. Like bananas, watermelons are a good source of B-vitamins and potassium as well.
You can opt to bring fruits that you can easily eat like apples, grapes, bananas and pears, or you can choose to slice and pack fresh fruits, like watermelon, oranges and avocado, which you can eat during your break time.
Soy products that have been fermented, like tofu and miso, contain a very high amount of tyramine, which may increase levels of alertness and energy. You can also use soy sauce or teriyaki sauce in preparing your meals, as they contain good amounts of soy.
Turn your regular fried rice into a healthy energy-packed super food by adding some tofu. You can also bring bottles of soy milk with you on duty and drink them chilled. Soy milk is usually sold in supermarkets and is usually sweetened and ready to drink.
Do you know other super snacks that can help nurses stay energized even during their night shifts? Share them with us!
About the Author: Mary Elizabeth Velarmino Francisco earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Philippines. She is always happy to share her passion for writing and blogging. With coffee running through her veins, she enthusiastically battles each day, one article at a time.