As Claude Fischler once said, “If you are what you eat and you don’t know what you’re eating, do you know who you are?” With busy work schedules and even busier lives, the temptation to eat fast meals, generally high in fat, sodium, calories, and sugar, remains a great risk to the health of the nation, especially healthcare professionals working long hours. Whether you’re a surgeon in surgical scrubs with ten-minutes to eat before you have to scrub in, or a nurse in a children’s ward, here are some great power foods that will keep your energized throughout your workday and beyond.
Water. Reading this you may find yourself saying, “duh?” but the truth is that most people don’t drink the recommended eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. If you wear sports scrubs, you are probably more physically active and will need to up your water intake to replace what is lost in sweat. Some call it the “Eight by Eight Rule,” which is easy to remember.
Nuts. You don’t have to be a hospital dietician in tall scrub pants to know that an increase in nut intake has assumed with the reduction in risk factors associated with heart disease. Nuts also have fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E. The best way to enjoy nuts is au naturale. Avoid nuts that are salted or sugared for maximum flavor and health benefits.
Yogurt. There are so many flavors of yogurt packaged especially for the on-the-go lifestyle that you might not have a chance to try every variety in a month. Yogurt helps boost your immune system and is a great source of high-quality protein. When you’re in the dairy aisle, remember to purchase a yogurt with low sugar content.
Coffee. Most healthcare professionals consider coffee an integral part of any given workday. Coffee has come under some criticism, but in moderation current research suggests that moderate consumption has no harmful health effects. So go ahead and enjoy a cup of health-inducing phytonutrients.
Oatmeal. Not only is oatmeal a healthy way to start your day, it is also one of the healthiest carbs around. Packed with potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium and protein, oatmeal also provides a healthy dose of fiber. Studies show that a bowl of oatmeal a day can reduce cholesterol anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. Customize your oatmeal by adding some raisins, a dash of nutmeg or a few almonds on top and enjoy.
Beans. Pinto, black, kidney and red beans-whatever your preference-provide a high protein, low fat addition to any meal or on their own. They are also rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.