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The Five Best Foods To Help You Survive a Super-Stressful Shift

You don’t need to rely on foods high in sugar and caffeine on busy days. These on-the-go options maintain your energy and mitigate stress.

Between long shifts, uncooperative patients, and one too many charts to juggle, it can be difficult for care providers to find time for a break. You might resort to quick foods on busy days, often filled with sugar or caffeine. But there are healthy, on-the-go snacks you can eat to retain energy and mitigate stress. Try these recommendations via the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


Not only do almonds, pistachios, and walnuts strengthen your immune system, but they’re also excellent sources of vitamin B, which helps the body manage stress. Cashews, filled with magnesium, also stabilize your energy and regulate the nervous system. Have you got a stress-induced sweet tooth? Grab some dark chocolate-covered nuts and snack away.


Here’s a carb you won’t regret. According to research done at MIT, complex carbs help your brain produce serotonin, boosting your overall mood. Just stick to an oatmeal low in sugar to maintain your blood pressure.

Fatty Fish

If you find time for a full meal (dare to dream!), avoid your cafeteria’s fast foods. Instead, opt for salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, or herring. All full of omega-3, these delicacies improve mental health and cognition. A bonus: Salmon and sardines also contain vitamin D, which can compensate for all the sunshine you missed during your long day in the hospital.

Dark Chocolate

Nibbling on a bar of dark chocolate can help balance stress levels. Several studies have found that, in moderation, the antioxidants in cocoa relax the walls of your blood vessels, improving circulation and reducing levels of stress-associated hormones in your system.


Sip some decaf or herbal tea and feel your stress melt away. Chamomile, for example, isn’t just a bedtime herb. It contains glycine, an amino acid that relieves tense muscles and nerves. So next time you think you might have a few rare minutes to yourself, brew a cup.

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