Did you know there are a zillion things that can contribute to us getting sick?
Well, maybe not a zillion, but certainly many … some of which are mentioned in the list above.
Thankfully, our bodies have an incredible in-built system designed to keep us healthy.
It’s called our Innate Immune System.
However, it needs us to make good diet and lifestyle decisions in order to support it.
If not, it’s unable to help you to thrive.
- Your energy will be flat.
- Your mental clarity will be impaired.
- You will struggle to walk up stairs without puffing.
- Your limbs and muscles will become stiff and sore.
- Any “bug” that comes on the scene, will knock you for six … and so on.
Could you be unknowingly poisoning yourself?
It might sound like an odd question to ask as none of us would ever want to intentionally harm ourselves, however, I remember back in my early 20’s when I was new to shift work (and eating crap food) – I went from being quite lean to becoming quite puffy.
By some miracle, I didn’t really gain much weight, but my face and hands became swollen and I was always bloated.
What I didn’t realise at the time, was that I was slowly poisoning myself by eating toxic foods containing refined sugars and inflammatory fats that were leading to systemic inflammation.
Besides sapping our energy, chronic low-level inflammation can damage blood vessels, weaken our muscles and cause absolute havoc on our hormones!
Ouch! As if shift work isn’t hard enough?!
Are you eating food made out a laboratory … AKA lots of ultra-processed, refined and sugar-laden foods, or more whole, real foods designed by Mother Nature?
Because apart from the fact the body struggles to break down and digest these types of “foods”, according to a French study published in JAMA (2019), for every 10% portion of our diet that’s made up of processed foods, our risk of developing diabetes jumps up another 15% right along with it.
Now this might not sound earth-shattering, but if you are a shift worker, this percentage rises even more as sleep deprivation, alone, disrupts the regulation of blood sugar levels.
This is because if you’re awake when you’re not meant to be (AKA the life of EVERY shift worker on the planet!), it leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar levels.
The body does this because when you’re sleep deprived, it senses that your life is in danger.
Don’t these look amazing!!
Now when we walk into most staff lunchrooms, we often see cakes, cookies and lollies spread across multiple tables (I know they’re there as I’ve been in many a shift working lunchroom over the years …LOL), but wouldn’t it be nice to see something healthy feature on those tables instead?
Imagine if everyone made a delicious plant-based dish and brought it into share for something different (as opposed to those other things we just mentioned), the lunchroom would immediately turn into a tapas-style restaurant… even though you’re actually at work!
Do you rely on caffeine to get you through your shift … whether that’s in the form of a coffee, soda or energy drink?
Perhaps you rely on two, three, or maybe even more for an energy hit to keep you going?
Whilst I’m partial to a 1/2 strength latte or mocha myself, did you know that habitual caffeine intake can contribute to malnutrition?
It does so by depleting key vitamins and minerals such as:
- Iron – a single cup of coffee can reduce iron absorption from a meal by as much as 75%!
- Calcium and Magnesium – half a cup of caffeine (50mg) depletes the body of calcium and magnesium. Larger doses deplete even more.
- Potassium – 300mg of caffeine increases potassium loss by one third.