Last week I chatted briefly about a condition called metabolic syndrome (MetS), and how it’s inflammatory effects can alter the normal functioning of lymphatic tissues involved in the immune response.
Now there are 5 risk factors that fall under the banner of metabolic syndrome, but in today’s post, I’m going to concentrate on High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension.
First and foremost, something to keep in mind is that high blood pressure is an inflammatory disease that impairs immune function. That being said, a compromised immune system also leads to inflammation, so it works both ways.
When the immune response becomes dysregulated, it causes the sympathetic nervous system (a fancy way to describe our ‘fight or flight’ stress response), to go into overdrive. This raises our heart rate and blood pressure (which is fine in the short term), but over the long-term, can lead to oxidative damage causing arterial stiffening and hardening of the arteries.
Picture a rusty pipe and this is pretty much what oxidative damage does to our inner piping, so definitely something we want to avoid!
The other day it was raining ☔️ here in my hometown of Brisbane, so I thought what better way than to experiment in the kitchen!
Now given the majority of shift workers experience “hangry” moments thanks to blood sugar dysregulation as a result of sleep disruption, I wanted to come up with a recipe that would help to keep sugar cravings at bay.
Meet Mr Macadamia Nut Hummus– the perfect sugar craving antidote whether you’re on an early shift, late shift, night shift or heaven forbid a “normal” shift – lol
Macadamia nuts are high in healthy monounsaturated fats to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and are a great source of magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, vitamins B1, B3 & E, phosphorus and zinc.
Chickpeas are packed with gut-friendly fibre which help to stabilise blood sugar levels (and fend off those “hangry” cravings), as well as making them great for insulin-resistant individuals or diabetics. Health conditions which are becoming increasingly common in those who work 24/7.
In addition, chickpeas are a great source of protein and contain minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.
What’s in it?
2/3 cup roasted macadamias
1 can chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Handful of parsley
How to make it?
Throw everything into a food processor for 10-15 seconds (I like a chunky consistency), or longer until smooth.
Store in a container to bring into work to have with crackers or veggie sticks and share with workmates (maybe?!) It’s also delicious as a base on sourdough toast topped with eggs, mushrooms and/or roasted tomatoes!
This week we’re heading all the way to Germany to chat with Michael Wieden, the founder of Aliamos, a company that works with organisations to improve the health and well-being of employees by taking into consideration the unique biological rhythms of individuals.
Things we discuss:
1. What is chronobiology, and why is it important for shift workers to understand its significance? 2. What are chronotypes and how do they influence our ability to work specific shifts? 3. How incorporating plant-based food options into workplace canteens is improving the health of employees. 4. Why the mindset of the employer is key in rolling out successful health and wellbeing programs.
After many years of writing on and off, my new book – ‘Too Tired To Cook: The Shift Worker’s Guide To Working (and Surviving) In A 24/7 World’ has finally hit the stores of global online book retailers, along with being distributed within bookstores around Australia.
In this podcast episode, tune in to hear all about the book, why I wrote it and what it’s all about – along with some of the 5-star reviews and feedback from people who have already read it since it was first launched just a few short weeks ago.
One thing I do want to make mention is that this book is written very much from the heart, as my soul intention for writing it was to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of some of the most misunderstood people on the planet – those being shift workers.