By Felicity Dryer
Being a caregiver is usually not easy. You have to be emotionally, mentally and physically strong so that you can support those who require your care.
Your food choices can both help you excel in your line of work, as well as be beneficial to keep in mind for those under your care.
Here are some nutritious superfoods to add to your regular diet.
When you’ve been working long hours and you’re exhausted, blueberries can help you to perk up because they’re high in antioxidants. They’re healthier than reaching for sugar-loaded foods that will just zap your energy.
Keeping your energy levels up is important. Beans have a low glycaemic index, so they’re a slow release of energy to sustain you through the day.
This fish should be eaten at least twice a week because it’s packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that lower inflammation and eradicate body aches and pains.
You can tackle fatigue by consuming coconut oil. Because it gets rid of harmful organisms in the body, it can decrease stress, helping your immune system to work more efficiently.
If you’re stressed or tired, reach for steel-cut oats. They contain many nutrients, such as Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and protein. Oats are also feel-good food, thanks to how they make the brain produce serotonin that helps to improve your mood.
Sometimes you need a healthy snack on the go to keep hunger at bay, and that’s why Greek yogurt is so good. It’s got lots of calcium and protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Eating sweet potatoes can contribute to your Vitamin C intake. This nutrient is important because it’s an essential building block of collagen, which benefits your skin, blood vessels, bones and tissues.
Insufficient levels of folic acid can be linked to depression, so make sure you get enough of this vitamin. It can be found in leafy green vegetables like kale.
Dark chocolate could be a good snack every now and then - just make sure it’s at least 60 per cent cocoa as it has eight times more antioxidants than strawberries! It also lowers your bad cholesterol.
Working long hours can be exhausting so start the day with eggs. They contain a molecule known as phenylalanine, which the body uses to produce dopamine. This chemical makes you feel more alert!
If you want to fight inflammation that can cause joint pain, olive oil can help. It contains oleocanthal, a compound that’s a natural painkiller.
Avocado is rich in fibre, which helps to keep diabetes at bay because it lowers your blood sugar. It’s also got good fats the body needs to lower your cholesterol and decrease your heart disease risk.
These seeds absorb a lot of water so they keep your body hydrated for longer, while preserving electrolytes in the body.
You don’t want the onset of colds and flu to keep you down, so eat pomegranates. They contain a substance known as punicalagin that helps to fight the flu.
Too much caffeine is not good for you, so enjoy green tea instead. It helps you concentrate by working as a mild stimulant and boosts your antioxidant levels.
Pumpkin seeds are great for topping up on your magnesium levels - this mineral is a must if you want to improve your mood and beat depression.
This seed has shown promise for treating arthritis. It contains omega-3s that produce prostaglandins, substances that can decrease inflammation in the body.
Acai berries contain bioflavonoids, plant pigments that relieve varicose veins while keeping blood vessels healthy. This is important if you’re on your feet all day.
Research has found that walnuts can reverse signs of brain aging. Just a handful a day can give you the brain boost you need to help you function at your peak.
By keeping your red blood cells healthy, spinach’s high iron content improves oxygen transportation through the body which boosts your energy and overall health.
Eat more of the above superfoods to keep you strong and healthy so that you can care for those who aren’t.
And here's a SuperFood Guide for Super Seniors!
Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. Throughout her life, she has focused on encouraging others to reach for and achieve their personal goals. Now she lives in sunny Los Angeles where she is pursuing her career as a freelance health writer, and continuing to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals.