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Eating Right for Night Nurses: Vitamin D-licious Choices

Nursing can be strenuous under even the most standard conditions.

So, when you flip the switch on daily life to battle through a night shift, things can really get tricky.
Suddenly, all those “givens” you used to enjoy are no longer readily available to you—the market isn’t necessarily open on your way home from work, restaurants are serving pancakes when all you want is a hamburger and you can’t call your sister to chat after a long shift because, well, she won’t be awake for another three hours.

Then there’s that one thing you never thought your career choice might rob you of: daylight.

But the fact is, there are times when a nurse simply can’t get enough of that good ol’ sunshine—especially if the night shift has come to be your bread and butter. The upside? Less exposure is a definite “yes, please” for your skin. The downside? You’ll need to seek out your daily dose of vitamin D elsewhere, keeping in mind that vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. Plus, research suggests that vitamin D may boost immunity and combat depression—all important benefits for nurses.
That said, foods rich in vitamin D can be hard to come by, and with the daily recommended value at 600 IUs, you’ve got a ways to go. So, because we want you to be as healthy and happy as can be, we thought we might put together a list of foods high in vitamin D that you can begin to incorporate into your diet now, along with some D-licious recipes that will have you eager to hop on the bandwagon (even if you’re a daytime-dweller).
1. Fatty fish. Some of the more common options include salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna and eel—also known as a sushi-lover’s dream lineup.

  • Salmon. Salmon is a favorite source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but fewer fans realize that a 3-ounce sockeye salmon fillet also contains roughly 450 IU of the daily recommend 600 IU of vitamin D. And it’s easy to work with. Use this recipe to whip up a simple, delicious and filling meal you can bring to work and reheat later.

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