Apr 08, 2017

Could a Vegan Diet Help Nurses?

Could a change to a vegan diet make a difference to nurses? One American research seems to think so.

Nurses are some of the busiest workers – they are working both day and night caring for others in need. And in doing so they often neglect their own health.

This particular research, based in George Mason University in  Virginia, saw a group of 19 nurses choose to overhaul their habits and try a vegan diet for 21 days and see what changes happened.

A nutritious diet is so vital for a healthy body and mind – many nurses will admit that they often rush or skip meal in favour for work.

“Proper nutrition is an important but often overlooked component of preventive care and disease management,” noted the researchers in the American Journal of Nursing.

The volunteers, who all worked at community health clinics, stuck to a plant based diet without the need to count calories, measure portion sizes, or adhere to any other strict rules. The nurses were monitored and supported closely by the research team.

They were able to seek support during the three weeks through weekly webinars with a nutrition expert, who answered questions about day-to-day challenges, provided advice about nutrient intake and cooking procedures, and offered feedback about how to integrate options for family and friends into every meal.

To help with the daily aspects of the challenge, the nurses were also offered dietitian-created meal plans, grocery shopping lists, inspirational tips, videos of cooking demos and grocery store tours.

After the three weeks, there were some noticeable differences.

Ten of the nurses lost weight, ranging from losing 0.7kg to 4kgs. The average weight loss across the nurses was 2kgs.

14 out of the 19 nurses saw a drop in their cholesterol levels – with an average of 18mg/dL. Six of the volunteers were able to drop their cholesterol by a 45 to 60mg/dL.

30% of the respondents reported gaining energy from the plant-based diet.

Before the experiment, only one nurse claimed that they were highly satisfied with their health, which contrasts with the final results where 41% of the respondents felt they were highly satisfied with their health.

Eating a vegan diet had a lasting effect on the nurses even after they completed their 3 weeks, as they self-reported that they were eating more fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, while eating less meat and dairy.

Is going on a vegan diet something you might consider? There appears to even be benefits for following a plant-based routine for a short period of time.

Disclaimer: Please be aware the above article is merely information – not advice. If users need medical advice, they should consult a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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