Remember, consistency is key to learning, so be sure to repeat this recipe and experiment with these ingredients as often as you can.
If you’ve read our previous blog post you’re probably familiar with the Glycemic Index, however in case this is your first time here you might be thinking “what is the Glycemic Index and why should I know this term”? Well it’s important to know how your body reacts to certain foods in order to sleep well. Or if you’re on a tough shift, such as a nightshift, you would want to know what foods to take that won’t make you feel tired or give you a sugar crash, which we’ve all experienced at one time or another. It’s one thing to have a sleepy sugar crash at home, but its quite another to have it while on the job or while driving home. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure used to determine how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating. Consuming high GI level food results in a fast energy spike, as for example when you’re eating a chocolate bar. The counter to this fast energy spike is a rapid decrease – the sugar crash, this lowers your blood sugars quickly which could cause delayed reaction time, blurry vision, feeling more tired than before and the impairment of other cognitive abilities.
Choosing a low GI diet has great health benefits, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, from a fatigue and sleep point of view, choosing foods based on a low Glycemic index is one of the main keys to getting through your (night)shift fit and safely.
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including advice, treatment and diagnosis.
Here is a Glycemic Index overview to use as a guideline:
Low = Slow releasing and long lasting energy, ideal for shift work and other health benefits
GI 0 to 55
Moderate = 56 to 69
High = try avoiding foods in this category during your shift
GI of 70 and higher
Bananas are a healthy and great source of energy when you’re on shift and need that extra something to boost your alertness. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, antioxidants, potassium, fibre and vitamins which can provide your body with energy. The key to carbohydrates is combining them well so that carbs are converted into long lasting energy.
Bananas have a moderate GI Index, ranging from 42 to 85 depending on ripeness. We therefore suggest to choose yellow and firm bananas for this recipe, they have a lower GI Index and are the better choice to make fluffy muffins.
The key feature this fruit has to boost your energy levels are due to the following nutrients:
Vitamin B6 converts food into energy your body can use and supports a healthy brain function.
Low GI which means they release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, preventing spikes resulting in a sugar crash. Combining this with a protein such as eggs packs a punch which you can use during your shift.
Potassium & Magnesium which aid your body with regards to sleep quality improvement.
Eggs are the protein in this recipe, proteins provide your body with the building blocks. They repair tissues and support your immune system. Proteins also help you to feel fuller longer and are a good source of nutrient when you’re on nightshift. Our body has been hard-wired to slow down during the night, so providing our body with foods that provide energy but don’t disrupt our internal balance you will be feeling fitter and sleeping better during your shifts.
Some key nutrients in eggs:
Choline has been shown in recent studies to improve sleep quality, specifically with regards to regulating REM sleep to improve overall sleep quality.
All 9 amino acids and vitamin B12, these nutrients help to boost energy levels combined together.
The GI Index of Eggs = 0
Vanilla is a great antioxidant, this fruit contains calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which all contribute to a good sleep quality. It is also a good addition to flavour your dish instead of using sugar.
Studies have also shown vanillin, the compound found in vanilla benefits brain health and protects against neurodegenerative diseases. Food for the brain helps to keep you alert.
GI Index of vanilla = 5
For 4 muffins
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Optional: Nuts, Coconut
1. Seperate the egg yolks from the egg white, we’re only using the yolks
2. Whisk the yolks until fluffy
3. Mash the bananas
4. Mix the eggs and bananas together with a mixer
5. Add a pinch of salt, baking powder, vanilla and the optional ingredients nuts and or coconut and mix them together
6. Cover the baking tray in flour, this will prevent the egg muffins sticking to your baking tray
7. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes
8. Refrigerate it and pack it for your next shift to provide you with that energy boost!
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