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How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health When You Are Out On The Road

As a truck driver, you may feel like you spend most of your time behind the wheel, except for brief interactions at rest stops and destinations.

 

Isolation from one’s social circle is only one component of the whole picture of mental health. And not only for drivers of large trucks, but for everyone. Truck drivers, like those in many other professions, are susceptible to the same factors that might negatively influence their mental health.

 

It is OK to not feel okay for various reasons, including a lack of physical exercise, loneliness, and stress, to mention a few. While each of these emotions is perfectly acceptable in and of themselves, experiencing them all at once may be overwhelming.

 

Sometimes, these sensations can grow into anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns that can quickly go unrecognized — especially if you are the only one looking out for yourself. This is especially true if you are the only one responsible for looking out for yourself. Here, we look at several mental health solutions to help you.

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How You Can Take Control of Your Stress

 

The long days and nights may be hard for truck drivers, especially those responsible for traveling great distances because they need to stay awake while driving and fulfill stringent delivery deadlines. The mental and physical effects of stress may hit you all at once when it happens.

 

It is easy to disregard the warning symptoms of stress and burnout when one’s profession is as demanding as that of a truck driver who has a demanding career.

 

Nevertheless, focusing on yourself is precisely what you should be doing now. As a truck driver, how do you ensure that you care for your mental health? The following are some helpful suggestions that may be used to take care of oneself on the road.

 

Exercise

 

As a truck driver, you can’t get up and move around anytime you want, but moving around at least a little bit every chance you have is critical. Not only can a lack of physical activity contribute to tight muscles, leading to worse aches and pains later on, but exercise is also one of the most essential tools for a healthy mind.

 

Exercise decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is sometimes referred to be nature’s built-in alert system. When you are concerned or worried, your cortisol levels rise.

 

You could do anything from jumping jacks to pushups at a rest stop, parking lot, or waiting for a load. You can stroll or jog around the parking lot or do some lunges or a decent back stretch.

 

Keep in touch with loved ones.

 

When you have been away for so long, it is easy to forget how much family and friends can lift your emotions. 

 

Making time for a brief phone or video chat when you are not distracted can remind you that your job is not everything, and your vehicle is not the only place you belong. Reach out to those that make you laugh and raise your spirits. 

 

Even if you cannot spend as much time as you want with friends and family in person, a phone conversation may be just as satisfying.

Trucking Yoga Fitness Mother Trucker Yoga

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers

If there is something truck drivers know about themselves, it’s their unhealthy lifestyle. It is hard to stay healthy when you’re on duty, filled with a lack of exercise, a shifting sleep schedule, long work hours without breaks, and unhealthy diets. Lower your healthcare costs and sick days, and enjoy a healthy life with our guide to top healthy trucker food!

5 Best Healthy Diet for Truckers

1. Fiber-Rich Food

Tummy troubles can make traveling distances a nightmare. To avoid them, ensure your body gets enough fiber to process food without causing problems. Some foods with high fiber content are wheat products, granola bars, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and rice.

Fiber-rich foods are readily available and make for great healthy trucker food options!

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers Fiber Image Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

2. Lean Meat

Meat is an integral part of meals as they provide nutritional protein and fats to our bodies. With truck driving being physical labor that requires top strength and agility, meat is essential in the trucker diet. Hence you must eat the healthy form of meat, which is lean meat. 

Lean meat is boiled or steamed poultry or fish packed with the proper nutrients. Fish are rich in omega-fatty acids that are great for the eyes and heart. In contrast, organic poultry meat is essential to fulfilling your protein needs! 

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers Lean Meats Image Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

3. Healthy Snacks

If eating in small portions is something you tend to do, we have you covered! Snacks don’t need to be unhealthy, and they also don’t need to be complex to make or find. The list of healthy snacks is almost endless and can suit every time of taste bud there is. 

Popcorn or corn cakes (watch salt content) and salsa chips are great for crunch lovers. If you have a sweet tooth, we have to suggest flavored yogurt, fresh berries filled with antioxidants, and apples with peanut butter or almond butter. And now brands have peanut butter with no added sugar! I call that a win!. Dry nuts, trail mix, and hard-boiled eggs are healthy snacks you can easily prepare and find wherever you go!

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers Healthy Snacks Image Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

4. Water

We couldn’t complete this list without mentioning the basic essential: water. Drinking water yields many health benefits and keeps you away from health conditions. Water keeps your cognitive functions working, helping you lose weight and aids in digestion. Not only that but drinking plenty of water keeps your organs healthy and protects you from overeating by making you feel full. 

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers Water Image Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

5. Fresh Fruits

Fresh fruits are a tasteful bundle of essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and fit! Fruits and berries are filled with proteins, antioxidants, and glucose. Vitamin C is also found in all citrus fruits, protecting you from skin diseases such as skin cancer which many truck drivers risk.

So ensure to take your regular fresh fruits and berries whenever possible because they are just as crucial to your diet!

Top Healthy Diets Tips for Truck Drivers Fruits Image Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Conclusion

In this blog, we have listed the 5 top healthy trucker food that significantly affects health. With the transport industry making you its backbone, you must take care of your body and mind by eating right and living right. 

7 Reasons to Ditch the Soda and Switch to Kombucha

Most people think I am speaking another language when I tell them to drink kombucha. But I am totally serious when I ask them to ditch the soda and consider a healthier alternative. And when it comes to truck driver health it’s about the small simple changes that add up and lead to the big results you are looking for.

But what am I really asking you to drink when I suggest such a thing?

The kombucha you find at a local grocer and now even truck stops is usually a sweetened tea (usually black) fermented with kombucha.

But what exactly is kombucha?

Kombucha Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Well, it’s a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY for short), which is made by steeping the kombucha culture in tea and allowing it to ferment.

After it ferments, usually 7 to 30 days, the soda alternative is ready to be served.

But why drink kombucha instead of soda? And do they even taste the same?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they are both carbonated. Yes, because they both have fruity flavors. And yes, because they both come in all different sizes and shaped bottles.

No, because, well, kombucha is much healthier than soda.

Soda at truck stop mother trucker yoga blog

7 Benefits of Kombucha for Truck Driver Health

  1. It’s loaded with (B vitamins and folic acid) vitamins and chemicals compounds, and vinegar. This combination makes it a bit tart. But compared to the artificially loaded soda, it’s a good alternative. 7 Reasons to Ditch Soda and Switches to its New Neighbor: plus those B vitamins will boost your body’s ability to make new cells. A win for your future’s health.
  2. Fermented foods and beverages can aid in intestinal health. It works because it is a probiotic. And don’t worry, by the time the fermentation is ready, the good bacteria have already consumed the sugars and yeast, and it is ready for your gut to take in.
  3.  It contains powerful antioxidants which can help fight disease, oxidative stress, and inflammation. And as a driver over the road, any help to the body, the better.
  4. Can help fight candida. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. And soda is not helping that cause. Drinking kombucha made from green or black teas can help specific antibacterial properties that help fight infection-causing bacteria like candida. “Kombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.” (Healthline
  5. It doesn’t have harmful chemicals that disintegrate your teeth. One of my deepest darkest secrets is I am a fanatic about my teeth. I don’t want anything to happen to them. And if I can prevent my pearly whites from rotting out of my mouth, I’m on it. Is it really worth the soda? And if Coke and take rust off your kid’s old bike. Imagine what it is doing to your teeth?
  6. It won’t dehydrate you. That’s right. Soda has sodium, and although it seems to quench your thirst, it’s far from hydration. Kombucha is a win in this category as it does not dehydrate you as soda does.
  7. It can help relieve arthritis pain. The glucosamine present stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which helps with the maintenance of cartilage and can offer some pain relief. Can your soda do that?

Trucking Convention Road Pro and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Still not convinced that your soda is worth giving up for some weird fermented beverage that you have never heard of? Well, you might have to try it out yourself.

Our favorites are:

  • Lavender and Melon
  • Mojito Flavor
  • Raspberry
  • Root Beer

And I am so excited to have just been turned onto by a driver just like you and one of my past trucking clients Laurie. You can now get kombucha on a tablet!


 

References:
https://www.health.com/nutrition/info-about-kombucha
https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/kombucha-tea-frequently-asked-questions-faq/
https://genomind.com/6-health-benefits-of-drinking-kombucha/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea#section4
https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/10-ways-kombucha-is-better-for-you-than-soda

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Shrimp and Grits

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Welcome to Mobile Meals Made Healthy!

Healthy trucker food doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or a figment of your imagination. Many drivers feel married to the truckstop food options, leaving them little to no wiggle room when it comes to variety and healthy eating. There are eight foods here at Mother Trucker Yoga that we think every driver should be carrying with them, and you can read about what they are inside Truckers Gear Guide.

But today is all about healthy trucker food you can make on the go. Cheryl Vickers is our featured foodie. She is a team driver with her husband and started working with Mother Trucker Yoga a year ago to help continue her health journey as a truck driver, and after looking for guidance on how to make that happen found Mother Trucker Yoga through the Driven to Be Healthy Challenge (You can join our second annual that starts August 30, 2021, HERE).

Cheryl has grown to love cooking on the truck, and after figuring out a little prep work and preparing before she leaves for the week making healthy meals from the truck has only gotten easier and more fun. And when she’s done cooking and enjoying delicious food, she is getting her Mother Trucker Yoga-approved moves in each day, she and her husband are down nearly 100 pounds combine and feeling better than they have in a long time.

Healthy Trucker Food: Shrimp and Grits

How to Make Trucker Approved Rice Grits

  • 1 cup of Rice Grits
  • 2 cups of Water
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Directions for Shrimp and Grits

STEP 1: Rince the rice is possible

STEP 2: Combine the above ingredients

STEP 3: Let cook for 30 minutes or let simmer during your driving for a couple of hours

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 3

There are several different ways you can get your meal prepped while driving. One is to prep in the morning and lets your food simmer all day. The second is to make your meal for tomorrow the night before, let it simmer or cook in your crockpot or RoadPro Lunch Box, and then all you have to do is heat it for dinner the next day. And third is to prepare the morning of and let it simmer for a couple of hours while driving.

How to Make The Healthy Trucker Shrimp

STEP 1: Thaw shrimp

STEP 2: Peel and deveined (another option is to buy peeled, deveined, and precooked shrimp (I love ALDI’s).

STEP 3: Cut up onion, tomatoes, and bell peppers

STEP 4: Spray shrimp with either avocado or olive oil

STEP 5: Mix a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, garlic salt (or just garlic powder), paprika, and Italian seasoning

STEP 6: Mix shrimp, onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, and seasoning mixture together

STEP 7: Cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (or use RoadPro LunchBox or other means for cooking)

STEP 8: After rice grits are cooked, add cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga blog 2

How to Make Healthy Trucker Salad

STEP 1: Use your favorite greens

STEP 2: Shredded carrots, chop cucumbers, and grape tomatoes

STEP 3: Toss with raspberry vinaigrette dressing

 

Now eat Shrimp and Grits and Salad and ENJOY!

Healthy Trucker Food Shrimp and Grits Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 4

 

Healthy Trucker Food Cost

The total investment for this delicious dinner for 2:

Shrimp 1/2 pound $6.62

Rice grits $1.00

Cheese $ .50

Salad $5.00

Veggies $1.00

Total Cost $14.12 ÷ 2 = $7.06 each prep-time 10 minutes, cook time 30 minutes, clean-up 10 minutes. total 50 minutes

You can eat healthy as a truck driver. This recipe may seem a bit intimidating, but try this: make one component of this meal at a time, to get more comfortable and then make them as a meal. The biggest reason we think we can’t do things in life is not because of resources. It is because we have already told ourselves we can’t. I believe you can be healthy as a truck driver. You are just one meal away from realizing you can do this! To join Cheryl and others for more great recipes and healthy trucker food ideas, join our FREE community- Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga.

 

Check out other Mobile Meals Made Healthy:

 

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

When you are on the road all the time, you are at increased risk for certain medical conditions. Of course, not every trucker is going to experience the same things, but there are some common themes running through the industry when it comes to health due to all the sitting that has to be done. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the common issues that truckers face from sitting in their trucks all day, and some of the things that you can do to fix them. If you would like to find out more about this topic, keep reading down below.

 

Sore Back And Neck

 

The first thing that you are more likely to experience is a sore neck and back. Seeing as you are not using the muscles in your back and you are holding your neck up all the time, it’s no wonder that it begins to hurt. This is a problem because there’s not much you can do to avoid this other than to stop every so often and take a short walk, or lay down in your seats for ten minutes. Give your neck a break, and let your back muscles stretch in order to keep them in good condition.

 

If the issue persists, then you should see a chiropractor. They might be able to do something to help you, such as give you small exercises to complete, or you never know what!

 

Obesity

 

Another huge problem is obesity. When you are on the road a lot, you’re not getting the exercise that you need, you’re probably eating fast food more often than not, so really obesity is to be expected. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t make it okay and you need to avoid this at all costs. We recommend that you try taking some food with you for your meal while you are out. If you are going to be on a long trip and you can’t take that much food with you, then at least try to pick some of the healthier options when you take a break.

 

Swelling In Your Legs

 

When you sit down for so long, your legs become more likely to swell. If you’re not using your legs other than the slight movements, you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis as well which is not a pleasant condition. There are a few things that we can suggest here such as drinking enough water while you are on your drive, managing the amount of salt that you eat on the drive and before, as well as doing feet and ankle exercises while you are stopped in traffic for example. When you can, get up and have a walk around outside to get your blood pumping and your legs moving, and this should help you avoid the issue.

 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the common issues that you can get when you sit in a truck all day. Not only that though, but hopefully now you see how you can fix these issues as well. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that this has helped you!

 

Want more help when it comes to your fitness and health? Join the movement!

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Stay Healthy While on the Go with These 6 Top Tips for Truckers

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Working as a long-haul truck driver is indeed a challenging and demanding job. Not many people can travel long distances and stay for long periods without seeing their family. With the sedentary and autonomous nature of the job, working as a trucker can lead to you adopting an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

 Most truckers rely on fast food and caffeine to keep them on the go. Staying healthy is not only vital for your wellbeing, but it essentially plays a part in your career.

Stay Healthy While on the go - mother trucker yoga blog

Photo Credit -Photo by Lê Minh from Pexels

 Below are a few tips to consider to improve your health as a trucker;

Eat Healthily

Avoid feasting on junks and grab a couple of fresh produce from a grocery store. You might notice that stores are increasingly creating more space to accommodate vehicles of all nature. Gas stations are also equipping their shelves with nutritious meals.

 

Try your best to consume more vegetables and fruits every day. Fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that will improve your health and keep you in tip-top shape while on the road.

 

An easier way to gain all your nutrients at once is to blend your fruits into a smoothie. Introducing a vegetable such as kale or spinach will give it that healthy knack. Be sure to include some nuts for you to snack on while on the go.

Exercise

A sedentary position for an extended period of hours is detrimental to your health. Engage yourself in light exercises during pit stops to stretch out your legs and allow blood to circulate freely through your system.

 

A folding bicycle or a pair of running shoes is an excellent way of kick-starting your exercise routine.

 

One of the dangers posed by long-haul driving is pressure build-up in the back. Exercise can help relieve stress and relax your muscles. An advanced form of physical relief would be to seek a chiropractor, whose services will help you keep your back and neck in shape.

 

Sleep

An essential yet most commonly overlooked item when it comes to health is sleep. Good night’s sleep is crucial in allowing your body to adequately rest so that bodily functions can take place with ease.

 

Invest in proper and good quality berth mattresses with the right firmness for a good restful sleep. Make your cabin comfortable enough for you to have at least eight hours of sleep. Ensure you have a portable heater or a fan for when conditions become too extreme in other areas.

 

Engage Your Mind

 

Driving on the road for hours can be tedious and tiring. Engaging your mind can help keep you focused and avoid distractions that might end up causing emotional reactions.

 

Listen to audiotapes of your favorite books and get to learn a few things while on the go. Audiotapes of language lessons can help you learn a new language and have you speaking a foreign language before your destination. Continuously engaging your mind tends to improve your mental health.

 

Long-distance work can heavily impact your family due to the distance but do not let it negatively affect your health. Drive home safely to your family and assure them of wellbeing by practicing the top tips shared.

 

Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

Go Nuts – Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers

When it comes to food, many have an all-or-nothing switch. You can’t just eat one piece of cake as a sweet treat, but even when things are labeled healthy, you find yourself thinking more is better. It can be confusing what are healthy snacks for truck drivers and when you walk into a truck stop, and all you see is cookies, candy, chips, and soda, it can feel overwhelming. But healthy snacks for truck drivers are available, and nuts are where it’s at.

 

Nuts are incredibly healthy, where these nutrient-packed morsels are one of the best foods you can eat, but no one said anything about a handful’s a day, every day. Go nuts! Yes, go nuts; they are a great treat and portion-perfect travel food for your next trip, or for that truck driver trying to avoid the unhealthy options in truck stops and doesn’t want to entire the front doors on an empty stomach. 

 

Many think that nuts are a fattening food. But the truth is nuts and seeds are some of the best foods you can eat for optimum health, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss. 

 

The Research Is In!

 

In 2017 a research study was done through the Global Burden of Disease Study. The most comprehensive analysis of the causes of death ever undertaken involved nearly 500 researchers and examined 100,000 data sources. And this study calculated that not eating enough nuts was a leading dietary risk factor for death and disability worldwide. They found that lack of nutrition taken in through nuts kills more people than processed meat consumption and more than a low intake of fiber and vegetables. The Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that eating more vegetables could save 1.8 million lives, but eating more nuts and seeds could save 2.5 million lives. Just let that sink in for a second. WOW! Right? I had to read that twice myself. 

 

But it doesn’t stop there; their research also noted that the healthy foods missing from most diets worldwide are nuts and seeds! 

 

Why Are Nuts Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers? 

 

Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that eating nuts may:

  • Lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which play a significant role in the buildup of deposits called plaques in your arteries
  • Improve the health of the lining of your arteries
  • Lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack and death

Nuts are packed with loads of nutrition. They are suitable for your overall health as they contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, and many other minerals like magnesium, zinc (check out our article on the MTY blog about Zinc), copper, potassium, and antioxidants. And when it comes to heart health, they contain the nonessential amino acid arginine, which helps protect the artery walls’ inner lining.

Nuts also contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, the same fats found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and not the kind of fat you want to be afraid of. Some nuts are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that our body wants to make sure we get enough. Many truck drivers get an overabundance of Omega-6 and Omega-9’s in their diets due to the plethora of fast foods and processed foods. So nuts are a great go-to in an attempt to turn the tables in the Omega category.

 

Eating nuts and seeds regularly play a crucial role in managing health concerns like:

  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia

But How Much is Too Many Nuts? 

Well, all nuts and seeds have a slightly different nutrition punch to bring to the handful. The key is to take nuts in at ½ ounce to 1-ounce servings daily up to five days a week. 

Check out our Nuts Realistic Serving Size Chart to see just how much you should be grabbing of nuts a day. 

Go Nuts Mother Trucker Yoga Blog How much nuts to eat

Nuts are Heart Healthy

Nuts help reduce coronary heart disease (after adjusting for other coronary heart disease factors) by eating five or more servings (5 ounces) of nuts per week by 35-50%. But I find it is important to note that, like anything, moderation is key. When you read this, you might begin to think, “well, I’ll just eat a ton of nuts then.” Well, that is not what this is suggesting; instead, let this be an excellent push for you to consider swapping out unhealthy heart-compromising foods for a handful of nuts a few times a week. Remember, moderation is the key to improving our health, especially with nuts. 

Nuts can help with weight-loss

Nuts are the unsung hero when it comes to managing our weight. Because many still look at the fat content in nuts and think that will make them fat. They choose to stay away. But that isn’t true. Just a ½ an ounce per day of nutrition-packed nuts is associated with less long-term weight gain. When you replace unhealthy foods like processed meats, fast food, and chips and cakes, nuts become a simple weight management strategy. 

Many researchers believe nuts aid in weight control for the following reasons: 

  • Chewing nuts takes effort.
  • High fiber delays stomach emptying.
  • The body absorbs not all the fat from nuts during the digestion process. 
  • Nuts have prebiotic properties.
  • Nuts help improve gut microbiome and intestinal health.

 

How To Shop for Nuts

Raw or sprouted and dehydrated nuts are best. Most nuts in the grocery store or truck stop are salted and contain high sodium content. The next time nuts travel well, you are home or can stop at a grocery store to look for raw or unsalted nuts. And at a minimum, eating raw, unsalted nuts will move you light years ahead in a nut-healthy direction. For more information about soaking and sprouting your nuts, check out this great article on Vegetarian Times, breaking down the soaking times and sprouting times by nut type. But don’t be overwhelmed; just switching to raw nuts will make a massive difference in your nut health benefits. 

I like to follow the health approach of Good, Better, Best. What is a good option, what is the better option, and what is the best option? I might not be able to do the best right now, and the better might be out of reach, but is there a good option to choose today? And then go from there. Health is not black or white and not all an all or nothing lifestyle. The same goes for nuts. 

Word of Caution

We are all unique, and our bodies react differently to foods and environments due to our history or current health. If you are allergic, don’t eat them. If you are a compulsive eater or binge-eater, consider prepackaging your nuts into small bags to avoid overeating. Even healthy things can be overconsumed. Ask your doctor or consider an allergy test to get to the bottom of a nut concern when in doubt. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we want to empower drivers to build a toolbox of healthy options, but we also encourage drivers to use common sense and, when in doubt, seek medical advice. 

 

Lady Trucking Stiff Mother Trucker

 

 

 

The Power of Zinc: The Trace Mineral You Might Be Missing

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element and micronutrient essential for our overall health. Without zinc in our body, we would not be experiencing optional health, and this temple we call a body will begin to show it. Zinc is a mineral we all need for our body to function optimally. Second, to Iron, Zinc is the most abundant trace element, involved in various catalytic activities in the body.

Zinc is found in some foods naturally and is used in the form of dietary supplements. If are eating a poor diet lacking real foods like fruits and veggies and some lean meats, your diet is most likely lacking zinc.

Zinc deficiency in humans includes manifestations like diarrhea, alopecia, weight loss, intercurrent infections, neuro-sensory disorders, emotional disorders, and problems with wound healing. As someone who is in recovery from a wide variety of eating disorders, I know first hand the toll your body takes when you are lacking proper nutrition. Minerals like zinc are the foundation for our body to build on. We cannot absorb vitamins without minerals and zinc is on that list. If you are feeling stress make sure you read Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress Blog to help.

It can be confusing when you start to pay better attention to your health, how much of what do you need and where to get it all. So in the charts below, you can easily see how much zinc you need depending on your age and what some sources of zinc could be in your diet today.

Required Daily Amount

Age MenWomen
0-6 months 2 mg2 mg
7-12 months 3 mg3 mg
1-3 years3 mg3 mg
4-8  years 5 mg5 mg
9-13 years8 mg8 mg
14< years11 mg8 mg
Pregnancy11 mg
Lactation 12 mg

Zinc Nutrition Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian

Food ItemsMilligrams per servingPercent DV
Peas (cooked ½ cup)0.55
Yogurt (8 ounces)1.715
Oatmeal (1 packet)1.110
Almonds (1 ounce)0.98
Cashews (1 ounce)1.615
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce)2.220
Baked beans (1/2 cup)2.926
Chickpeas (1/2 cup)1.312
Cheese (1 ounce)1.211
Kidney beans (cooked ½ cup)0.98

 

Non – vegetarian

Food Items

 

Milligrams Per servingPercent DV
Pork (3 ounces)2.926
Chicken breast (1/2 breast)

 

o.98
Oysters (3 ounces)

 

74.0673
Beef chuck (3 ounces)

 

7.064
Crab (3 ounces)

 

6.559
Lobster (3 ounces)

 

3.431
Chicken (dark meat) (3 ounces)2.422

 

Trying to get your daily dose of zinc from natural food sources as much as possible is essential in building up a foundation of health within you. However, if you are severely deficient you may want to consider supplementing with zinc as you build up your reserves. As a recovering addict, one that struggled with a wide range of eating disorders my zinc levels were non-existent, and for several years I had to take zinc. Happily now in my thirties, I no longer have some of the lingering issues I once had.

Always seek further medical consultation to rule out other issues, but the good news is zinc is readily available in many foods.

Role of zinc in immunity

Many studies have proven the role of zinc effects of adequate zinc consumption on the immunity of our body. It boosts the cell-mediated immunity and balances the functions of humoral immunity.

Zinc is a crucial element for the development and function of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and innate immunity.

A study shows that macrophages (perform the function of killing the pathogen by phagocytosis), cytokine production, and intracellular killing are also affected by the deficiency of zinc in the body along with showing adverse effects in the growth and function of T and B cells.

Solomons NW. Mild human zinc deficiency produces an imbalance between cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Nutr Rev 1998;56:27-8

Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that packs a powerful punch and one we often take for granted. When you are getting your daily dose of zinc your body gets to reap the benefits of several health perks!

Anti-Inflammatory

Its functions as an anti-oxidant and stabilization of membranes, strongly suggest that it has a hand in preventing the damage caused by the free radicals during the inflammatory process. What are free radicals, those are the guys who seal electrons from your body and start to sabotage your health one electron at a time. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help you combat free radicals and also boost zinc levels your body needs to remain healthy and inflammatory-free.

Heart-healthy

Studies have found that zinc supplements help in decreasing the levels of LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood, preventing heart diseases at a major level.

(Ranasinghe, Priyanga et al. “Effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Nutrition & metabolism vol. 12 26. 4 Aug. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0023-4)

Another study shows that adequate zinc consumption helps in lowering systolic blood pressure in about 40 young women.

(Kim, Jihye. “Dietary zinc intake is inversely associated with systolic blood pressure in young obese women.” Nutrition research and practice vol. 7,5 (2013): 380-4. doi:10.4162/nrp.2013.7.5.380)

Enhances memory and learning

Research conducted at The University of Toronto suggests the role of zinc in neural communication with one another which eventually affect our memory and learning ability.

Wound Healing

Zinc is often used in skin creams to treat wounds or any rashes on the skin as it is assumed to play an important role in maintaining the integrity and the structure of the skin.

Other Possible zinc Benefits

  • Fights Acne
  • Used in patients with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Prevention and treatment of pneumonia
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Osteoporosis

Your health is your responsibility and there are many things you can do to help boost your health even while living over the road as a truck driver. Focus on what you can do, what you have access to, what steps you can take to make that next right decision. What you can do to make that next healthy choice, it may not seem like it will amount to anything when you just look at that one choice, but all those little choices add up to some really great health perks! Perks you get to benefit from every single day!

 

Other readings you might enjoy:

 

Tackle The Common Health Issues Truckers Experience Head-On

If you’re a trucker and on the road a lot of your life, there are numerous health issues you might experience. Here are some of the common health problems and the best solutions. 

 

Obesity 

 

Truckers obviously spend a lot of their working life sitting in a car seat. So, it should be no surprise that obesity levels are high among these workers. 7 out of 10 truckers are obese in the USA according to some studies so this is definitely a common issue. You need to make sure that exercise is part of your regular routine. There are some easy exercise ideas to explore so you don’t need to hit the gym. About 15 minutes of exercise each day will make a massive difference here.

Lung Cancer 

 

A tremendous 60% of truckers in the USA smoke according to the latest research. It’s not clear why this is although it could be a way for individuals to cope with the stress of this job. It might also be something to do with socio-economic factors. Regardless, it might be time to start thinking seriously about quitting. These days, it’s easier to quit smoking than before. You should consider taking up vaping. It provides the same physical process as smoking without the harmful chemicals so it’s a good substitute. You can also use it to gradually reduce your nicotine intake until you hit zero rather than going cold turkey. 

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Sleep Apnea

 

You probably won’t be aware if you suffer from sleep apnea but your partner or anyone who you sleep with will have noticed it. It caused you to stop breaking temporarily and repeatedly through the night for several seconds at a time. This can be quite alarming for anyone sleeping next to you and the stress on your body will leave you exhausted the next morning. If you suffer from this condition, many countries won’t even allow you to drive. Surgery can fix this issue however you can also reduce it by changing your lifestyle. Drinking alcohol, smoking and obesity all increase the chances of experiencing this condition. 

 

Problems With Sleep Routines 

 

As you have probably learned, it’s difficult to keep a traditional sleep routine as a trucker. The hours that you work can be crazy. You might wake up at 4 in the morning to arrive home around 2 when you will be exhausted and almost immediately fall asleep, waking up at 9. It’s a weird pattern for your body to be in and you’re right in thinking this can play havoc with your health. If you’re working long hauls you need to make sure that you’re using stop-off points where you can get a proper rest with a bed. You should also speak to your employer about getting your schedule in advance. That way, you can prepare a plan and ensure that you are gaining the rest you need while fitting in personal time for you to enjoy. Remember, downtime is still going to be important when you are a trucker. 

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Depression And Isolation 

 

There are certain professions and jobs where mental health issues are more common than others. For instance, you might be aware that doctors are more likely to experience depression than virtually any other professional worker. However, truckers also face issues here and the reason for this is quite simply the level of isolation. Some truckers took the job on because they love the peace and serenity of being on the road. Many are trying to escape the challenges of life at home but others simply aren’t prepared for the sheer level of isolation that they experience. It’s important to stay in touch with people, even on long haul trips. Tech is your friend here and while you can’t keep in touch on the road, you can video call friends, families, and loved ones when you’re stopped. Or, if you’re single, you can check out some dating apps to form new connections. 

 

Issues With Nutrition 

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If you have spent a lot of years on the road, you’re probably already familiar with the issue of eating healthily. When you’re trucking, you have to grab food where you can find it and this is usually going to be a fast-food joint on the highway. The problem is that these places and meals will not provide the nutrition you need to keep your body healthy. There are of course ways to deal with this problem. For instance, you can pack lunches to take with you. Don’t forget that if you’re not getting the right level of nutrition, levels of immunity will be significantly reduced. This is going to make it far more likely that you do develop serious diseases. 

Don’t let common health issues those in the trucking industry face get you down. One small change at a time is the best way to see results in your overall health and wellness.

 

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

 

Read about some strategies to help you as a driver make fitness a reality:
https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2019/04/29/trucker-fitness-expectations-vs-reality/

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

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As a long-distance professional driver, your eyesight is, of course, one of the most vital parts of your job. It’s not easy to take care of your eyes and general health when you are on the road all the time and concentrating for hours on end. Plus, as you age, your eyes’ capabilities will naturally decrease with time. 

 

But of course, you are taking your own life in your hands as you get behind the wheel each day. This means it is of high importance that any eyesight issues you have are resolved to maintain your own safety and the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. 

 

Read on to find out three ways to look after your eyes as a long-distance driver!

Regular Eye Tests

As a driver, it is crucial that you have regular eye tests. Even if you have never experienced issues with your eyesight and you don’t wear glasses or contacts, regularly testing your eyes will pick up any changes in your needs. Around once a year, you should visit an optometrist who will test your eyesight and determine whether you need glasses. 

 

Eye tests are also important because they pick up any further issues with your eye. Using a machine called a phoropter is used to examine your eye closely, checking out any abnormalities that could become issues down the line. As a driver, these eye tests should be part of your routine in order to stay safe on the road. If you do need to order some prescription glasses, find deals at Eyeglasses.com

Appropriate Breaks

Just like any job that requires concentration, taking regular breaks is very important. As a long-distance driver, you likely understand the importance of taking breaks for tiredness as part of your safety procedures. 

 

Appropriate breaks are not just helpful to make sure you aren’t driving tired; they also help give your eyes the regular rest they need. Your eyes are just like any other organ in your body – they cannot function at 100% concentration for hours on end. Don’t ask your eyes to run a marathon for you every day – give them the breaks they need.

The Right Diet

Your eyes respond to a good diet just like other parts of your body. Eating well on the road can be very tricky, and it’s hard not to live up to the trucker stereotype of a junk food diet! However, eating fresh food if and when you can seriously improve your overall health, including your eye health. 

 

Here are a few foods that are proven to help eyesight.

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges. These contain Vitamin C which is a crucial vitamin for eye health.
  • Non-meat proteins, such as nuts and eggs.
  • Fish. Fish contains Omega 3 and other fatty oils that are fantastic for cognitive health in general.
  • Green vegetables like spinach and rocket salad. 

 

Long-distance driving is a crucial job that many people overlook. Your role is important, and taking care of your eyes is vital to complete this role!

Take care of your eyes, long-distance driver!