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Health, Leo

Staying Healthy Whilst Abroad

29 May 2019

When you first start travelling, you’ll notice that your daily routine which you have in your own Country is thrown out the window, and every day is different.

You eat at different places whilst on the move and are exposed to different cuisines. You’re also going to be exposed to different bacteria which is not found in your own country. This is why a lot of the time people get what is called ‘Deli Belly’. Most of the time these symptoms will go away when your body gets used to the change.

In the UK I was use to eating very mushy foods such as potatoes and over cooked vegetables, my body found it quite hard to adapt and digest some of the foods here in Thailand (crispy beef being the main culprit). Another issue I have with eating Asian food every day is I find it doesn’t fill me up like western food.

I find myself eating four or five times a day compared to three. This does however change when you stay for a while and your body adapts to the change in food.

Going back to the topic of bacteria. Travelling around drastically improves your immune system. Many people these days are obsessed with hand sanitizer and fear germs. If you live in a big city, it’s almost impossible not to be exposed to germs and bacteria. Commuting on trains and buses being inches away from a stranger's faces makes catching the common cold almost inevitable. It does however help your immune system build up a good defense.

A good friend of mine who grew up in the Far North of New Zealand surrounded by beautiful beaches and temperate rainforest decided to come to Bangkok with me. He was literally ill within the first two hours of being here, this is because he’s grown up in such a clean place and hadn’t had the exposure that we city dwellers have.

But what can you do to keep your immune system up when you’re travelling around?  Try as much as possible to eat plenty of fresh greens and citrus fruits, citrus contains high amounts of vitamin C. Also have a break every now and then from the booze and cigarettes. A good night’s sleep is also essential. Alcohol and tobacco deplete vitamins and minerals in your body, If you’re not going to follow a healthy diet whilst travelling and live off toasted cheese sandwiches from seven eleven, it might be an idea to pop a multivitamin once a day.

for Phanganist readers.