Living away from home makes it difficult to keep track of your health, especially when you are studying. International students hardly focus on their health since they are trying to adapt and adjust to the environment, trying to make new friends and trying to remember the directions to school or college in the new country.
Trying to familiarise yourself with various dialects in the city, the local culture and food as well as getting the hang of the study patterns, may mean that you end up ignoring your healthiness for a significant period. But before you end up sick, here are a few things to remember which will help you boost your immune system abroad:
- Know your health foods are certain foods which are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and other nutrients essential for your immune system. By adding these foods to your daily diet, you will be able to fortify your immune system and reduce the risks of poor health during your stay abroad. Some essential nutrients to include in your diet are:
- – Zinc helps your body build a stronger immune system. It is present in all cells and is required for cell division, cell growth, and wound healing. It gives your body the ability to form white blood cells and activates these cells to help you fight illnesses. It is present in lean meats, seafood, milk, nuts, seeds and even whole grains.
- A Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C – All of these play an essential role in strengthening the immune system and reducing the risks of diseases. Check for foods rich in these vitamins and add them to your daily meals. Depending on where you stay abroad, the availability of various foods may differ, so check for local foods that include these vitamins. The most common foods with these vitamins are:
- A – carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs
- E – most nuts and seeds
- B6 – Chickpeas, tuna, salmon, chicken and potatoes
- C – Citrus fruits, red bell pepper and strawberries
- Include physical activity in your everyday routine – Time out to jog or walk in a park. You can also involve yourself in a sports program in your school and college. By including physical activity in your routine, you will find it easier to cope with the stress of studies and will also be able to improve your healthiness. Regular physical exercise helps you maintain your blood pressure, controls body weight and improves blood circulation.
- Processed food is leached of most of its benefits:
- Must pick cans of processed foods from store shelves, try to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fresh foods are healthier and retain most of their nutrients. Your body benefits more from fresh foods than processed foods.
- You have access to a kitchen, then try cooking for yourself whenever possible. It will help you eat healthy food and cut junk foods from your diet.
- Get good sleep – Will feel fresh and rejuvenated when you get up after a good night’s sleep. Your body restores itself and tries to repair any damages while you sleep. When you are well-rested, your mind is more active, and you will feel more energetic for the rest of the day. Poor sleep affects physical and mental health and causes stress, which eventually reduces your overall health.
- Minimize stress – You study internationally, it is essential to focus on your health as much as on your studies. Reduce stress as far as possible because stress has many negative effects on your body. You may end up losing sleep, your concentration level in studies will drop, and research shows that people who experience stress also experience lower immunity levels. Keep yourself positive. Use meditation and yoga if required to prevent negativity and stress.
- Reduce your dependency on antibiotics for everything – Show that people who use antibiotics too frequently end up developing resistance towards the antibiotics. Some people who take antibiotics regularly may end up falling sick more frequently too. Use antibiotics when prescribed by your doctor and make sure that you receive the entire dose. Don’t save part of the dose or share it with someone else.
By keeping these things in mind, you will be able to boost your immunity system and stay healthy while you study abroad.