The UP!health Guide to Immunity Boosters
Dr. Michelle Zhou McCulloch, Registered Chiropractor
In a city like Hong Kong where we tend to lead a hectic and stressful lifestyle, and the concept of personal space simply doesn’t exist, it’s no wonder that flu “season” is, in fact a year-round concern.
Like anyone, I’ve previously suffered with seemingly endless bouts of colds and flu, but instead of living like a hermit – which would not only be unpleasant, but almost impossible in a city as bustling as ours – I decided that it was time to take matter into my own hands. I did my research, and took preventative measures to build a stronger immune system with which to do battle with Hong Kong’s germs.
Here are a few tips that have worked well for me over the years:
High-potency Vitamin C and Zinc
Vitamin C and Zinc are a powerful duo when you’re feeling a little under the weather. Both are water-soluble, meaning that the body can easily absorb them. Aim for 3-4 doses throughout the day for the maximum benefit.
“Eat your greens” is a common refrain in any household with children in it… and it seems like our mums were right all along! Tucking into green veg or chugging down as many green smoothies as you can is the most straightforward way to supercharge your nutrition. Supplement your daily intake or reduce the impact of “cheat day” a little with a good quality powdered greens – a broad-spectrum blend of fruit and vegetables. The awesome thing about this supplement is that you can take it with you to work or even on holiday, as it doesn’t require any refrigeration, meaning it’s available whenever you need a quick and simple boost.
Probiotics are the good bacteria necessary for a healthy gut. They line up the epithelial layer of your small intestine, preventing food particles, harmful bacteria and viruses from entering your blood stream. A good quality probiotic should have minimum of 25 billion live cells per dosage. This is especially important for people that have just finished a course of antibiotics, or who drink excessively.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Our body is made up of 80% water and, in order for our body to function normally we need a lot of good old H2O. This is especially true when you are feeling unwell when coconut water, chicken soup, electrolytes and juice are all great ways to stay on top of your hydration – the more the merrier! In contract, alcohol and caffeine are both strong diuretics – meaning that they drive water out of your body – and should be avoided.
Catch some zeds
A good quality night’s sleep is the most restorative, energy-boosting and nurturing thing you can possibly do for your body; so put away your laptop, switch off your phone, step away from Netflix and catch up on a solid eight hours’ shut-eye as often as you can.
Even a city as amazing and exciting as Hong Kong can get a bit too much from time to time, so a well-earned vacation will give you time to unwind and recover from the daily grind. We’re blessed to live in a city that’s so accessible to the rest of the world – in just a few short hours you can be lying on a sandy beach listening to the waves rolling in. Pack your sunscreen and enjoy!