Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eating healthy foods while volunteering abroad

“I enjoy spending time at home or going out for a quiet meal in a restaurant.”- Jamie Redknap. While one is volunteering you need to be full of energy, to give you the endurance and strength to get through the day, especially in a foreign country. Many a time you will find that a volunteer in a foreign country may have to make a drastic change to the diet that they are used to while at home, in addition, they may constantly go for a long period in between meals, which leads to a situation where your body and consequently your mind are not fully charged to properly tackle your volunteer work, not to mention the health risks that may be brought about by this.

While eating healthy foods may mean keeping to a certain diet, it also means avoiding certain foods while abroad, for instance, do not eat any cultural foods offered to you and you do not know exactly what they are made up of, you never know if there is a substance that you are allergic to in the food or used in the preparation of the food. Also as much as it is important to keep yourself hydrated be careful not to drink any water that you don’t know the origin of, this is applies more to those people volunteering in third world countries, where the plumbing systems may not be very clean or hygienic.

When it comes to food your best choice while volunteering abroad would be fruits, vegetables and grains, these foods guarantee your body optimum day to day performance, they also provide you with most of the nutrients you need for a proper diet. Fruits and vegetables also improve the body’s immune system, helping you to avoid any sicknesses that could be avoided while abroad.

No one likes an illness, especially an illness while one is abroad. Along with healthy eating there are some foods that can naturally help you to get better if you acquire a slight illness while abroad, that said always remember that if you fall ill your best and first option should be to see a doctor, and get any necessary medication you may need to get better, but some people are generally untrustworthy of medications that they find in pharmacies abroad. For such people you can make use of a number of remedies in form of food that may be available to you, to get through or help things out in the short run.

If you are suffering from small indigestion you may be well off making use of ginger or chilies in your food, they will help ease the congestion in your stomach, and they also aid with digestion. Those suffering from lung disorders can use onions in their diet, to help relieve them of any discomfort. Lemmon can also be used in a number of ways, this can be in form of juice, or even the peel, and lemons may act as a pain killer or as an antiseptic for any open wounds that you may get while volunteering.

One of the most painful sources of discomfort to a volunteer may come in form of a tooth ache. Most of us don’t like the dentist, it makes matters worse if it is not your personal dentist that you have available and in a foreign country to boot. If you find yourself in such a situation then you can make use of cloves, they will help to reduce the pain you are in and also reduce swelling if there is any.

A good and healthy diet of three meals a day will keep you out of the hospital bed while volunteering abroad; it will also keep your mind working at its highest capacity throughout the day. So watch what you eat while you are volunteering, and you will come away with a positive volunteer experience, rather than one filled with pain.

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