Hong Kong is notorious for its fast paced life style. The often colliding demands of work, travel, family, poor diet, weekend junk trips and little sleep can be incredibly taxing. Nonetheless, this is an incredibly common lifestyle and one that we see too often in Hong Kong.
But it can catch up with us, even when we are young, leading pretty quickly to oxidative stress or inflammation (basically aging at the cellular level). We really don’t want this until much later. There are things we can do now however, to reduce the impact of our fast urban lifestyles.
Life is not perfect and neither are we. We need to know however that excess sugar from any source (soda, certain juices, cakes, cereals), poor quality saturated fat (in processed meats, trans fat or fried foods) all increase inflammation in the body. Our potential of defence against inflammation and oxidation – like metal, our cells also rust – depends on both inherited genetics as well as our lifestyle. We can’t do much about the former, but we can improve our life style and environment!
How to reduce the impact of a busy lifestyle
1. Engage our powerful internal “cleaning system”, activated by good quality protein
The major antioxidant in the body is called glutathione, made from an amino acid from protein: cysteine. It’s one of the reasons why it’s essential to eat more quality proteins and less sugar! No other antioxidant is as important as Glutathione, which is present within almost all body cells, and boosts immune cells that fight against infections (helping our white blood cells).1 It is also the most efficient detoxifying agent in the human body (after water). 2. It cleans our body from toxins such as heavy metals, solvents and pesticides then, sends them down the toilet via urine.
To receive such benefits, try including more eggs or grass fed cold processed whey protein into your daily diet. (See recent Lab-to-Life articles on how to distinguish a good, from an average quality protein.)
2. Add a rainbow of micronutrient dense foods into your lifestyle
These bring compounds to fight against inflammation and oxidation. This helps us feel healthier and more energized. You can pick out a micronutrient dense food by its vibrant colours.
- Vitamin C (found mainly in citrus fruits),
- Vitamin E (sunflower and corn vegetable oils, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts),
- Beta-carotene (carrots , melon, tomato),
- Polyphenols (large family of compounds present in leaf vegetables (cabbage, spinach, leeks, lettuce, parsley), in tubers (onions, garlic) and fruit (blueberries, cherries, plums, apricots, apples ). Also found in beverages (fruit juice, cider, wine, tea), they contribute in flavour and nutritional quality.
- Vitamins B6 and B9 (liver, broccoli, beans, beans, lentils, peas and nuts) also play an indirect role.
3. Don’t forget the minerals and lots of great quality water: in particular zinc, copper, selenium or manganese
It’s our choice to influence the rate at which we age, and slow it down, or not, so we are less engaged in a process of illness leaving more room to enjoy life. In short, get:
- More good quality clean proteins
- Less added sugar
- All the veggies and fruits you like as often as you can
- A lot of good quality water