Travel Hacks for Gut Health
Traveling can disrupt our gastrointestinal system due to changes in diet, exposure to new microbes, and other factors. As a frequent traveler, constantly flying internationally, I have discovered several invaluable travel tips and tricks to maintain optimal gut health and overall wellbeing. By implementing these strategies, you can keep your gut happy and enjoy a stress-free journey.
Flying can have a significant impact on gut health. The changes in altitude can slow down gut motility and increase inflammation, leading to discomfort, bloating or constipation. Additionally, airplane food is often high in sodium due to changes in taste perception at higher altitudes. When traveling, it's important to think ahead and pack nutrient-dense snacks that support gut health or choose a specific meal option a few days before the flight.
Consider including protein powder, hard-boiled eggs, unsalted nuts or seeds or veggie sticks with hummus, in your travel essentials. These snacks provide essential nutrients, protein, and fiber, promoting satiety and supporting a healthy gut. If you’re crushed on time, then opt in for a vegetarian meal on the plane while avoiding any bread. Meat and seafood quality is questionable and oversaturated in sodium and sauces. While the breads offered contain additives and refined flour that lacks fiber which can disrupt the gut microbiota and lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or inflammation.
ADD IN A SUPPLEMENT OR TWO
To maintain regularity while traveling and enhance your immune system, consider incorporating a high-quality probiotic supplement. Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, supporting optimal digestive function and strengthening your immune system. I take Omni-Biotic Balance both before and after a flight for this extra support.
Travel exposes us to new bacteria and challenges our immune system. To support your immune health, consider incorporating liposomal Vitamin C into your travel routine. Liposomal Vitamin C is a highly bioavailable form that helps strengthen the immune system and protect against oxidative stress. It can be particularly beneficial during travel, where you may encounter different pathogens.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Regular physical activity is not only beneficial for overall health but also for gut health. Engaging in exercise or movement during your travels can help improve gut motility, reducing the risk of constipation and digestive discomfort. Aim for daily walks, stretching, or other forms of physical activity to keep your gut moving- especially on the plane!
HYDRATION AND CIRCULATION
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining gut health while traveling. Bring your own water bottle to ensure a steady supply of clean water. Drinking plenty of water helps to prevent dehydration and supports proper digestion. Additionally, wearing compression socks can help prevent swelling, while taking breaks to walk around the plane aids in circulation. Avoid drinking coffee or tea from the plane's water source, as it is typically the same water used in the bathrooms.
APPRECIATE HIGH-QUALITY FOOD ABROAD
When traveling internationally, you may notice a significant difference in the quality of food, especially in countries like Europe where fresh and cleaner ingredients are commonly used. Embrace the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, as the higher quality and freshness of ingredients may improve your gut health. You may find that your gut is more receptive to these international foods compared to processed options back home.
Maintaining gut health while traveling is essential for a pleasant and enjoyable journey. By implementing these travel hacks, such as packing nutrient-dense snacks, incorporating a high-quality probiotic, staying hydrated and prioritizing movement, you can support your gut health and overall wellbeing. Embrace the opportunity to explore new culinary experiences while prioritizing the health of your gut.
Credible Research Articles:
Jones, E., & Dailami, N. (2018). The Impact of Altitude on Taste Perception: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 10(9), 1-12. [insert link]
Gibson, P., & Shepherd, S. (2017). Evidence-based Dietary Management of Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The FODMAP Approach. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 32(S1), 128-134. [insert link]
Hilsden, R., Verhoef, M., & Rasmussen, H. (2010). Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 16(5), 830-836. [insert link]