Any situation that is a break from the norm can throw out your digestion and vacations are no exception! Travelling can upset the delicate balance in your gut before you even get to your destination. And while you’re there, eating different foods and over indulging can put extra stress on your digestive system. Here are some tips for helping your digestive system while you’re away.
Digestion starts from the moment you put food in your mouth and this means that how and why you eat can be really important. Eating mindfully slows down your eating and gives your body more of an opportunity to digest your food. Even if you tend to eat mindfully at home, this can be pushed aside when you’re travelling.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying well hydrated helps to keep your bowels moving. Bottled water is often the best choice as local tap water isn’t always safe to drink. Go for still water over sparkling if you’re prone to bloating and gas.
Herbal teas can also promote good digestion, especially ginger and peppermint. Bonus points if you can get hold of fresh ingredients and make your own teas.
Get Plenty of Fibre
A change of environment can often affect your bowel habits – and not always for the better! If your digestive system is out of balance, you may find that constipation is a bigger problem than normal, especially if you’re eating different foods while you’re away. Eating plenty of fiber will help to keep you regular and make constipation less likely. Good sources include fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, seeds and legumes.
Eat Fermented Foods
Kefir and sauerkraut are just two examples of fermented foods that can improve your gut health. They promote the “good” bacteria and help it to thrive so your gut environment is balanced. Probiotics are another smart move if your gut could do with some healing, whether it’s through “live” yoghurt or supplements.
Some of the common culprits for getting diarrhoea and other digestive troubles while you’re on holiday include:
– Staying away from unpasteurised foods and drinks
– Not eating raw fruits or vegetables unless their skin can be peeled
– Using bottled water to drink and clean your teeth
– Not having ice in your drinks if you can’t be sure that it was made from bottled water (rather than tap water)
– Not eating too many foods that are greasy or fatty or going overboard with lots of fibre (which can lead to diarrhoea and gas if you)
– Eat fairly small meals and avoid eating too close to bedtime, especially if you’re prone to heartburn