Going on holiday is such an exciting time, often the highlight of the year. The countdown is on! However, there are certain aspects that warrant attention so that you and your family get the best experience and good health in the time away. Here are 5 travel hacks to try.
1. Keep tummies happy
An upset tummy on holiday can not only wipe you out, but also wipe out several days due to sickness and recovery. Research into traveler’s diarrhea showed that using the beneficial yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii for 5 days prior to travel and for the duration of the trip reduced the severity and longevity of traveler’s diarrhea.
Additionally, ginger is great to quell nausea, an upset or inflamed tummy. Each of which are characteristic of traveler’s diarrhea.
2. Summer skin
If you have suffered with sunburn in the past, you will not be keen to repeat it. The sensitive skin, redness and pain.
Subsequently one of the most important precautions for the summer is to protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays. It is nice to have a tan, yet controlled tanning with sunscreen is the safest option. Although some unprotected sun exposure is essential for vitamin D production, this should be limited so as not to burn the skin. Sunburn is notorious for generating oxidative damage, and historically has been a contentious issue for researchers seeking to minimize the damage.
An unlikely solution is grape seed extract, using grape seeds from the wine industry. In just two weeks of consumption, the severity of sun-induced redness was reduced.
Similarly, a review reported that carotenoids, namely orange pigments in fruit and vegetables, were able to protect the skin from sun damage, inflammation and oxidative stress.
While the carotenoid, astaxanthin, found in algae and defined by the pink plumage in flamingos and salmon from their diet of algae, was shown to reduce oxidative damage and UV-induced skin deterioration. Each of which are hallmarks of sunburn.
A fortnight before the holiday is the best time to start to prepare for the sun. However, daily sunscreen application would be needed during the sunny days.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The holiday headache from dehydration is not fun. When at the beach or pool, sweat is washed away by the water and so, we do not notice just how much we sweat.
Drinking water alone is not the most efficient way to address dehydration. In fact, the addition of electrolyte minerals helps the fluid to be retained in tissue. And so, balancing fluid and electrolyte minerals in tissue is true rehydration.
This hack should start the day before travel and continue throughout the trip.
4. Get the better of jet lag!
What if a simple tip could reduce that heavy, groggy feeling that is jet lag? Change your watch to the new time zone at the start of travel. This means eating and sleeping according to the new time.
To help to adapt to the new sleep times, fruit such as cherries are rich in a natural source of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Besides magnesium (whole grains and pulses) and the amino acid glycine (poultry, meat, fish and seeds), both known to help with relaxation and sleep preparation.
Ideally, nibble these foods one hour prior to the desired sleep time while on the plane.
5. Travel anxiety?
Travelling can really fray the nerves, especially when guiding family members through the process. It can be common for parents to get little sleep the night before travelling due to apprehension. A natural way to unwind with herbs is to consider lemon balm. The herb makes a great refreshing tea, bodes well in a smoothie or added to a salad. Lemon balm is native to northern Europe and often found in gardens in the UK. June is the best month for harvesting the leaves, and any excess can be frozen in ice cube trays to prolong the supply.
Use as and when needed.
Although we have discussed these travel hacks in terms of food, sometimes it can be easier to opt for food supplements. These offer a portable option, so all you need to do is remember when to take them.
For more information on nutrition hacks for travel, contact your local health food store at www.findahealthstore.com
Author: Jenny Carson, MRES, BSc (Hons), MBANT, is Technical Services Manager and Senior Nutritionist at ethical vitamin company Viridian Nutrition. She holds a degree in Nutritional Science and has completed a Master of Research in Public Health.
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The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.