6 Ways to Support your Gut Health When Travelling

6 Ways to Support your Gut Health When Travelling

6 Ways to Support your Gut Health When Travelling

Travelling can throw us off our daily routines as we spend time away from home, perhaps in a different time zone, eating at irregular times and consuming foods different to those we normally eat. Whilst it is really important to enjoy ourselves and make time for fun, it can have implications for our gut that leave us uncomfortable with the potential to ruin our trip!

‘Letting loose’ and eating more foods for enjoyment can often mean overeating, which places more stress on the digestive system than in our usual routines. Coupled with eating for convenience (often meaning more processed foods), this usually means consuming less fibre. There is also the potential for traveller’s diarrhoea if you pick up a bacterial infection from contaminated food or water, so there is a lot to think about!

Here are my 6 top tips to support your gut when travelling. 

1)    Ensure you are getting enough fibre

Constipation is a really common complaint when travelling, and the symptoms that build up as a result of this, including bloating, pain and discomfort, have the potential to impact your quality of life and the quality of your holiday.

Try to ensure that every meal has a significant portion of vegetables to help hit your fibre intake. However, it is generally advisable to avoid fruits you can’t peel and salads/uncooked vegetables washed in unfiltered water to help protect yourself against traveller’s diarrhoea. 

Tip: Pack some supplies to bring in your suitcase if you think this will be a struggle, like dried fruit and nuts to snack on, and some a small bag of chia seeds so you can add this to your breakfast for a boost of fibre.

 

2)    Eat locally

Holidays can be a great way to try new local fruits and vegetables that are hard to find back home – eating for enjoyment doesn’t have to mean less plants! Eating a range of different plant sources can help to support the bacterial diversity in your gut – in turn, improving your gut health.

 

3)    Try to stick to regular meals

Keeping some form of routine can be really helpful for the gut, and while it may sound simple, eating three balanced meals a day (with snacks if needed) can go a long way. Avoid grazing all day long and be mindful of portion sizes!

 

4)    Get moving 

Sticking to an exercise regime on holiday can be tricky, but even a short walk (20-30 minutes) can help get the digestive system moving and can be a great way to see a new place. Try to get some movement in every day even if it’s just a walk to the beach or to explore new surroundings!

 

5)    Sample the local yoghurt

Natural yoghurt is a great source of probiotics, which are the good bacteria beneficial for the gut. The bacteria present in live yoghurt can differ depending on the local milk made to use it, so sampling the local yoghurt can be a great way to support your gut and encourage it to adapt to new surroundings. Be mindful of ultra-processed, sugar and sweetened yoghurts though – check that nothing is added to it!

 

6)    Drink bottled water 

If the water at your destination isn’t safe to drink, switch to bottled water for everything (including washing fruit and even brushing your teeth) to avoid picking up a nasty bacterial infection. This means also avoiding ice in your drinks. Whilst this can be difficult in a hot country, your stomach will thank you and keeping sufficiently hydrated is key to avoid constipation too.

 

Summary 

It might sound like there’s a lot to remember; these things can seem overwhelming until they gradually become second nature as you implement them more and more. When travelling though, prevention is key to make sure we feel well and enjoy our time away! Dropping healthy habits that you maintain back home is all too easy and your gut can be quick to suffer. 

 

If you’re looking to optimise your nutrition and transform your gut health, please get in contact via Consultations or book a FREE 15-minute call and let’s chat about how I can help.  

 

Did you find this post useful? If so please share it with others! For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes, check out my Instagram @elibrechernutrition

 

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