How to Stay Healthy While Traveling: Nutrition Tips From an Expert


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    APEX Insight: From sprinkling Himalayan pink salt in water to steering clear of sugar-rich protein bars, registered holistic nutritionist Kailey Fonseca shares tips for how to eat healthy during travel.

    Air travel can be exhausting and hard on a traveler’s body. To make the most of business trips or holidays, there are some simple rules to keep the immune system in check and the body fueled with nutrients so passengers arrive feeling refreshed and healthy.

    “Drink water is my number one tip, by far. Before take-off, and in-flight especially, it’s really important to stay hydrated,” says Kailey Fonseca, registered holistic nutritionist. A typical plane cabin generally has a humidity level of 10 – 20%. When compared to typical indoor humidity levels of up to 65% percent, the need for extra hydrating fluids is clear.

    Fonseca continues, “I recommend bringing your own empty water bottle through security and filling it up in the airport before you get on the plane. A lot of airline water is acidic so when possible throughout the flight, drink water you’ve brought on board.”

    “The added minerals [in Himalayan pink salt] work with your sodium potassium content, opening your cells to absorb the water better.”

    Fonseca also advises adding Himalayan pink salt to drinking water, as it contains over 60 trace minerals. “The added minerals work with your sodium potassium content, opening your cells to absorb the water better. Add just a pinch, you won’t even taste it.”

    Strengthening the immune system prior to travel will set passengers up to fight fatigue and discomfort. Taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids will help combat potential germs or viruses passengers are exposed to. Taking probiotics before and during the trip when heading to a country that offers a different style of food will maintain the balance of good bacteria in the stomach. In addition, activated charcoal supplements help with digestion and draw toxins out.

    “Some frequent travelers follow a diet style called intermittent fasting,” explains Fonseca. “This involves long stretches without eating. It can be beneficial when in transit for long periods of time but I wouldn’t recommend trying it for the first time right before a trip. Do your research, it’s not for everyone.”

    Unfortunately there’s no secret to arriving feeling refreshed. “I can’t really say food fights jet lag but the wrong foods can definitely make it worse,” Fonseca continues. “High sugar carbohydrates like breads and cereals suck energy. Aim for foods with high nutrient value and healthy fats like a seed and nut mix.” Nutritional shakes and protein bars are popular choices for travelers but Fonseca advises to be aware of the ingredients and watch the amount of sugar to avoid a crash.

    “Be sure to eat when you’re hungry because if the body is showing signs of hunger, blood sugars are probably dropping. When blood sugar and insulin drop that’s when travelers get really tired or start to gain weight. Listen carefully to your body though, is it really hungry? If you’re really hungry, and not just dehydrated, you should definitely be eating.”

    Hydration is the common theme across most travel advice columns. Experts recommend adding an extra glass of water for each coffee or alcoholic beverage consumed. Another suggestion for healthy travel includes staying mobile during long flights with in-flight exercises. Fonseca also offers tips geared to shift workers in the airline industry.

    Second to staying well hydrated, Fonseca stresses balance. “Don’t use travel as an excuse to eat unhealthy, depleting your system. Once a day have a nutrient dense healthy meal like a salad or green juice. If you’re on holidays treat yourself, but don’t lose all the healthy habits you’ve worked hard for at home, it won’t be worth it!”