Three Foods to Help with Digestion on Vacation
Everyone can benefit from an enjoyable vacation now and then, but it can present some minor health challenges – especially when it comes to your digestive health. When you travel, your immune system has to work overtime to fend off infections from unusual bacteria and viruses. Plus, you might get some busy seeing the sights that you don’t eat or sleep at the usual times. This can lead to digestive upset, particularly on the first few days of your trip.
Foods That Support Digestive Health on Vacation
Luckily, there are many foods that may help you settle your stomach while giving your body the help it needs to maintain overall health. By selecting the right snacks and thinking about your menu selections when you dine out, you can make your trip much more enjoyable.
Three of the best foods to eat during vacation are:
Lean Meat and Fish: When it comes time to settle in for a satisfying meat dish, go for lean meats such as chicken and fish instead of steak. Red meat has a tendency to remain in the digestive tract for a long time as it is slowly processed by the body. This leads to gas and bloating that lean meat generally avoids. Plus, lean meat is a good source of protein, especially valuable when there’s no time to exercise.
Fruits: Fruits are high in natural sugar that your body can access quickly for energy, so they are useful in helping you avoid disruptive, high-acid foods like coffee and other caffeinated beverages. They are also high in fiber, so you can feel sated more quickly. That means you’ll have to eat less overall for satisfaction, making your whole trip easier on your digestive system.
Foods with Probiotics: Probiotics are tiny micro-organisms that have beneficial effects on the body. In general, when we talk about probiotics, we are really talking about bacteria that can help break down and process the food in your stomach faster. That curbs discomfort and makes it easier for your body to use vitamins in food. Yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are all major sources.
Foods to Stay Away From
Red Meats: Red meat can be delicious, but it’s also some of the most challenging food for your body to absorb. If you are going to have red meat, stick to smaller portion sizes and consider eating it at lunch rather than at dinner so it does not sit heavily in your stomach as you try to sleep.
Acidic Foods and Beverages: Coffee, orange juice, sodas, high-sugar foods and processed foods in general all tend to have a strong acidic content. This is harsh on the stomach and can lead to indigestion, acid reflux, and much more. Avoid the most acidic foods and drink plenty of water to maintain hydration.
Heavy Foods, Especially Carbs: Heavy, starchy or carbohydrate-rich foods place a lot of stress on digestion. Be careful of rich, heavy cuisine such as pastas, potatoes, and large servings of bread. It’s still okay to enjoy these in smaller quantities.
How to Stay Healthy During Vacation
- Moderate coffee intake and limit or avoid alcohol, especially late at night.
- Aim for eight hours of nightly sleep even if your schedule changes daily.
- Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration – it helps every major organ.
- Don’t push yourself too hard! Doing too much, too fast can be exhausting.
- Give yourself time and permission to enjoy the trip and de-stress properly.
- Don’t skip meals: Keep your food intake as consistent as you can.