Many holidays are ruined by health upsets, but the right food, drinks and supplements can reduce the risk and help you have a trouble-free holiday.1 – Travel sickness can be a major problem for adults and children alike. Make sure you avoid big meals before travelling, and also try to avoid dairy products, salads and fruit, as these can be acidic. If you do need to eat, try something dry like crackers or ginger biscuits. Studies have shown that ginger can have a positive effect on motion sickness, and ginger capsules and ginger sweets are readily available.2 – If you are flying, remember that the air on an aircraft is much dryer than normal, and this increases the risk of dehydration, which in turn will increase your risk of jet lag on long haul flights. Try to drink plenty of water, and make sure it is still, not fizzy.3 – Making sure you avoid dehydration on a long haul flight is also essential to reduce the risk of DVT, deep vein thrombosis. It is also a good idea to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement for a few weeks before travelling. This helps thin the blood, making it less likely to clot. A herbal supplement that can be beneficial in the sale way is ginkgo biloba. A word of warning, though. If you are already taking aspirin or other blood thinning drugs, be sure to ask your doctor’s advice before considering any of the above.4 – Another problem on long flights is deciding what to eat and drink. Boredom or an attempt to get to sleep can cause us to have one alcoholic drink too many. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, and if possible, stick to herbal teas and water.5 – Eating certain foods can help you adjust to a new time zone and reduce jet lag after a long haul flight. Unfortunately, we can’t often choose what we want to eat on a flight, but any carbohydrate rich food like pasta will increase the production of serotonin in the brain and will help you sleep. Any protein rich meal like fish or chicken, will have the opposite effect, and will keep you alert.6 – Many people travelling abroad will suffer from traveller’s diarrhea, and have to pay close attention to what to eat, keeping to plain foods wherever possible. If you are prone to this distressing condition, it can help to take a probiotic supplement or sip a probiotic yogurt drink daily for a couple of weeks before travelling.7 – There are many foods and supplements that can help prevent sun damage to skin cells. Studies show that selenium, found in Brazil nuts, can really help in this respect. Beta-carotene, found in carrots, and lycopene in tomatoes, may also protect your skin from within.8 – Prickly heat can make your life a misery in hot weather, and many people have to resort to antihistamines for relief. However, there is a natural antihistamine called quercetin, found in apples, broad beans, peas and cherry tomatoes, and this has been found to help with the allergic reaction that causes prickly heat. Quercetin supplements are also available.9 – Beware of sunstroke, especially in the first few days of your holiday. If you start to suffer from headache or dizziness, they could be the first signs, and you will need to rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water.10 – There are many conflicting views on how to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from biting when on holiday. Some people swear by eating garlic or taking a vitamin B supplement, but others find themselves providing a tasty dinner for mosquitoes no matter what they do! The only real solution in this case, is to use a strong insect repellent.
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