Let’s be honest, the majority of us are working towards a holiday at any given point. Be it the weekend, the long weekend or a heavenly week or two of annual leave, we all have a mental countdown in place.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed in good health. There is nothing worse than being sick when you should be enjoying freedom from your 9 – 5. Two members of our Lifestyle Health team recently took a trip across the world, and we wanted to share with you our top tips for staying healthy on holiday.
PRE-BOARDING ESSENTIALS: BUILD YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IN ADVANCE
This one is straightforward. Prevention is key if you’re going to be in a pressurized cabin for an extended period of time where the air conditioner is blasting and it seems like EVERYONE around you is coughing or sneezing. For the week leading up to your break, make sure you take great care to support your immune system by increasing your intake of vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea. You also want to get enough sleep, and perhaps avoid any family members with an illness.
IN-FLIGHT SERVICE: SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Remember that the air inside an airplane is extremely dry, and as such dries out your mucus membranes in your nose and mouth. We need this mucus membrane to be moist to mount an immune response to pathogens, which is why we tend to pick up colds and flus on long flights. To counter this, stay hydrated, and take a small saline nasal spray to keep your nasal membranes moist.
1. Vitamin C and Zinc
In your checked luggage, it is a good idea to take a supply of vitamin C and zinc. If you still pick up a flu bug on the flight you are going to want to counter it as soon as possible by dosing yourself with vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C helps to support your immune system in the fight against infection and helps reduce colds and flu symptoms. Likewise, Zinc supports your immune system and will reduce both the severity and duration of the infection.
2. Liver Support
Holidays are generally times for celebration. As with all celebrations, we tend to eat (and drink) more than we usually would, and we tend to indulge in more decadent items than normal. This means our livers will be slightly more loaded with toxins than usual. Again, we want to avoid feeling less than 100% on holiday, so make sure to pack some liver support to keep you feeling fresh and hangover-free. Some great options are Solgar Milk Thistle, Viridian Organic Milk Thistle, Medford Liverscript or A Vogel Boldocynara.
Milk Thistle is the main ingredient in all of the aforementioned supplements. Milk thistle helps encourage liver repair after injury to the cells, controls inflammation, and protects against glutathione depletion. Glutathione is part of our major antioxidant pathway in the liver so any nutrient that supports this system is great for us!
3. Activated Charcoal
As mentioned, two of our team members travelled to Bali recently for a family function. The concern in Bali for tourists who try out the local cuisine from the small Warungs (cafés) is apparently called “Bali Belly”. It is actually really common for travelers to pick up gastroenteritis on holiday simply by ingesting foods that we are not used to. To keep you on the beach and out of the bathroom, take some activated charcoal with you.
4. Digestive Enzymes
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) type symptoms are actually quite common on holiday. Bloating, reflux, constipation, or diarrhea really can throw a spanner in the works. To help you cope with eating foods that you aren’t used to, digestive enzymes are amazing. Simply put, these help you effectively break down the foods you ingest. If you take digestive enzymes anywhere from 15 – 30 mins before your meal, you will avoid the nasty symptoms mentioned above.
5. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Whilst this may not be as “essential” as the above, it is not uncommon to get some sort of ache or pain whilst travelling. Be it a headache from a night of celebrating, or aching legs from a long day of exploring, you may need some anti-inflammatory support. Our favourite supplement for this is a good quality turmeric or curcumin supplement. Curcumin has a good safety profile, supports the liver, is anti-inflammatory and is a potent antioxidant. You can take it in higher doses when actively inflamed, or in a smaller dose on a daily basis for general support.
Holidays are really good for us. It’s incredible what taking a week or two off can do for your health. It recharges the batteries, gets that stress level back under control, and allows for important time with friends and family. We want you to fully experience the joy of a holiday without worrying about your health. Keep the above tips in mind to make sure you have a happy healthy holiday!