Illness or allergies are the last things you need on your long-awaited holiday, so we’re taking the expert advice of Erin McCann Galvin NT mBANT Dip CNM Nutritional Consultant from Unbeelievable Health to find out how we can stay healthy and carefree when we jet off for the summer.
Don’t let holiday ailments wreck your travel buzz. There are a number of diet & lifestyle changes you can make to help ensure you feel great and can make the most of your trip. One thing most people never think about is how crucial immune health is for travel until they are already not feeling well. A well functioning immune system is the best natural health insurance one can have to help avoid colds, flu, stomach bugs & airborne illnesses (easily picked up in aeroplanes, trains & other enclosed spaces), and to manage allergy & hay fever symptoms.
Try these things before and during travel to help maintain wellness:
1) Reinforce your immune system. Consuming immune supporting foods and supplements will aid your body’s natural defences against illness whilst travelling. Immune supporting foods include eggs, walnuts, garlic, oats, berries, live yoghurt, and peppers. Three very potent, natural immune building nutrients are bee propolis, black elderberry and olive leaf extract which have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic actions and contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids, which assist immune function. Bee Prepared Immune formula contains all of these as well as other beneficial nutrients including beta glucans, and acerola cherry which is one of the richest sources of Vitamin c.
2) Avoid high-sugar and highly processed foods and drinks. Sugar and chemicals in food can compromise your immune system. In addition, sugar fuels bacterial growth & can be mucous forming – which is not great for hay fever sufferers. Bring some healthy snacks like raw nuts and seeds, sugar-free bars, oatcakes and nut butter to avoid getting caught out.
3) Load up on antioxidants before and during your holiday to help prevent sunburn and skin damage from UV rays. By eating foods rich in antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamins A, C and E, Zinc and Selenium, as well as phytonutrients like flavonoids, you are protecting your skin from sun damage from the inside out, helping to protect skin from UV rays by reducing damage to skin cells, aiding in skin repair and improving skin elasticity. Foods that contain these nutrients include berries, dark leafy green vegetables, bright orange squashes, Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds. You can also take supplements that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Bee Prepared Immune Formulas are packed with them and contain bee propolis, which has been shown in studies to possibly help prevent melanomas. It is being found more and more in sun creams & skincare products.
4) Stay hydrated at all times. Dehydration can inhibit immune function and reduce overall health. When your body is dehydrated, you are more susceptible to infections and illness. Limit alcohol intake.
5) How to tackle Jet Lag. Get a good night’s sleep the night before & ensure you eat well a day or so before leaving & during the flight and avoid salty & sugary foods. Avoid sleeping pills and alcohol as well. Try to avoid caffeine during your flight and upon arrival try a natural energy booster like Bee Energised supplements which contain organic matcha (a better & more healthy choice than coffee), bee pollen, spirulina, ginseng & lots of other natural ingredients to help improve energy & focus.
7) Hay fever. Avoid processed meats, alcohol & dairy which can be histamine forming. Boost up on Vitamin C rich foods such as berries, citrus fruit & colourful vegetables. Increase intake of foods which contain quercetin (a natural antihistamine) such as red grapes, apples & blackberries. Quercetin is also found in elderberry, & bee propolis has significant anti-inflammatory actions – both are found in Bee Prepared. Try barrier balms around the nose to stop pollen (Haymax is a nice one).
6) Enjoy the outdoors with a bit of exercise. Studies have found that physical activity, such as a brisk walk or swim, improves immune function and helps keep illness at bay. By getting active outdoors, you also get the added benefit of Vitamin D, an important nutrient for balanced immunity, health & mood.